The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

Try Forgetness

My life is full of fractured family relationships.  So when I read those articles preaching forgiveness as the only way to achieve inner peace, I’m bugged.   

Yes, of course, there’s a place for forgiveness, it’s how we reconnect when someone expresses regret for doing us wrong.  But saying “I forgive you” when the other person hasn’t said they’re sorry?  It feels meaningless and kind of presumptuous  – who’s to say that they even want our forgiveness?  Plus, there’s something self-affirming about not forgiving, about being clear that it’s not ok to treat us badly. 

However I don’t want to hold on to grudges.  Because, truly, my problems with my family aren’t the result of malice, they just reflect a lack of understanding.   And while I’m not willing to smooth our disagreements over, I don’t want to hold on to them forever.   That’s where forgetness comes in. 

Forgetness is about moving past our grudges and releasing our attachment to winning.  While we can still recognize the situation isn’t what we want, we make the conscious decision to move past it.  We stay focused on the present, on the current relationship and what’s available now.  

My family and I have spent years firmly stuck on our own sides, none of us willing to take the long leap into forgiveness.  But I’ve found that the leap to forgetness is much shorter and the landing is much softer.  With forgetness no one has to be right and no one is made wrong.  The past is no longer part of the equation – all that counts is who we are today and what’s possible for tomorrow.

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7 responses to “Try Forgetness

  1. farouk April 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    that’s a new perspective for getting over emotional pain, i like your creative way of finding a soloution, keep it up Melinda :)

  2. Walter April 22, 2010 at 5:00 am

    I think forgetness is an element of forgiveness, only weaker. However, I do agree with your message here. More often than not we unconsciously employ forgetness when forgiveness is not an option. :-)

  3. Anonymous April 25, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I love your conclusion. “The past is no longer part of the equation – all that counts is who we are today and what’s possible for tomorrow.”

  4. Anonymous April 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Nicely written article that is quite thought-provoking and you’ve encouraged me to try forgetness. I recently read “The Shack” and it is a heavy-duty book about forgiveness. You might enjoy the message there.

  5. zurkan December 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

    people say you should forgive and forget but often people don’t forget – true forgiveness is to learn the lesson and then forget so life can be free from unwanted baggage

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