I read another sad post the other day about relationships and the conundrum/riddle of forgive and forget. I believe one can forgive someone for hurting us and continue life without resentment or hold a grudge toward that person. Without going to any textbook explanation, but rather based on pure personal observation, I believe that not forgetting what has hurt us, is merely an instinct for survival. We need to remember danger to learn to avoid it.
My dog hates medicine for her ears, it fizzles in her ear as it goes down. It has been years since she’s had an infection, but if she hears me shaking a bottle with liquid, she stands by the stairs waiting to see if I am going to come after her. If she sees me taking a step in her direction, she runs up the stairs and under my bed. If I give her a piece of cheese or meat, she will smell it first to make sure there isn’t medicine in it. She had a treat in her mouth once, tasted the medicine, promptly spit it out and ran up the stairs and under my bed. I also have a seven-year-old niece that has severe allergies that sometimes cause anything from severe swelling to seizures. From about age three and a half; she understood that some foods make her feel very sick. Before she orders at a restaurant or any new environment she will say: “I have allergies, does this have…” It is truly a matter of survival for her.
While the breakdown of the relationship can refer to romantic partners, parent-child, siblings or best friends, the premise is the same. One person hurt another, and a trust was broken. Does it really matter why? I believe that to expect a person to forget is selfish and would appear that your wishes, personal need to feel better or comfortable with the situation, are more important than the other person’s healing process.
I often hear “I apologized and promised not to do it again. I’m trying to make it up to him. What more does she want? Why does she/he keep bringing it up? ” News flash, It’s not about you; it’s their healing process. They want to be OK. They want to stop hurting, to heal, and be able to trust again. You can’t speed it up, and you can’t make it better. The process needs to come from within the person. If you are honestly doing all you can do, keep doing it and wait it out. There is no quick fix or magic potion. Sometimes on the other side healing, that person may decide they are OK, but they don’t want or can’t be OK with you, and you will need to accept that.
We are all selfish to a degree. I like the analogy that we are all protagonist in our very own movie. We all wish life was perfect; that the sun would shine brightly every day and that it rains only on our flower beds. No one wants to feel pain, and we all wish that our happiness is all that mattered to anyone we encounter. Even the most loving, giving person hopes that someday, out of the blue, someone would do something special for them in appreciation.
I believe time does heal but doesn’t mean things go back to the way they were. When a broken bone heals, there are signs that healing took place. When something is mended, the repair makes it stronger; but sometimes it continues to be weak in that area. Some people do manage to find that special place again but it takes work, and it takes time to rebuild that trust and with it to restore that loving feeling.
I used to hate it when my friend would say “It is what it is. There is no magic.” One year I gave her ruby-red slippers and a magic wand from the costume store with a note that said “BELIEVE” written in fairy dust sprinkle. I still believe in the supernatural power of love but sometimes, it is what it is, and there IS no magic wand.