What’s Easier: Forgiving or Forgetting?

Anyone that knows me, knows I love Sex and the City. Sure, I can’t afford a pair of Manolo’s or a taxi ride every day of the week, but Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha have taught me a lot. In fact, one of my favorite SATC moments is from the first movie and not the actual show. A disciple of tough love, Miranda Hobbs must choose between a life with Steve or without her husband of 4 (or 5) years after discovering his infidelity. What’s probably the film’s most romantic moment is when Miranda and Steve meet on the Brooklyn Bridge, solidifying their quest for forgiveness together. The lesson here: Life decisions ain’t easy. But when it comes to forgetting or forgiving, I do find one to be easier and more important.

I grew up under a God-fearing woman. As mistreated as my mother was as an adolescent, she never repeated that behavior with me and my sisters. Despite our lower class surroundings and family dysfunction, I had a pretty normal childhood, free of neglect and filled with love. I was taught by her and Sunday School teachers that I should treat others as I would treat myself and turn the other cheek. Forgiveness is a given. It’s both fleeting and lasting. It’s easy to say “I forgive you” and move on.

But as a teenager, for a brief stint, I held grudges all the time. If you called me ugly, I called you ugly back. If you cheated on me, I didn’t want to hear an apology.

Forgiveness means peace, and my current life is too busy to hold malice for all the negativity spewed my way. Forgiveness means power. Growing up meant me abandoning the exhausting notion of harboring resentful feelings. I choose not to let any situation hold my thoughts or sanity hostage.

Forgetting? That’s a different story. I don’t know if this is a woman thing or a me thing, but my memory is incredible. I remember everything–both good and bad, especially those involving the opposite sex. There are a handful of moments I would love to forget. Hell, I’m not ashamed to say that I have regrets.

Truth is, the brain is a memory box that can’t be unlocked. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget things that have happened to me, but forgiveness makes the journey a lot easier.