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Forgive and Forget??

May 16, 2019

A question arises from the last post (click here to read or re-read) about being thankful for that which is hateful to you, being done to you.  The question is, should you also be thankful to the person that did it?

As the last post said, be thankful for “that which is hateful to you”, being done unto you.  Thankful for the lesson it can teach you.  Simply stated, be thankful for the incident.  From the incident you can learn to not do that to another.

That doesn’t necessarily mean being thankful to the person who did it to you.  It also doesn’t mean to respond in-kind to that person.  It also doesn’t mean be angry and let anger overcome your ability to grow forward.

“Anger begins with madness and ends with regret.” – Ben Hamelech V’Hanazir

“He who angers you conquers you.” – Elizabeth Kenny

There is forgiving and there is forgetting.  We have all been there, here are some reminders on how not to stay there.

First, never forget, for forgetting is forgetting the lesson.  The lesson is what you carry with you to grow forward, consciously and eventually subconsciously/automatically.  The key is the strength to carry the lesson with you, not allowing the incident to be an anchor.

“To survive tragedy and trauma, first build the future. Only then, remember the past.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

As for forgiving, there is more than one variety.  Forgive to and for yourself, which is to say let go, so that you don’t get stuck with anger, resentment, or responding in kind.  That doesn’t necessarily mean automatically forgive the offender.

To Grow, Let Go

“Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.” – William Arthur Ward

To an un-kind act or words, do not respond in-kind?  If you do, you allow it to take you down.  So resist that instinct and remind yourself that you can always elevate yourself.

“Don’t carry a grudge. While you’re carrying a grudge the other guy is dancing.” – Buddy Hackett

In order to completely forgive the offender directly, requires a form of apology acceptable to you in deeds and not just words.  That way you can completely let go and they can learn a lesson as well.

“An apology might help, but you can change your life without one”. – Robin Quivers

“Forgivness happens when we realize that our connection towards the person is much deeper than the act that separated us”. – Unknown

If you have forgiven the offender you must recognize that your forgiving should not lend itself to consciously and/or repeatedly exposing yourself to un-kind. Your kindness to un-kind has limits. If your kindness doesn’t lend itself to a re-examination from the un-kind one, you need to protect yourself.

For more on “kind or in-kind” (click here to read the series).  It discusses how to always respond and also protect yourself.

Be Good Do Good Think Good 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt permalink
    October 13, 2019 10:11 pm

    After 60 years, I’m only now beginning to learn these valuable lessons, and believe me, I have been through and done a lot. I only wish I started applying them when I was 40… but there I go again.. no more if’s or woulda shoulda coulda’s, live in the present and forget the past. The only reason to even consider the past is that maybe there is a valuable lesson that you may have missed, if so, apply it and move on…as Mel Torme used to say the greatest word in the English Language, NEXT!

  2. Vince permalink
    August 28, 2019 1:13 pm

    Thank you Mr. Fox. What stands out for me is the quote by Ben Hamelech. Walk away from the madness and avoid the regret. Great reminder.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      August 28, 2019 1:43 pm

      Yes. it’s a very valuable reminder
      Thank you Vince

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