Forgive and forget?
Yes, I just quoted Taylor Swift. It's time for me to be honest about who I am. I'm currently obsessed with Taylor Swift's latest album - mostly because she's such a great songwriter, so there are some great, thought-provoking one-liners.
As I let TS's latest album play in my earbuds while I enjoy an hour of mommy time at the pool, that line sticks out to me, and immediately reminds me of a time I was encouraged (ordered?) to "forgive and forget" by someone who had wronged me. When I saw those words - sent via text message - I felt every tiny hair on my body stand up and my blood begin to simmer. First, the obvious - who is anyone to tell anyone to forgive? Forgiveness is a personal choice, and usually done when one is ready to forgive. And, I think forgiveness is mostly beneficial to the person who was wronged, NOT the wrongdoer. Wrongdoers can ask for forgiveness, but cannot demand it.
Secondly, what is this "forget" bullshit? Honestly. And, why should they even try?! So the wrongdoer can have a clean slate to mess up again? No way, I say. If someone is ballsy enough to tell you to 'forgive and forget' something they did - they're ballsy enough to do it (or worse) again. Does that mean you have to walk around angry with them forever? Again, no way, I say. That's the forgiveness part. But, I think what comes next is taking the necessary steps to ensure you're completely satisfied with moving forward in whatever capacity you're comfortable with. But, it does not mean you have to ever truly forget what they're capable of. You also don't have to forgive them if you don't want to, obvs. Up to you.
As I reapply my sunblock, I'm wondering if my thoughts on this topic make me sound guarded, paranoid and cold, holding everything against everyone. I'm not, and don't do, any of those things. But, I do think it's somewhat instinctual to not 100% trust someone again once they've revealed what their bad side looks like. And, that could mean limiting your relationship with them, the time you spend together, the lengths you're willing to go for them, how much you want to accommodate them, etc. How much do they deserve is a good question to ask yourself, in my opinion. It doesn't mean you have to be negative or let it/them continue to affect you. There's power in positivity.
Anyway. I'm talking too much about justifying why you don't need to forget after forgiving, when I should be focusing on the ridiculousness of why that's even a saying in the first place. I've always had the belief that no one has a right to treat anyone poorly, no matter what their relationship to you is - not even if they're family or you’ve known them for 20 years. So, while people make mistakes and words get said and yes - life goes on - if it's something big enough you need to forgive, it doesn't mean you have to try to forget it. You don't have the burden - they do. They just don't want it...
*puts sunglasses back on*
...and ain't that just too damn bad.