Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod


“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” Paul Boese.

Forgiveness is an extension of kindness, both outwardly toward another, and inwardly toward yourself. I like the sense of hopefulness, that sense of optimism in the second part of the quote. The obvious part of “enlarging the future” is that forgiveness allows for the possibility that one who may have caused you harm in the past might still be a part of your future. By definition the larger your circle, the greater the number of contacts and connections of every sort, the greater is the possible in your future.

It’s what “enlarging the future” does for one within that is more interesting to me, however. Holding on to a slight, however terrible or tiny, creates a little “prison cell” for some part of what lies ahead of you. Forgiveness is a kind of freedom, a liberation of self from the binds that come with the effort to withhold the forgiveness, that withholding forever keeping you enchained to that person, that slight, that wrong. One need not forget; after all, the first part of the quote is that forgiveness “does not change the past.” Forgiving and forgetting are not really two sides of a coin.

One can forgive without forgetting, but one cannot forget without forgiving.

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