"Can You Really Forgive If You Can't Forget?" by Char Nair

While having a cup of coffee with a couple of my girl friends, we started chatting about the topic of forgiveness. Now these girls, as do I, have quite a bit of experience in this area. But like them, I wondered, can you really forgive if you can't forget?

If I think back to the amount of forgiving I've done in the past, I can honestly say I haven't forgotten any one of those situations. But what I have learned is that saying "I forgive you" takes you a long way. You start to feel more content with your life and the people around you. Some of you may feel like forgiving is one of the hardest things to do. It's only natural because you are human and you are bound to feel like this. Although you may still feel the emotional damage that was once afflicted upon you, it's necessary for you to forgive in order to gain spiritual growth and pardon the grudge.

What do we gain from forgiving? No matter how bad it hurts, forgiving someone can actually just be the closure you need to gain new perspective for your own life. Holding a grudge against someone does not reward you with anything but anger. If you allow anger to control your life, you can become a depressed and lonely person.

From experience, I've realized in order to forgive someone, you must forgive yourself first. By doing this, you are accepting your emotions, rather than hiding them away. Many of us tend to punish ourselves by saying “it was my fault,” but you must realize that you are not losing out; you are gaining a new life experience that you now can grow from. When someone that you deeply care about hurts you, you have two options. One, you can hold on to the resentment and have it take control of your life; or two, you can forgive from the heart and let it go so you can move forward in life. If you value forgiveness more than grudges, you'll find yourself having healthier relationships and less stress.

When you don't forgive someone, you are only causing harm to yourself by carrying all that anger inside. You tend to become someone you’re not and let's just be honest; you don't want to be the person that everyone wants to stay away from. Instead, try thanking them for the experience. Often when a bad situation takes place, you can learn new elements and apply them to your lifestyle.

Two very inspirational women told me something that I will remember for the rest of my life. My grandmother told me that if you forgive someone, God will shower you with blessings and my mom told me that if you forgive someone, you become a bigger person in the eyes of God. You have nothing to lose by forgiving someone; you only gain a better you!

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi