Forgiving and Forgetting

I would like to hear your opinion on forgiving and forgetting. When people hurt you: do you forgive and forget? Or do you just forgive but don’t forget?

People who tend to be seen as good – usually forgive and forget. But I don’t think that this is a question of being good or evil – I think the point is about being just. So maybe the tendency to forgive and forget those that have hurt us is not necessarily a good thing. Because if we don’t do anything to people that hurt us – they will probably continue on hurting others.

This is the way I see it and I would like to hear you about this subject and also your own experiences.


  1. kiba says:

    oh here is another one..
    you always help and saved so many we would do the same without thinking:)
    “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”
    i forgot where i found this one:PPP

  2. kiba says:

    hey paulo i love reading your books and well i want to thank you for what you share with us i know its not easy to share so much..:) i myself got inspired to be a mage and learn so much about magic myself (: about forgiving and forgetting i remember these lines from a movie and i want to share it with you:)
    “when you love you forgive and when you forgive gods light shines on you”

  3. Debbie says:

    Forgiving and forgetting is like the death of a loved one. You have to follow the whole process, eg anger, denial, etc.. With having experience in this, only time will heal.

  4. ragini says:

    well things do go wrong in life…..but i believe in forgiving and forgetting….bcoz its not just one person who’s at fault……both the persons in any relation do something wrong somewhere……its just the blame game,……..accepting your mistakes brings eternal peace in life……where as blaming others brings temporary satisfaction….you can lie with yourself…..but not for long……eventually you do realize that you were also at fault somewhere…… better accept it ASAP….life is about living….not spending it……if we don’t forgive the person who hurt us, somewhere we start hating him/her……this life is too short to hate…….the more we love the more we are happy……give love and get love…..
    besides we often don’t know why others do somethings which seem to be wrong……its possible that in their circumstances that was the best option……so better don’t pass any judgement…its okay to be disappointed by something but don’t keep it in your heart….sometimes it may result in venom…and will destroy your other relations…….
    good luck…..

  5. Aysha says:

    I forgive, because I know someday I will need to be forgiven (no one is perfect)

    1. Giselle says:

      It’s hard to forgive, especially, if he/she badly harmed you , that you cry every time you think of them

  6. Tigest says:

    i think one hand cannot give you the clap noise, the question is do you forgive yourself and have you learned the lesson that was presented to you on that specific episode of your life?
    if you have forgiven yourself, in many different ways….. then you will forget it… and when you bump into that person, it will on a whole different level that being reminded of the bad thing that happened…
    i know its crazy but you are the owner of your own feelings, what you feel is what you let yourself feel, if someone has done something to you, feel pity for that person by understanding the reason behind all of it….

  7. nikitha says:

    i always was hesitant in taking revenge against my enemies or the people who hurt me. most of the time i was in dillemma . and i just dint take revenge or gave them back cause most of my revengeful thoughts sounded dangerous and when i hurt a person , i hurt a small part of myself too. and years later i have collected all the hurt and pain and i regret why i dint give them back. i am neither able to forgive nor forget moreover i just left the enemy without teaching a lesson . and wait till their own karma’s punish them . but by then its too late and my inner pain has eaten me up

  8. Didi says:

    To be able to forgive sombody and forget is the key to a sund life…holding grudges will only effect yourself. But the difficult question is, how can you forget someone who dont want to be forgiven? Someone who dont realise their faults?

    I think that is hard to let go. You will always think and think and feel bad beacuase they dont realise, and that makes you not be able to move on in life…

  9. Cida moreira says:

    Na verdade penso que perdí£o só de Deus.Eu desculpo, mas, ní£o esqueí§o.É muito fácil esquecer pra quem o fez,mas, pra quem o recebe ní£o é.Talvez eu tenha uma percepí§í£o sobre perdoar e esquecer um tanto quanto diferente de outras pessoas,mas,cada um sabe o quanto é doí­do e o quanto encomoda.Coisas boas ficam para sempre e infelismente as ruins também.Um abraí§o.

  10. giacomo says:

    perdonare e dimenticare. sono azioni molto difficili, nostro fratello e signore Gesí¹ ci insegna a perdonare il prossimo sia come atto di amore sia perché come puí² Jah padre perdonarci se noi non siamo capaci di perdonare chi ci ha fatto torto, quindi per essere coerenti dovremmo essere forti nelle nostre anime e perdonare chi ci fa torto.
    dimenticare mi sembra una azione che non va fatta poiché ci aiuta a capire chi abbiamo difronte, ci aiuta a crescere, ci aiuta a capire a chi dare la nostra fiducia e chi no.
    per me quindi è giusto perdonare ma non dimenticare.

  11. Abi Kinsella says:

    There’s a beautiful kindness that’s offered when we truly forgive another for whatever transgression they’ve caused. It’s a sort of generosity of spirit, something that speaks to the goodness in all of us and that often underlines a core belief of harming none even when we ourselves have been harmed or hurt. My paternal grandfather and my maternal grandmother, who I believed were kindred spirits and two of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever come across in my lifetime, always told me, “remember — even when someone hurts you(emotionally) and your impulse is to strike back — don’t, you’ll always end up hurting yourself(your character, your heart) if you do…” I still believe that holds true. Every time I’ve used venom to counter someone else’s venom, the only thing that has ever resulted is chaos and pain for both people involved. Putting out into the Universe that sort of harmful negativity just couldn’t result in anything good. Because of their lesson, I firmly hold today that the truly courageous among us are the gentle and kind — only because of the strength required to be both. So when I’ve been faced with the question to forgive and forget or to forgive but carry forward with me anything to do with i.e. the pain, the memories, the lingering anger etc of holding on to a past transgression, although I struggle with it, I will eventually let go of it all and just forget it. Carrying the pain of that memory or the bitterness of that lesson isn’t something that can benefit me emotionally because it allows me to stay rooted in the past, and that’s not something I’m interested in especially when life will continue to move forward — with or without me.

  12. Luzia Dominguez says:

    So, what do you do when somebody has hurt you badly and ruined your life, like for example, when you were abused as a child and this fact changed your experience of life and determined lots of the suffering you experienced? Do you forgive? Do you forget?

    Well, I think maybe you can’t possible forgive. Why do you have to forgive? In that case maybe you forget (self-preservation, you can’t be remembering it all the time!), but, how can you forgive?

    You may be aware that the person who hurt you was mistaken. You may think that they were victims of themselves or others that hurt them before… But understanding or explaining is not necessarily forgiving.

    I heard this from different people, but my question here is: are we dominated by anger if we don’t forgive? Well, I don’t feel anger any more. Not at all. But I don’t have the need of forgiving either. Nor the need of forgeting, if I forget, I may allow the “bad” things to happen again. I just leave that experience in my “learnings file” and recover it when I need it.

    So, not to forget is positive some times, when you use it as a practical tool for life. But to remember everything is destructive, then you can’t move on.

    But, what do we do to people who’s been “bad” to us? What can we do? We can show that we despise them, we can tell others about what they have done… But I don’t see that I can have much power on that. I believe that this person has given me a lesson by hurting me. Some kind of learning must come from it. If I’ve given them a lesson, I don’t know, showing self-respect and dignity is the only way I can give them a lesson but often they are blind. So, I doubt very much of my ability to change them and/or protect others from what they may do to others.

  13. Priya says:

    Like you say that we should move on in life and not to cling with the past, not forgiving glues you to the past, so whether voluntarily or not , for your own good , forgiveness is the best way out but you need to tell the other person that his action was not apt and you were hurt else you will be taken for granted and may get hurt again by the same person. forgetting is not easy … you cant erase it forever but make it so petty that it doesnt affect the course of your life… dont let it surface by just make it trivial … very insignificant incident.

  14. Evelyn says:

    I forgave and forgot…. It manifested in cancer years later. Bottomline, forgiveness is not an ultimate… it is a process. Forgetting is inevitable, we are human, but the shape of things change. I do not carry bitterness anymore, but I forgive as a principle (especially traumatic experiences), suppression is not the same as forgetting. As humans we can forget shortterm or something can slip our minds, but we do not have the abilbity to cut off or end a memory. We can only reshape our attitudes towards the memory. mine are still there but they do not hurt anymore.

  15. Sid says:

    I can forgive but I don’t forget easily and that forgetting is further like i can forget the details but not the feeling and the person, they always reside in the back side of my brain. But it really is tough, both forgiving and forgetting :)

  16. Sarah says:

    Thank you, Senor, for your wise words and open heart and mind to the experiences of others.

    As a child, I was very nurtured and trusting. I was taught to people please and to love others without knowing and fearing what I would found if I looked for myself. At 18, I turned to nicotine as a crutch. Since this is no longer socially acceptable, I turned to a stress relieving drug in an attempt to quit in 2007 – a year after my ex had left me which in turn was only months after my sister had been killed cycling to work. The “quit” drug caused my polycystic ovaries to become inflamed – a one in 1,000 side effect which was made far worse since I had this pre-existing condition. Matters multiplied in a “truth is stranger than fiction” way until eventually I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act (what I believe they call committed in the US?), pumped full of drugs which gave me only about one hour’s clarity a day. The consultant refused to believe that I was in pain and diagnosed my behaviour as manic. Only after 8 weeks – and after various attempts to appeal my imprisonment by all means I could but without obtaining any hearing – was I able to effect a transfer to a new consultant who lifted my section. The day after, the bailiffs served a court order on me informing me that I was not allowed any contact with my 2 yr old daughter or my 11 yr old son.

    Initially I used an advisory service to try to bring a complaint against the consultant who had so abused his power over me. It was all I could manage to try to seek a hearing before the courts to ask why I was not allowed to see our children. Eventually, when the courts continued to lose documents and to refuse a full hearing (allowing only directions hearings) I moved away from the county in question and dropped my complaint against the consultant. I KNOW that he hurt many others of his patients – I heard their families commenting that they had become so much worse since they had been in his care – but I have learnt that I can not fight every battle.

    I am still very unhappy about my decision to drop my complaints against both the consultant and the police force who refused to investigate my allegation of false imprisonment. I hope that, in time, I will be able to make amends to those who suffered as a result of my decision to pursue only the fight to be allowed to see our children.

    That is my experience. I hope perhaps you can make some use of it.

    In love,


  17. Sam says:

    Well,I Think anyone who has forgiven the other person for doing the thing that hurted the first one- can never forget (willingly or unwillingly). You can forgive and you can try to forget but the moment anything will happen similar to the same thing that hurted you, and you will remeber each and everythig afresh that you tend to forgotten about. It will resurface. Even if the other person has genuinely asked for forgivness, you can forgive but forgetting is out question.

  18. Hope says:

    i have once forgave my boyfriend for cheating on me with 8 different people and i got back with him. but then after 2 month he started doing the same thing. so now i concluded that all you have to do is stay away and forget all about it but never forgive him.

  19. testarossa says:

    somebody told me once that we have to forgive but not to forget,but to remember that one time in our lives we were able to put everything behind us that made us move on to become a better person….

    we are human, prone to frailty and impulsiveness bring us to our create our own sorrows. at times, when nothing else matters but the desires of our hearts; we get ourselves into situations we do not think of. we just dive into it, because it looks promising, inviting and tempting.

    at first, it feels good. it makes us high, euphoric and it seems like its never going to end. we are blinded, we do not look anywhere, were focus on one. were like horses with patches in their eyes,they cannot look on different directions, just straight ahead; when the reigns are pulled, that is the time when it means they have to move to the left or right maybe.

    when were hurt and deeply wounded emotionally, we tend to get back at the person in any way we can. we avenge and take every step to win. however, come to think of it, we still end up losing. merely, because we are filled with hatred and ill feelings towards others who have caused us pain. And I do not think carrying heavy loads in our lives is an option if we want to live in contentment.

  20. Jackie noriega says:

    mira paulo yo no se si soy buena o mala por lo que te voy a responder sin embargo es facil perdonar pero somos humanos y debemos resguardar nuestra integridad y la mejor manera es no olvidar de lo que te han hecho para no volver a caer en el mismo error puede ser cosas de amor de confianza de robo de injurias y tantas cosas mas que nos pasa en la vida mas perdonemos pero no olvidemos es mi lema sin embargo te puedo decir que odio no siente mi corazí²n

  21. Mel says:

    Love covers all mistakes!!! it may not be possible to forget, but it is possible to forgive….this does not mean that the pain will go away, we will continue to hurt and feel miserable.The only thing that happens when we forgive is that, we will not have any anger or hatred towards that person, if we love that person dearly.And its not easy to forgive, to me it happens only thru Christ.”I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.”

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Recently, I was hurt by the inaction of a very loved and cared for person. For the first time, I have not been able to forgive and forget and though I don’t have to forgive, I feel that I must act strong and stand up for what I believe in. If I just forgive and forget – it will continue happening and the pain, of inaction(s), may not subdue in the future. Forgiving and forgetting is a thing for the kind hearted, thus this is a lovely trait I have – I decided for once to stand up for my heart!

  23. karen says:

    When I have been hurt, forgiving is a good thing. I think that is the healing. But to forget doesn’t seem to serve anyone. Remembering is the lesson – perhaps remembering will help me listen more carefully to the moments of life. blessings, karen

  24. maria says:

    Wenn du nicht in Lage bist zu verzeihen, dann werden die Verletzungen immer eine Macht über dich haben!!
    Gib dem der dich verletzt hat, hier auf Erden eine Chance es zu bereuen und sich zu entschuldigen, damit er, wenn er im Himmel ankommt, keine Lasten mehr hat. Erst wenn du das kannst- findest du den inneren Frieden!!


  25. LoveM says:

    Forgive and Forget
    Means it has already been
    Given and Gotten

    It does not matter
    How you slice and dice the Whole
    It will still be whole

    By seeing your life
    As the water in a pond
    With the ripples gone


    1. Annie says:

      If I forgive and if I forget
      then I will forget about forgiving
      and maybe that is true forgiveness..

      But plz God
      help me never forget to forgive..
      Because when I ask for forgiveness
      You never forget
      and You always forgive ..

      Love and Gratitude

    2. LoveM says:

      Dear Annie
      Thanks I love your reflections…

      I think God forgives… that is gives us the latitude before… allows us choice… So doesn’t mind what we choose…
      Why would God not forgive us… he gave us freedom of choice… why then punish someone for choosing:)

      Jesus said… forgive them for they know not what they do…
      Realise if anyone was awake or aware enough they would not take the wrong action… in essence everyone is totally innocent… because they know not what they do…

      God also forgets… gets it long before we did it…
      If you don’t forgive it and forget it… you condemn yourself to carry the pain and suffering of that scar or memory… every new experience is tainted by that conditioning.

      Also what happens is reality(the truth) if you have a problem with that you are in opposition to reality and the truth.

      Life is so perfect
      even what we don’t want has
      The desired effect

      When you’re all of it
      What can there be not to love
      You’re the Beloved

      Bless You Dear One

  26. fauzia says:

    its too hard to forgive and forget things or people who hurt u – i may have courage to forgive but my heart never forgets – its too challenging

  27. Vanessa says:

    Forgiving vs. Forgetting……

    I’ve battled with this for a very long time, as I’m sure many have too.

    Growing up, I was physically abused by my stepfather and verbally abused by mother. At such a young age, I had to balance pain, happiness and make adult decision as child. At the age 17, I was on my own because my mother sided with her boyfriend and had her two oldest daughter’s leave their home.

    How does a young girl find her way? How does she provide for herself? How does she protect herself? Where will she live?

    So many questions came through my head and until today, at the age of 29 years old, I thank god for giving me a strong mind and not becoming a statistic of my up brining.

    I have forgiven my mother because in all reality, I don’t what it’s like to have three children at the age of 22. I don’t know what she battled with and how she actually put food on our table for so many years. As an adult without children, it’s hard enough to discipline yourself to be responsible and sacrifice for the future stability.

    About 3 years ago, I made the decision to forgive everything that went on years ago but to never forget. I don’t want to forget because this memory will help in the future to not repeat the same vicious cycle. It will also help me other young girls who struggle with the same issues and demons.

    Forgiving is Freedom! Forgetting is erasing what you’ve learned and I don’t want to forget the lesson.


  28. nidhi says:

    this comment or rather a piece is coming much later than the tym u hv put this blog,i happned to read it toady..and find it miraculuous and rather coincidental that i am struggling with the same piece of thoughts…
    forgive n forget??
    i think being forgetful is important so that we can free our minds of the pain of being hurt and a slight arrogance/ego of forgiving somebody..the doership..can also be dissolved with the same..
    Anyhow,i too feel being forgetful can come most naturally not by intention..:):)as if we try to be forgetful of smthng we are still hankering on to it…

  29. Roman L. says:

    its a gift for somebody just forget him ,you will not hate him or forgive him (her)m

  30. ela says:

    In my life, I have yet to encounter someone that has been thru as much as I have. Emotional scars, soulful scars, mental scars, life scars, just scars, deserved scars, every part of my body contains a scar somebody or something embedded upon me.. And today I can honestly say, I don’t even remember how they hurt me to that extend. HOW? HOW? I don’t remember. Or perhaps I refuse to allow their purpose of hurting me, decide my destiny.
    It is such an everlasting cliche to say, l am who l am because of them. BUT in the name of my beloved LORD, I am who I am, NOT due to the many laughters I enjoyed in my life, or the many more joyous moments, I AM WHO I AM because I suffered inside my body, to the depths of my soul to be WHO i am today. Perhaps insignificant to you my friends, but significant to every other soul l ever came across. Because I allowed myself to love more then I have ever received love, to be more passionate then social norms allows me, to be so outside the box that people raise their brows, but in the name of my MOTHERS profound heart and soul, I feel alive and grateful for each day I get to breathe. For each day I get to eat acai. For each day I can go down on my knees and THANK MY LORD for HIS every day miracles. Every day I can feel the fresh air with my yoga lungs, because I allowed myself to feel the pain when it was present and feel the happiness when it was delivered.
    Therefore, my scars are a vivid reminder of GODS love to me. And as mother Theresa said; in the final analysis it was never between YOU and them. It was ALWAYS between YOU and GOD.

    Mr Coelho, I never had any heros in this world, until I came across your books and your literacy genius. You are a walking miracle for my generation. Thank you for all you do and all you express!

  31. Sky says:

    I don’t think people who are deeply wounded by another ever really forget. Their trust, their innocence, has been betrayed and leaves a permanent mark.

    I think very few, if they are honest with themselves can say that there is a way to return to the Eden of their original innocence before the betrayal, which is what it means to truly forget. A residual impurity remains, a scar on our hearts where the light no longer shines through. Some call it wisdom or consciousness but is it? If we “chalk something up to experience” have we really moved on? Alternatively if we do something to the person that hurt us does it really bring justice?

    Perhaps the key is how we allow the experience to affect our “self”. By forgetting or attempting to bring justice do we create a barrier that keeps the soul outside of the self? It is a dangerous place to be…to separate from the source. We feel weak because we can’t feel whole, so we search and connect with false power sources that spread inside us like a virus fueled by stealing the light out of our soul.

    As you say in ‘By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept’ once exiled from the promise land, there is no way “to prevent the suffering of someone who wishes to return to paradise before it is time to do so.” And as Carl Jung says, in the ‘Red Book’ “Should I tell you everything that I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know: the one thing I have learned is that one must live this life.”

    We live with it because we have no choice. I cannot forget and I will not attempt to bring justice. Who am I to judge right from wrong or attempt to change things from unfolding as they should? Compassion is what I want to feel, for myself, for him, for everyone that takes risks and experiences the pain. Perhaps it is through compassion that I will find my way back to the source and once there, stay connected, give it light, bring light to other dark places inside and outside of my self. That is why I am still here. Nothing else matters except faith and compassion and knowing the truth: that “I must live this life”, that there is no other way.

    1. Edyta Martin says:

      Wow – that is really powerful!

    2. Sarah says:

      “I must live this life”, so true. Very much do I identify with this post.
      Thank you Sky.

  32. sajeda says:

    No you dont forget nor forgive, but you do need to move on…The hurt you have received should be used to become stronger for your inner self as those who hurt seem not to even feel any remorse, making them to realize or punish them by any means by you is wasting your time on them. Those who hurt have to face a similar hurt themselves in their lives without you being a part of it. It is when they realize it on their own account, they would want to repent, ask for forgiveness and you are not around to give them the release, as you are busy with your life, you dont need to look back, just consider it a stone that came on your path and you circumvent it to move on.

  33. Sandy says:

    I personally think…there are moments in life where You just say Its Ok..just move on…BUT then there are times when you are badly hurt…and Then its become difficult to just Forgive &Foget !!
    We are Humans …Full of emotions ,that occur time to time..And I really want to SALUTE that saint who Forgive and Forgets everything that has gone wrong with him,due to few people arouind you.
    Now that doesnt mean…you are upset with life and not encouraging your self and people around you….Thats how you become more cautious in life .

  34. Yeray says:

    Tengo capacidad para perdonar y olvidar los hechos negativos de mi vida pero no se cuando hacerlo.A veces después de diez años de que haya ocurrido un suceso en mi vida lo analizo y saco conclusiones, es decir reflexiono sobre lo sucedido.A veces me gusta pasarlo mal ya que es parte de la vida y mi inspiración que hace que olvide más rápido pero no se que dí­a sucederá . . .Es decir perdonar y olvidar pero ¿cuando? en fin los recuerdos hacen que el dí­a sea más llevadero. . .

  35. CARLOS says:

    The real tragedy of resentment is not that it keeps you from being loved, but that it keeps you from loving. Forgiveness cannot change the past, but it does enlarge the future. If one does not forgive, we will never forget and we will carry a row of hooks in which to hang grudges.