Friday, December 03, 2004

Forgive and Forget?

Sunny Piccie

Never say never… especially when it comes to forgiveness. To hold something against someone is to carry excess weight on your back. However… it isn’t always easy to forgive… or maybe it’s the forgetting that requires the most effort. I was once told that not forgetting is a clear sign that not all is forgiven… I beg to differ.

After repeating the mistake of forgiving and forgetting repeatedly with the same person, I decided that there should be placed limits. How else was I going to avoid the repeated heartbreaks and disappointment? It was then that I decided to live my life like a baseball game: after two strikes you’re out on the third botch up. However, life proves that you cannot dish out the same set of rules to every person. Some people should’ve been given up on after their first major error, whilst others that made constant little mistakes proved to be very weak specimens of friends.

This made me realise that I had to start weighing the misdemeanours and chief errors when contemplating whether or not I should forgive. It was my father that gave me the perfect scale: I was told that it isn’t one’s words or actions that carry all the weight, but the intention in which they were carried out. Forgiving then became much easier once I discovered the true intentions behind the wrongdoing. In fact, I found that in most cases, almost all could be forgiven. Most of what hurts us, wasn’t intended to do so in the first place.

Does this mean I can forget all that was done?

Absolutely not! I’m all in favour of letting go of past mistakes; they only weigh on your shoulders. But to forget is the same as allowing an open road to be run over by the same word or action. This isn’t to say that people don’t learn from their mistakes (I should hope they do!), but it is to eliminate the chance of them disappointing you again. The beauty of time and true friendship is that it stands the test of time, and trust can be built just as it’s broken down. A true friend will fight for you and your trust and make it easier to move on. One of my true friends slept with my boyfriend. However, she ignored the comments and fought all barriers until she once again regained my trust. I have never regretted giving her a second chance… but I might not leave any of my future boyfriends alone with her again. The first mistake is your fault, the second mistake is mine.

I don’t believe in forgetting… your memory is a big part of who you are. But I do believe that once a person is forgiven you need to put the mistake and hurt behind you, to give time and life a chance to recover and grow whatever connection you hold with that person.

Pride is guilty for shadowing forgiveness. When two people are hardheaded and will not compromise, friendship simply cannot survive. You cannot force an “I forgive you” from the heart. Lips may move but they cannot fool what the soul is feeling. However, when the friendship is true, pride is a small price to pay for a priceless friendship. Those too stubborn to see that, miss out on the best things in life.

In my hysterical cloud of glee, I was caught off guard by the question she swung my way and before I knew what I was doing, I found myself answering her questions about the Christmas outfit I chose to wear this year. The minute I realised that my enthusiasm had carried me away, I tried directing my conversation to the other people around me and cut her opportunity short.
It’s been about six months since we’ve spoken about anything that isn’t work related. Our friendship ended with silence and all that’s left is professionalism. What happened? Well, when they say that love is blind they forget to add that friendship is too. I forgave many little mistakes that if they’d been analysed well enough, wouldn’t have passed through due to the intention behind them. I discovered that although this person is an amazing woman, she doesn’t know how to be a friend. Selfishness is her survival technique… perhaps due to not forgiving in her past. However, friendship comes with some sacrifices and compromise. Friendship is only true when you hold your friend’s interests on the same level as your own; the failure to do so is to risk losing a friend. You give a little, you take a little… you don’t take measurements or weigh what’s coming or going, but inside you know that your attentions are appreciated and that the person you care about, cares about you.
She thinks that it was the last straw that put the end to our friendship… what she doesn’t realise is that the last straw is the only the cherry on top of a cake; the last drop on a full glass of water and the reason for not forgiving the last of an accumulation of hurts. I could’ve told her, I could’ve explained my reasons for taking back my loyalty. But she didn’t care for my reasons, so I didn’t care to give her answers. Instead, she speculates about my motives for no longer depositing my trust in her. She wonders why I no longer laugh at her jokes or converse to her about any daily events. With the same consideration that she’d hurt me, I took everything that friendship stands for and left our relationship to pure professionalism.
For those brief minutes where my enthusiasm had run away with me, I’d relived a moment of what our friendship used to be like. Did I miss it? In a way… but the memory of the price of her friendship didn’t give me time enough to even consider carrying on the conversation. This is the importance of memory… it keeps you from repeating mistakes and reminds you of the consequences of your actions.

Will we ever patch things up? I’d like to think that there is nothing to patch up. After all, she doesn’t seem to need for any explanations I could give and quite frankly, a friend that doesn’t care enough about me to consider my feelings, isn’t able to swallow some pride and fight for a friendship isn’t a friend worth having in any case. I suppose if I thought about her, it would bother me but except on the days that she purposely cheeses me off… I confess that I don’t think about her much. This is my definition of forgive and forget… I forgave, I forgot to the point where I don’t think about it, but I set the limits so it doesn’t happen again.

Would I consider patching up our friendship? Perhaps… Why Not? If she cared enough to try and patch things up, what kind of a person would I be if I turned my back? Everyone deserves a second chance… However, it would only be under the condition that her intentions were true and for that to happen, she’d have to start caring about someone as much as she cares about herself.

We cannot select the fate that life hold for us… but we can select our friends.
Are you a friend worth keeping?

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