Most people want you to forgive and forget. The forgiving, to me, is actually the easy part. It's a God given mandate. It's something that I can easily do because it's not only freeing for the person that I'm forgiving but it's freeing for me probably more so than it is for them.
The hard part is forgetting. And, honestly, do we ever forget. Do you forget past hurts? Unless you've repressed your hurts, actually forgetting something hurtful and painful is really hard to do. So, I've always found the "forgive and forget" phrase to be, well, a little stupid. I get the intent though or at least what I think is intended by it. I think it actually means that what was done shouldn't constantly be brought up, that it shouldn't hinder you from moving forward, that it shouldn't be a repetitive thought in your mind. I think people, especially women, really do try to forget how they've been hurt when it comes to their relationships. They try not to hold grudges, to not keep throwing things in the face of the ones that have hurt them, and to truly let it go.
"Ten times out of nine, I know you're lying. But nine times outta ten, I know you're trying. So I'm trying to be fair. And, you're trying to be there and to care."
But, you know why people tend to fail at this no matter how hard they try? Because oftentimes, people are dealing with hurt that is recurring. Sadly, I've found that women, especially women of color, tend to hold on to these types of relationships (where being hurt is a constant occurrence) the most. They're doing everything they can to maintain the relationship only to be let down again. And, somehow they've been conditioned to believe they're meant to be strong, endure and stay the course, even blaming themselves for the way they've been treated.
"Tell me, what did I do wrong? Feel like that question has been posed. I'm movin' on."
In these types of relationships, you'll find yourself forgiving someone for the hurt and pain they've caused then attempt to forget. Then something similar happens and you must start the process again. Another incident occurs and it's as if you're at square one. Yet folks don't want you holding the past over their heads. I've had women say to me; "well, you can't keep bringing up what someone has done to you and keep throwing it in their face then say that you've forgiven them. You must not have forgiven them if you're doing that." Yeah, NO. Please stop with this advice. It's wrong thinking, my friends.
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Here's why; If you stab me and I now have an open wound and I choose to forgive you (the easy part), eventually my wound will start to heal. At some point, that wound will fully heal and I'll actually be able to forget about it. It may have left just a tiny, little scar, but it's barely noticeable. The hurt I felt is in the far, far reaches of my mind. Then, you stab me again in that same spot, maybe even in a different way. I'm sorry, folks, I'm going to be reminded of the last time you stabbed me too. I may choose to forgive and eventually start to heal, but that scar is a little bit more noticeable. Forgetting that pain becomes a bit more hard to tuck away in the back of my mind. Say, we continue this pattern. Do you really and truly expect for me to stop considering the multiple times you've stabbed me again and again no matter how many times I've chosen to forgive?
I've tried to keep this post about any relationship, for the most part, because it really does apply to different types of relationships. But, this it where it switches to being about what you know it's about at heart; women and their relationships with men. And...
"I Ain't Sorry."
I think a lot of men get things wrong because they hurt and they hurt and they hurt then expect forgiveness, forgetfulness, and not to have their past wrongs held over their heads. It makes absolutely no sense and is so unfair to women. How about men start holding themselves accountable. How about men stop making excuses. How about men stop feeling bad because they've just had yet another thing held over their heads from the past, forgetting who's really the hurt one in the relationship. How about men stop continually wounding women so that they can fully heal from their past hurts. Wouldn't that be something?!
"When you hurt me, you hurt yourself. Don't hurt yourself."