Forget and Forgive !

Some context around the widely held concept of forget and forgive, between people.

Most of us would have heard that we should learn to forget and forgive.

Some would agree and some would vehemently disagree to this concept.

Why should one forget and forgive, is it to live peacefully?

Why should one not forget and forgive, is it to settle the score?

Which approach is right?

It depends.

If you put your peace of mind and your quality of being, above all else, forget and forgive is a god sent medicine.

Having said that, do not stop yourself from learning, from the episodes which you want to forget or the person whom you want to forgive. It is perhaps the fastest way to learn about life and people.

At times you may be that person who is causing the pain but most times it is the other person or the situation you find yourself in, which leads to this dilemma.

Let us step back a bit.

Children do not have this problem, even if they have it wont last a weekend. Their mental state is full of curiosity and desire to test the limits, typically in an environment filled with love, trust and empathy. In that picture perfect world, there is no need forget or forgive anyone.

Secretly, we all wish to be living in it wrapped and cuddled in enormous amounts of goodness. In such a universe, it is possible to live without worrying if you would offend someone for merely speaking out one’s mind or holding a mirror if someone exhibits a tendency of becoming a bigot or misogynist or a chauvinist and nipping it in its formative stages.

However, the sobering reality is, we are living in a world filled with hyper-sensitive touch-me-nots. We see people getting offended all around us. Some of them shut others off completely and permanently, till death(sic!). It is almost like pandemic by itself, and are found everywhere, particularly within one’s closest circle.

There are several stages of evolution in a relationship, even within a family. Initially, they come across as your well wishers. Slowly they test waters by pushing the boundaries. At this point, you try to educate or speak your mind about a thing done by them or a word spoken by them, which makes you uncomfortable. As they say, truth is bitter and now it is a fuse.

Then it hits you, realizing that you have stepped on a land mine. It is the moment of truth for you, when you innocently ask them to relook at a situation with a more broader and inclusive view point, they recoil and withdraw or even worse sting very strongly with an intent to hurt your soul.

Prior to this breaking point, typically they give you all kinds of positive vibes that they are cool by speaking about all kinds of things to show they are open minded. However in close observation you will find they cover themselves well under multiple layers of protection. They fake by being pious, exhibiting overt symbolism, kind hearted tokenism, and being expressive about all things they dislike and have strong opinions, without much objectivity.

Some of them put a farce of artificiality following ritualistic or monastic lifestyle as a façade of a soft outer shell. Typically they come across humble by paying fake respects to elders, hiding behind superbly constructed falsehoods to conveniently pass on as a cultured person who is to be respected. Sadly, we buy into their smoke screen and think they are true depiction. But, the moment they see a threat, reaction would be swift with a sharp wit and tongue in cheek satire and their own tenor to command respect, they would go on to hurt with a deadly cocktail of micro-aggression with hard to deflect ultra-conservatism. Particularly when they think it is an attempt on their ego or their false narrative about the world they have constructed. Most times this vitriol is directed at their nearest ones to order them stay away from you and is done under the guise of affection but essentially to exert authority and extract favors to satisfy their power, position and ultra sensitive mental state.

Here is what I would like to say to the people who are at the receiving end of this, either directly or indirectly.

Don’t hold grudges against such people and don’t bother. Because it does not matter, in the long run of your life trail.

This approach would protect you and prevent you from falling into self-defeating mental games around guilt of being judged or fear of being rejected. We have to have or develop the clarity to distinguish between those whom we might have genuinely hurt because of us using a wrong word and those who misinterpret a right word to their own end.

This will help you from becoming self critical and preserve mental balance, of not scratching yourself till you become numb emotionally.

Nobody can truly come to terms with this, but here is my step by step attempt to help you deal with such a situation in your life.

Be kind with yourself.

Build a stronger inner self.

Have a trusting friend or partner to share your pain.

Create a moat around your core.

Learn how to keep filtering out noise from entering your inner core.

Don’t react to triggers.

Let it go.

You can’t please all the people all the time.

Don’t fear the consequence of rejection, if you are coming from a place filled with kindness, openness and abundance. Maintain your physical presence by being fully engaged in the conversation. Listen deeply with your mind and heart. Don’t attempt to respond till they have said whatever they want to say.

Understand and contextualize what is being said calmly. Express what you want to say clearly, unequivocally, firmly, logically and yet politely stating your position.

Post that, if they stop the conversation or block you or shun you socially, so be it.

At all times, be kind to yourself and remember, there is no need to forget or forgive if you are in the clear with yourself that you stood your ground against a bully.

Stay well and pray for them to heal and be patient.

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