Byron's Babbles

Forgiving & Forgetting

Another phrase from the father, Gavin Donahue, to his daughter, Colleen, in the great novel I finished this past week, The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry was, “You can’t separate forgiveness from forgetting.” Gavin was telling his daughter that in order to truly forgive someone or something, we must be able to forget the offense, or at least let go of the negative emotions associated with it. Much easier said than done. Right? Forgiveness requires us to move past the hurt and resentment, and we can’t do that if we’re constantly holding onto the memory of what happened. I’ve often said I am glad many in my past had amnesia when it came to my many shortcomings or disappointing actions. As a teacher forgetting had to come with forgiveness. Imagine if I would not of been able to let go of every little transgression of my students.

I must note, however, that this does not mean we should completely forget what happened, but rather learn from the experience and use it to grow and improve as individuals. Ultimately, forgiveness and forgetting go hand in hand, and it requires a level of acceptance and understanding to fully achieve both.


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