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of letting go and moving on

You know, i struggle with the concept of 'forgive and forget'... and yes my insomnia is in high gear as usual, so i shall blog the thoughts keeping me awake tonight.

As you likely have already been told countless times from childhood when you are angry at someone, you are meant to exhibit a 'higher moral standard' than the person who has hurt you by forgiving and forgetting. The entire concept is supposedly premised on countless religions, complete with the balderdash that you are actually hurting yourself even more by not doing so.

Don't get me wrong, i don't believe you need to carry mental baggage around with you for years while the person who has hurt you most likely forgot about it the moment after. The truth is that people who offend others usually either unintentionally do it and as such may not even be aware of the pain they have left behind...or they actually intended the offence and have received the satisfaction they desired the moment you got hurt. Either way, it appears they win. Or do they?

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The two options left to the offended person, I try not to call a victim, is to fester and plot a revenge whether strategic or opportunistic OR act like it never happened and just keep it moving with a smile and a wave. The second option is what the proponents of forgiving and forgetting are preaching. You see the problem with this concept is that it emboldens the aggressor into the false belief that there are no consequences for his actions and that he is actually against the fact that the people who he or she has serially offended actually can retaliate and end the cycle once and for all.

I am however the first to admit that an endless cycle of retaliation does nobody any good and the ability to overcome the primal impulses of revenge is a characteristic of the mature human mind. That, plus the fact that you can't possibly retaliate against every single person who hurt you because some are bigger than you (in every sense) and will kill you the next time round so yeah, self preservation not morality.

And that brings me to my preferred option, a third compromise that comes naturally to every living thing on earth. Forgive without forgetting. Look, I understand that the christian interpretation of the forgiveness concept is supposed to mean that you clean the slate for the offender and hold no animosity, treating them like nothing happened and letting them in for the sake of Christ etc...y'know, that entire 'turn the other cheek' thing? That's not natural at all. Even chimpanzees know better than to continuously engaged an electrical fence because although they bear no grudge, they learn from the experience. and that's what i propose.

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Leave the anger and need for vengeance but take the pain with you. Hold on to the pain and keep it in remembrance because the likelihood that you will never be hurt ever again is way lower than the likelihood that you will cope better in future when you build the right walls around your emotions.

...and that's really all i have to say.


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