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Monday, October 22, 2012

Forget & Forgive

I always thought to forgive someone meant I had to " forgive and forget." I should love someone who has offended me by erasing the transgression, the hurt, anger and sadness completely from my memory. I thought in order to forgive I needed to endure the pain, meanwhile feeling like a door mat.  Truthfully, real forgiveness seemed unachievable. I've never erased the memory of an offense, but merely suppressed my hurt feelings, leaving me wondering if I ever truly forgave. I wondered how I was supposed to learn from a broken relationship by pretending "the something" never happened. It didn't make sense to me. Then the light turned on in the dark areas of my mind.  I realized I've had it backwards. Forgiveness is something that happens after forgetting and not beforehand. One of the biggest hang-ups I had was thinking in order to forget I had to pretend something didn't happen. That was a mistake. When you forget, you are merely moving your focus elsewhere. You're by choice, giving something or someone inattention and thoughtlessness.  Remove the person, rumor, unkind words, unkind act, the embarrassment, or broken heart from your focal point, giving it less attention by adjusting your mind's camera lens to sharpen another focal point. In film and photography this is called depth of field. When you begin to loose focus of the pain, the image gets blurry and you loose detail. It is then you can move onto forgiveness.  Forgiving someone or yourself is an empowering choice to pardon or excuse an offense. This is much easier to do when the crisp detailed image of pain has faded and is just a part of the background. You know it's there but the lack of focus makes the snap shot of that ugly offense minor compared to life's bigger picture. You're now able to evaluate the event or relationship with less emotion and can accept the lesson that is yours to learn.
Depth of Field

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