Forgiving and Forgetting: The Science of Letting Go

Have you ever hurt someone or are you hurting someone?  Have you been hurt or are you hurting because of someone and something? There are always times in your life when people hurt you deliberately or unintentionally.

The moment you reject someone for whatever reason, do you know exactly what is going on on the other person’s mind? It would be so heart-breaking to you if you were them, but the truth is that unless they let you know how hurt they are, you will never know what is going on in their minds. Of course, if the one who you hurt or have been hurting is mature, then chances are that they have already forgiven you or will likely forgive you later, but one thing you have to always remember are those things you did to them will remain in their recollections, in other words, they can not forget what happened to them, what has been told and said by you.

Of course, I happened to be on both sides of this situation for better or worse before, so I can tell how easy for me it is to reject others and think that they are fine with it, and also how hard it is to forgive someone, and most importantly to forget about what they have done to me. The moment you reject someone, you feel some kind of relaxing vibe since you successfully solved the problem in your favor, and finally you are able to run after something you always wanted .

However, if those who were rejected by you were not contended with your points or were needy/clingy, then they would do whatever they could do to trouble you. Let’s say people you have rejected are mature enough to forgive you by all means, but as I mentioned already, it is still hard for them to forgive you. And chances are that they will not forget about you.

If it took place more than 5 years ago, then they might have already forgotten or at least have become indifferent about what happened to them due to you. Notwithstanding, it is not always the case. And another truth about the moment when they forgive you is that they are not over it at all by a long shot. They are in the process to rationalize the situation and try so hard to pretend that nothing has happened to them, and this is usually done so by them in order to make you feel as good about yourself as you can after your rejection so that you can move on in your life thinking that you and they had a good ending. On the other hand, they are still struggling with that situation no matter what. And time is the only thing that can heal the wounds.

I forgive a lot, but I never forget what’s said and done.

Ok, they forgave you, then what? Then they will move on to the next stage to reshape their relationship with you, and that is “Forgetting about the past”. However, this is the most and worst part of getting over the past since it is simply nearly quixotic in every sense of the word. Unless they lose their memory completely, they won’t be able to forget. This becomes more difficult as you get older.  You do not remember exactly what happened to you when you were 11 or 12 years-old, but you surely still remember what you did and what kind of people you are hanging around with when you are 20 years-old. My father (50 something) still does remember those days he had when he was an university student.  In that, you always have to be careful about what you are going to do with those who you once rejected at any level for whatever the reason.

I forgive people, but that doesn’t mean I trust them.

If you are intending to have better relations with those people afterwards, you have to carefully look in the past and try to understand how they felt back in time even if you can’t, and try not to make the same mistakes again with them, and this is the only way to enhance the relations to better quality. And another thing you have to remind yourself of always is that they lost trust and any expectations from you already. They will likely not tell you this, but this is surely the thing you have to know.

If you are not trying to get back at those people, you might as well just move on in your life forgetting about them first. You should not contact them because it only hurts them more.  And if you happen to be the one who was treated like shi# by someone who you loved once and still love, we do not know how but sometimes you just have to forget about the person and move on.


Give it up to those who provide beautiful pictures:

Alina Sofia

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