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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Forgiving and forgetting--are both possible?

By Barabra A. Schoeneberger

The Resurrection - Master of the Trebon Altarpiece, 1380s, Národní Galerie, Prague
The Resurrection by Master of the Trebon Altarpiece
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).

Have you ever been deeply hurt by someone? By people you trusted? Have you been a victim of a violent crime? Has someone close to you whom you love very much been hurt?

Have you been told by the perpetrator or others to “forgive and forget”? Did you feel angry at this admonishment? Do you now feel guilty because you want to forgive, have tried to forgive, but just can’t forget? Do you think something is wrong with you because you just can’t forget no matter how hard you try?

Have you anguished over not being able to forget?

I can answer yes to every one of these questions and I am not alone. The problem lies in conflating forgiveness and forgetting. For years I’ve struggled with guilt, thinking something must be wrong with me because memory of a situation would pop into my head unbidden and I thought that meant I had not truly forgiven the person.

Continue reading at Barb's blog Suffering With Joy.

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