“forgive, sounds good
forget, i’m not sure i could
they say time heals everything
but i’m still waiting“
– not ready to make nice, dixie chicks
it was a couple of years ago when my mother first talked to me about forgiveness.
“people often see me as timid and mild,” she said, “but they are deeply mistaken. i may forgive people easily but i never forget.“
i can understand where she was coming from. my mother is possibly the most patient person i know. she’s one of those seemingly harmless people that jerks like taking advantage of just because it’s hard to get her to lose her temper. what jerks don’t know is that the people who keep their cool even when provoked are the ones that should never be messed with.
i have kept her mantra of “forgive, but not forget” since then. when i found out a friend was backstabbing me in school, i forgave her for being an immature teenage girl but i kept my distance from that moment on. when the domestic help broke a beautiful venetian mask my best friend bought me from venice itself, my heart splintered along with it. somehow, definitely by the grace of God, i forgave her for being clumsy, but i will never trust her with things that i love ever again.
it is only in recent months that i found it easier to forgive others than in the past. as it slowly becomes easier and easier, i find it harder and harder to take people seriously when they talk about the inability to forgive someone for something, even if it has happened a long time ago.
i have attributed it mostly to immaturity; once i read an article that said that maturity is the state of mind where we stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about other people first. it involves empathy, patience, ethics and forgiveness. immature people don’t forgive so easily because they’re thinking about themselves first.
what i didn’t count on was how deep hurts can go, even if it’s through simple occurrences. a daughter whose father could not afford ballet lessons could still look back and blame him for robbing her of her love for dance. a boy who was forbidden from seeing the girl he loved could possibly carry the regret and pain for the rest of his life.
it can’t be explained so neatly as just immaturity and yet it could also be as uncomplicated as being immature.
anyway, i just wonder why it is so hard to let go of things that we know we should let go. it took me a long time to really forgive my father for being less than perfect, but once i did, i could honestly love him again and that made me very happy. i just wish everyone could feel that lightness, that happiness that i did.
it’s pretty hard to forget, but it really is good to forgive.