I have thought a lot about this question and I simply cannot bring myself to answer it any other way except saying, “No!”
With time, people say that wounds heal … emotional scars fade … and one grows out of the pain.
All of that may be true.
I may not feel the same amount of bitterness as the time a friend betrayed me, or another one took me for granted.
I may not cry my eyes out anymore about acidic words an acquaintance spewed over an insignificant remark.
I may not recall with each gory detail inappropriate acts committed by a drunken neighbor with a five-year-old cousin.
But I remember.
I remember all those people and all those events that kept me up at nights. That tugged painfully at my heart. That stabbed me over and over in my sleep.
I remember faces and voices … emotions and expressions … lies and deceit …
Some people say there’s no point immersing oneself in negative energy.
I wholeheartedly agree.
I don’t often think about the miserable times I have experienced because of a so-called friend’s spiteful ways or a relative’s indiscretions, but somewhere in the back of my mind they’re lying in a semi-comatose state.
I have moved on with my life. I am happy most days.
I focus on the positive and look forward to the future.
But until I am able to selectively and permanently delete certain events from my memory, forgiveness won’t come to me.
I am not a “holier than thou” kind of person.
I won’t spit on your face, but I also won’t turn the other cheek.
I won’t seek revenge and I won’t wish you ill.
If you’re not worth it, I’ll dismiss you and move on, but if you’ve wronged me I will remember. Not that I make it a point to remember … but you know … I just can’t forget.
I can … well, to be really honest … I have pretended to forgive someone, but only on the surface … only to get some semblance of a closure … only to reconcile myself to the fact that no good can come out of remembering.
It’s a trick I play with my mind.
Forgiveness requires forgetting. And forgetting doesn’t come easily to me.
So, here I fulfill my promise of starting the new series: “Mansi asks:” where I tell you what I think, believe, or practice — you’ll get nothing but full disclosure. But in return I request you be honest, too.
Mansi asks: “Can you forgive without forgetting?”