Forgiving is Not Forgetting

Written by Julie Cosgrove

forgiveconsequenceForgive and forget? Not likely. There are some hurts you can’t uninstall once they have been downloaded into your heart. Lashed-out harsh words and slashed hopes produce deep scars. Repeated abuse, whether verbal or physical, become embedded in our personalities like indelible ink on cloth. They color our perceptions of people and the world.

If you have been deeply hurt you probably want to do one of two things — strike out and hurt back, or shrink and hide so it doesn’t ever happen again. Fight or flight. That’s normal, but not very good for building relationships. Let’s face facts — if you are in intimate contact with another human being for very long, one, if not both of you, are going to get hurt. Pride, agendas, reactions from past relationships, and learned patterns get in the way.

How do you get around, over, or beyond the pain? Can you regain the trust? You can, if you start the process of forgiving. It’s not an overnight thing. It takes time and lots of work.

Forgiving is not forgetting. It doesn’t mean you become a doormat to abuse. It doesn’t give the other person permission to keep hurting you either. But it does block the emotions from stabbing you over and over again, reopening those wounds. Then the healing can begin.

It can really help to read the journey of others. Here are some stories from people who have been in a hurtful situation with someone they loved and how they handled it.

Divorce: When Forever Ends
Domestic Violence: Living with the Enemy
Hardcore Betrayal: My Husband’s Porn Addiction
Unfaithful Husband: Thrown on a Roller Coaster

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