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Forgive, Forget, Remember

Paul has an enthusiasm for exploring the world of faith and spiritual well being, which he wishes to share through all that he writes.


They say forgive and forget. There is wisdom in this. But whether or not it is at all times possible to forget a wrong or a hurt, it is forever within our capacity to remember that which is rightful and that which heals. It is always possible to remember the ever-present radiance and comfort of God's divine love, from where forgiveness and healing enters our world, and which is alive and well in us all. Remembering this helps us move through the world with grace and compassion. Remembering this helps us forgive.


Forgiveness is a kind of letting go, a letting go that can lighten our loads. It is an endeavor to allow any ill will, or worse, toward those who have committed some misdeed or other to us or kin, to fall away, opening a space that can be filled with good will and thoughts of peace. Forgiveness is letting someone off the hook, so to speak, discovering that is often ourselves that we are setting free.

Forgiving is letting go of resentments and grudges. It is bringing to an end any current or ancient feuds, seeking to make peace. Forgiving is being patient with the imperfection of others, while recognizing those foibles that are our own. And there is that special patience which is sometimes needed with those to which we are closest, while again recognizing when it is we who are behaving in ways that require the patience of others. Forgiving is letting go of small angers as reactions to some slights or insults that we perceive to have received during our day. This is all everyday forgiveness, and although some of these things may seem trivial, they can be just as difficult to let go of than the more formidable hurts, which themselves become more approachable when we practice this everyday forgiveness. It's about living in forgiving ways, trusting in the higher powers of love and our own natural and able compassion to guide us.

Forgiveness helps us to allow that which pulls us down to fall away, enabling us to rise above. It involves a desire to free ourselves from the pain and distress of that which is unforgiven and unforgotten.



Forgetting is thought of as not being able to recall something or other. And while we spend much of our time trying not to be forgetful, there may be things that we would wish to forget. In the context of forgiveness, forgetting too can be a kind of letting go, perhaps a further letting go. It is not an attempt to erase a memory unwanted; it is letting go of the anger and hurt associated with it. And as difficult it may be to allow something hurtful to pass from us, we at all times maintain the ability to turn our attention elsewhere, like where we are in any given moment, with an eye on good things to come, turning away from that which is hurtful and focusing on any little thing cheerful. We can look to all the natural beauty in God's good world and to the beauty being revealed through the kindness and compassion of God's good people.

Forgetting can involve unlearning some things, like envy and excessive pride, then replacing them with a sincere interest in the well-being of others and a healthful and uplifting self-respect. Forgetting can be about undoing some things, like ending age old conflicts, then redoing things, like building healthful and meaningful relationships. Forgetting is turning away from vengefulness and turning toward helpfulness and healing.

We all have the desire for happiness to be in our lives, a desire that is present even during times when we may not wish to forget a hurt, wanting to possess it, while knowing that it may be possessing us. So, we stop and breathe. We let go. We turn to love, the love with which our desire for others to enjoy happiness becomes just as strong as the desire for ourselves to do the same. This love helps us replace hurtful things unforgotten with loving things remembered.



Remembering is bringing to mind events and feelings that have gone before. Remembering also concerns the very present, for it is from this time and from this place that we remember, and it is in this time and in this place that we feel. It is in the here and now where we have the opportunity to look back at all the good that has happened in our lives, all the loving things, all the feel-good things, and everything else for which we may be inclined to be grateful. Remembering is taking to heart all the good and loving things that are in our life in this very moment. It is in these moments where memories are being made. And it is the ways we spend these moments, the ways in which we live our lives, that attest to their quality.

Remembering is reminding ourselves what is good and of value. It is being mindful of our blessings and cherishing them and all that is precious to us. It is savoring any sweet or pleasant moment. Remembering is keeping these things in mind and giving them a home in our hearts. It is also reminding ourselves to act in ways that help increase the beauty and love in the world, like being kind, being patient, helping others, and giving. It's all the things we do and say that helps put smiles on faces. We remind ourselves to be forgiving. And we remember forgiveness itself with the freedom and healing that comes with it.

They say forgive and forget. But what is not to be forgotten, is our ability to remember. This remembering is the moment-to-moment awareness of the fundamental love that lies in the hearts of all people. It is reminding ourselves of the divine light and the forever forgiving unbounded love that surrounds us all. It is remembering the light that we too possess, and our own inherent ability, using the higher regions of our minds and the deeper parts of our hearts, to let it shine.

© 2021 Paul K Francis

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