Forgive and Forget
I grew up like a lot of us did with the saying, “Forgive and forget.” I invented a twist on the journey to forgiveness by retooling the expression “Forgive me, forget-me-not.” It’s not that my philosophy is to hang on to the upset and emotional harm ad infinitem; quite the contrary. I want us all to remember these kinds of harms we’ve caused so we don’t forget them. Some of my closest friends are forget-me-nots from past slights or deeper emotional harm.
Before clients of the Sedona Intensive graduate from the program they have to write Forgiveness, or Amends, letters to those they’ve harmed or injured, including themselves. They are cautioned not to write “I’m sorry” or that “I apologize” in their letters. We all use those empty words for a very long time without seeing any change in our behavior. “I’m sorry” and “I apologize” are passive aggressive ploys to get the heat off of us. We are what we hear and see–movies are the absolute worse place to become inculcated with such nonsensical ways to free ourselves from the bondage of self and others.
To make amends means to change your behavior and your attitudes so that you can repair relationships with yourself and others. These clients also cannot write that they forgive someone who they feel has harmed them. This is their amends. This is their opportunity to clean up their side of the street. If their abuser ever seeks forgiveness from them is the abuser’s business, not theirs. My philosophy is that when anyone is involved in a harmful or abusive relationship, both parties are at fault. We seek forgiveness from those we perceived have wronged us because we all play a part in the bad blood between us. When you open your heart and sincerely ask God to forgive you, He/She/It will and your life will change forever. Forgiveness is the path to clearing.