Can You Forgive and Not Forget?

I fancy myself as the kind of person who can, with the right amount of consideration, forgive the hurts I’ve known.

Part of that ability stems from giving the benefit of the doubt – perhaps to a fault – just as I want it extended to me.

I remember that people don’t come out of the womb as assholes; they, like me, have been shaped by the currents of their lives up to now, and with those currents etching and carving tendencies and patterns with the force of several generations of baggage.

And I believe most people, most of the time, are trying to do the best they know how – and quite often under some incredibly difficult circumstances. So I usually find it easy to forgive transgressions.

It’s the forgetting part I have a hard time with.

Because even forgiven transgressions can linger – like, say, the memory of eating bad fish.

Forgiving would be going back to the restaurant. Forgetting would be ordering the fish again.

I wouldn’t order the fish! Would you?!

What’s that they say? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

That’s my mentality for sure: Wronged once, spooked for good.

Maybe the issue here isn’t really forgiveness. Maybe it’s about trust.

Can you have one without the other?

Do second chances (or third, or fourth) automatically come with forgiveness – or can one actually forgive but not forget?

These are questions for which I don’t have the answers. But I’m throwing it out there in hopes you all will share your experiences and wisdom. 🙂


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