Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

How are you sure that you forgave someone?

Most of the time, my question above is irrelevant because we have already forgotten what happened. It appears that forgetting = forgiving. Sometimes, we cannot forget past wrongdoings (eg, by others or ourself). Does this then imply the opposite: not forgetting = not forgiving?

Not really. Once you love someone you will not forget and/but you will always forgive. Once you despise, dislike, disrespect, or hate someone, you will never forget and (may) never forgive. However, you can still accept what went wrong. Acceptance might be a substitute for forgiveness.

This year, my ex apologized for her wrongdoings during and after our marriage. I was surprised. For a moment, I thought that she had learnt to deal with her issues. Unfortunately, I was wrong. She is still in deep denial. I will never forget what she did to me. I thought I forgave her but did/do I really??

A week ago, I asked my former longtime girlfriend whether she has forgiven me by now. Her answer: “I think so. Time will tell.” Latter might indeed be the (only) answer to the question in my blog title: time will tell. I’m still not sure. My diagram below suggests that (non) acceptance is essential.

Hence, the default situation is forgetting = forgiving.

Forgiving but not forgetting equals lessons learned.

Some people, you prefer to forget rather than to forgive. For lack of a better word, I have used mistrust. I suppose that our default is to accept and to move on.

Last but not least, there are some people in our lives, whom we will neither forgive nor forget. There are two solutions: either we accept (positive) and move on, or we do not accept their betrayal and consider revenge (negative). A cycle of revenge & retaliation may, however, never end.

I suppose that I’ve finally found an answer to my question whether – or not – I forgave her. I did not. I just accepted what happened, healed myself, and have moved on. Time will tell whether I have forgiven her.

“Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget.”

A quote by Robert Jordan (1948-2007), an American author of epic fantasy

Substitute (1975) by Clout (1977 cover)
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

I’ll be your substitute
Whenever you want me, ohoho
Don’t you know I’ll be your substitute
Whenever you need me, oho

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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