Thursday, 12 December 2013

Forgive and Forget

On this Thursday morning, the Oracle of Proverbs (Delphi Sutherland, 2013) advises us to find forgiveness in our hearts.

The image is an interesting one, a woman on one knee in front of a church altar, praying.  Before her is a book (presumably the bible) between two tall candles, with another, thicker candle to one side.  There are white lilies behind her, and a white dove flies above her head.  Her dress is blue, with pink highlights.

It seems she is praying for forgiveness, whether for herself or for someone else.  It's interesting, the two sides to forgiveness: we can pray for forgiveness from spirit, an external force or figure that can absolve us of our sins.  Or we can pray to find forgiveness towards someone else within ourselves.  Both, I think, are hard in different ways.  In the first, we have to allow ourselves to let go of our guilt and shame.  In the second, we have to let go of anger and pain.  Both, though, offer emotional redemption.  And it is only once we have released those emotions, whichever ones they are, that we can move onto the second step: forgetting.

Of course, forgetting brings its own concerns.  Like the quote from George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  So, is it a good thing to forget?  Well, forgetting anger and shame doesn't sound quite as bad, but what do you think?

I hope I don't have anything much to crave forgiveness for today.  I know there are still a number of things on my to-do list that are pretty urgent, but hopefully none I have forgotten that are critical.  As for the forgetting bit, I can see where forgetting unpleasant emotions may be good, while forgetting facts, people and situations isn't.  Perhaps that's the important distinction...

I am grateful for the irrelevance of my sins in the greater picture of the universe.


  1. Curses! You are making me need to buy this deck.

    1. It is very lovely, and a nice, self-published deck: I love supporting Indie authors! :)

  2. Forgetting the feeling is good, but forgetting the event that has led to the feeling I am not sure I would want to. I can forgive almost everything, forget a lot, but I will not easily forget the big issues. I think that would be naive