I spent the entire morning the other day with the only other person that knows me other than my husband, talking about how easily it is for us to say “I forgive you” for a wrong doing. But part of the forgiveness process involves forgetting the incident totally.
We talked about something that happened in my life way back when in the ice age that took my breath away. I have always been capable of forgiving people who had wronged me in whatever way and then moved on with my life. But a wrong was done to me and this has left me in a stew pot for 2 months now.
As a practising Christian, I was taught the Golden Rule, do the right thing, and forgive and forget. And one of children would say but I forgave them last time and then they did it again, why do I have to forgive them again? And mom would say you have to do it 70 times 70 as Christ told us.
And now being a Latter Day Saint, being able to forgive and forget needs to be done or you do not go to the temple. You can not go in there with a grudge or bad thoughts in your mind, heart or soul.
I am 51 years old, and this is the first time I have not forgiven easily and it will be a long time before I can forget. So what do I do? It is not something that I can fix; I am just very hurt. My friend and I talked for hours that morning saying how people seem to say those two words, “I forgive you,” but then then bring it up at every disagreement or when they want to drive a point across. Obviously not very forgotten.
To me, I have always had both of them together: I forgive and I forget and I move on with my life. And that was the reason why the call with my friend. After a few hours yakking, we really had not accomplished more of anything else. I won’t be able to go to the temple now till I get that sorted out. And that is going to hurt. I could just go anyway, but seeing as they do ask the patrons there if anyone has any bad feelings toward the others you may want to step away, I have such a gullible face they would seek me out with a missile let me tell you,
Then we talked about how I had forgiven this person on his death bed; how I had told him that; how I told him how hard it had been to live with that kind of garbage; and how I told him I loved him and all was forgotten. He said, “I know,” and in a split second had a stroke and never regained consciousness.
If I already forgive for the things that happened in my youth, which I knew of at the time of the forgiveness, then does that count for the new stuff I just got knowledge of? I don’t know what to do. It is all I can think of all summer and it is filling me with feelings that had long been buried. Some that had been forgotten for many decades. Only now they are all resurfacing at the same time and it is sensory overload. I do not know what to do. How do you forgive someone who is dead?
Is this the time that you say, “Lord, it is in your hands,” and just forget about it? Is there a time limit to hold “grudges” without getting into trouble?