Forgiving does not mean forgetting. When we forgive a person, the memory of the wound might stay with us for a long time, even throughout our lives. Forgiveness can cause negativity and stress to our way of life; physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Sometimes we carry the memory in our bodies as a visible sign. But forgiveness changes the way we remember. It converts the curse into a blessing. When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our children for their lack of attention, our friends for their unfaithfulness in crisis, a work colleague for an incident that through us under the bus, our doctors for their ill advice, we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of events we had no control over.
I have been blessed in my life that when I goofed up and needed or asked for forgiveness I was forgiven, except for one friend who to this day can’t look, talk or correspond with me. I have forgiven this person for the cruel things she said through a card and letter, but this person can’t move beyond. For the last number of years this has weighed heavy on my heart. It is difficult to go to Mass and listen to the readings and homilies regarding unconditional love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
I am grateful for those who provided insight, support and love in my journey. I feel no negativity towards this person but keep this person in daily prayer that our loving God will soften this person’s heart.
As we enter our Lenten Journey, what or who do we need to ask forgiveness or we need to forgive? Forgiveness allows us to claim our own power and not let these events destroy us; it enables them to become events that deepen the wisdom of our hearts. Forgiveness indeed heals memories.