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How Do You Forgive And Forget?

Is it even possible?
PHOTO: istockphoto

"Forgive but never forget." This line gets thrown around a lot, usually when someone gets caught cheating—physically or emotionally. But believe it or not, choosing to forgive and forget when someone hurts you is possible; it just might take a lot of time and effort to get back the trust you once had in your relationship. Here are some things to keep in mind if you really want to heal and move on from an issue. 

Don't rush the forgiving part. 

People often make the mistake of trying to rush their emotions into "forgiving" or saying "it's okay" because you want to forget the fight or problem right away. Fake it till you make it, right? Maybe if you act like you're over it, things will go back to normal, and you can be the perfect couple again. But suppressing your emotions isn never the answer. One day, something will trigger that emotion, and everything will burst out of you. This might cause confusion and potentially more problems you'll need to address and fix. Process all of your emotions; feel everything. 

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See things from their perspective. 

In the heat of the moment, it's easy to put the blame on one person. And while we don't make excuses for people who deliberately cause someone harm here at Cosmo, there's something to be said about trying to put youself in your partner's shoes. If you think about it, you're with them for a reason. They can't be all bad—even if they did something terrible. There are still plenty of things to love about that person. One mistake doesn't erase all the good they've done, right? 

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Forgive yourself. 

"Bakit 'di ko nakita?" or "I should've known better," or "Ang tanga tanga ko." These thoughts creep in when you're at your lowest. When people are exhausted over being angry at someone, they become angry at themselves, and it is never good. You are not responsible for another person's actions. At a point in your life when you're not sure you can forgive and love the person who caused you pain, you need to have even more love for yourself. 

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Let go of resentment.

Carrie Fisher once said, "Resentment is the poison you swallow hoping the other person will die." It can eat you alive and keep you stuck in a hole that's hard to crawl out of. This is because you are allowing that person to be in control of your emotions. 

Let go of resentment by not ruminating aka not thinking about a situation over and over again. Do you ever realize that one day, you just wake up feeling better? And the negative feelings only come back when you exert effort in remembering every detail of what happened? That's rumination. And you can train yourself not to do that by sticking to finding solutions instead of blowing the problem out of proportion. 

Forgive the person who hurt you. 

Forgiveness doesn't look the same for every person or in every situation. So when you decide that you want to forgive someone, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to keep them in your life. It just means you're letting go of the anger and choosing to rise above all the negativity. Compassion also comes in to play. 

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And finally, forget. 

Obviously, this doesn't mean literally forgetting the issue. It's more like moving on. Let's use cheating as an example: In this case, forgetting means that when you've forgiven your partner for cheating on you and have decided to give the relationship another try, you won't be bringing up this experience every single time you two have a fight. Because that isn't true forgiveness. While no one can wipe the slate completely clean, once you've "forgotten" the past, it means trust has been restored. 

When you throw someone's mistake back in their face after you claimed to have forgiven and forgotten, it creates tension in the relationship. Your partner might think, "Will she ever really forgive me? Will we ever have a normal fight that won't automatically go back to what I did in the past?" Because the truth is, this won't be the last mistake they make if you stay together ~*forever*~, and you need to accept that; they're only human, after all. 

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