‘Forgive and forget!’ I chanted that a lot in Sunday School. As I grew older, I discovered my ‘words spoke louder than my actions’ instead of vice versa. We forgive…but do we really forget? Does the brain have the capacity to delete the stuffs we don’t want to remember? What of the times when the image repeatedly shows up in the real world, causing our brains to remember what wrong was done, what hurt was caused?
It is the godly way to forgive and forget but I won’t act as a saint and say its as easy as ‘a, b, c…’ To be honest, forgetting the hurt or wrong someone has caused is as hard as forgetting your name! Sometimes you may think you’ve forgiven and forgotten but all it takes to remember is just to hear that person’s name mentioned or seeing an image of the person…then the pain rushes back, the anger and resentment show up. I know that feeling, way too much.
So what new thing do I have to say? Do I hypocritically say you should forgive and forget? Don’t let these images come back? Force our brain to delete these hurtful memories? Pretending this pain doesn’t exist? Saying all of these would be like preaching what I’m not living, which is the hypocrite’s anthem!
It’s human to feel hurt and pain. It’s human to feel this person deserves to be as hurt as we are…believe me, the taste of revenge is sweet but bitterness always lingers at the end, one that would make you wanna throw up. Yuck! So what then after this person has gotten hurt too? Does the loathing desire for revenge fizzle out? Or does it grow stronger like a vampire searching for more blood after the first taste of blood? Is that really all there is?
Why not try something new like deliberately letting go? Choosing to permanently delete the files labelled ‘hurts’ and the folders labelled ‘pain’ along with the revenge app?
Letting go of the pain, the tension that comes when we see these people that have hurt us. To be honest, it is not going to be easy but it’s a step in the right direction of forgetting the hurts and pains. Let go of that unrequited love, let go of that abusive father, let go of that back stabbing friend, let go of that wicked colleague, let go of that mother that didn’t care…mentally click the delete button in your brain and make sure it doesn’t remain in the recycle bin.
Once you succeed in deleting these bad memory files that often cause our systems to crash, you begin to enjoy freedom! Freedom from storing unnecessary garbage in your brain(it’s called GIGO because its garbage in, garbage out and not garbage stored), creating more space for peace and joy. You could see the ‘memory free’ icon changing from red to blue. Yes, this is true.
My earnest desire is that you live happy and have a fabulous life!
Mfon Etuk, 2014.