Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.
- Anne Lamott

A friend of mine recently posted this on her Facebook status. Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors and coming to grips with my own past one of my greatest challenges. So this really touched me.

Forgiveness is both about me and others. I have to forgive myself and those who wrong me. As Anne Lamott points out so well, it’s about coming to terms with my unchangeable past, both my actions and the actions of others.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time coming to terms with my actions. With letting go of the guilt and not living in regret. I did much wrong, and yet that past is filled with blessings that came out of the wrong I did. I still struggle with regret, with opportunities missed or squandered. But I can forgive myself.

I can usually forgive others. And sometimes easily, or relatively easily. Even for some pretty bad things. My problem is that I can’t forget. Being reminded just brings the hurt or anger back, and I have to go through forgiving again. Over time, it becomes easier and eventually the pain fades.

But some things don’t work like that. They always hurt, and they always will. My struggle is how to move forward, knowing that those memories will always be there and will always be painful, but knowing that I cannot change the past and that the past is not my present nor my future. It’s a challenge to not allow those feelings to continue to affect my relationships. To remind myself of forgiveness, despite the memory. It is so hard to let go of some things which hurt us, even though by doing so we only hurt ourselves over and over.

I don’t really know what to do about it. I think it’s normal. And we find ways to deal with it or we let it continue to screw up our lives. I just sometimes wish there were a way to truly forget. Forgiveness is having to remember, but let it go. To really know that the past is the past.



Jay Powell said...

I believe that if we could actually forget the transgressions there would be no reason for forgiveness. I think God wants us to forgive in such a way that even in remembrance the anger is gone. Something to strive for, but almost impossible to attain.

Bear Me Out said...

Forgive is important. But sometimes, forgetting is just plan stupid.

Also from Anne Lamott, in Plan B.

"Forgiveness is when, finally, you don't want to hit back. It doesn't mean you want to have lunch with them."

I'm with you in your struggles. It's forgiving myself that's the hardest.

Bear Me Out said...

how are you?

Bear Me Out said...

hast thou disappeared? Hope you're OK.

Anonymous said...

It's called Alzheimer! That's the only way to truly forget!! LOL!! But seriously I believe we go though certain things that by the grace of God when we come out the other side we will we able to help other wounded souls this side of eternity. None of us are in our perfected bodies on this side of eternity but when we reach the other side it will all make sense. I just look at the life of Jesus and His own disciples really hurt him at crucial points in His life. even though they loved Him, certain human trials and emotions over took them and they really hurt Jesus. But Jesus is the only one who truly knew the whole picture (which goes for all of us....from the first man to the last) and I am sure He forgave them as well as all of us, knowing this Truth and being this Truth. I believe the disciples where truly repentant for this, which makes it easier to forgive from a human perspective. If someone is totally unrepentant as a believer or just as a plain human moral agent it is harder to let go and let God deal with that person in His due time and way...but again and again the Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that He is more than able to deal with any injustice I have ever come across!! Patience is really a virtue I am learning that is wayyyy underrated people!!! Anyways God bless and heal all the wounds and lift all of your burdens in this life and may you in turn bless those who are hurting right along side you!!