In this imperfect world, most things are easier said than done, and in a realm where actions speak louder than words, we often fall short on delivery. Forgive and forget, water under the bridge, let bygones be bygones….we are always encouraged to rise above the disappointments that life has to offer.
My relationship with Aiden had recently come under fire after I accused him of having an affair every day for the past two weeks. Where, why and with whom were completely irrelevant, and although I had no shred of evidence to justify my irrational paranoia, the memory of his previous indiscretion and the pain it caused me seemed to be reason enough. I was overwhelmed with that panicky feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, the same intuitive hunch when you just know that something is not 100% right. Was I being paranoid or was this my instinct trying to warn me of something far more sinister? Had the past somehow managed to find its way back into my present?
Whilst sitting in my therapist’s waiting room, I started thinking about forgiveness and second chances. Choosing to forgive the one you love is easy but the concept of letting go and moving forward is much harder to practice than it is to preach. Betrayal, deception, heartbreak...these are the building blocks for the emotional wall around our hearts, and once they are cemented by the fear and insecurity of past experiences, the wall can only get higher and stronger. We become just a little more jaded, a little more cynical and a lot more hopeless. Was Lee right? Can you really forgive someone if the memory of a past indiscretion is virtually impossible to erase? And once that trust is broken, can it ever be repaired? Can love exist without trust or are we just anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop?
Those who choose to forgive and forget will often find themselves anxious, medicated or even a straight jacket away from being in a padded cell, but at the end of the day, it’s their choice. George Michael said it best so if someone has made the effort to mend the error of their ways, you got to have faith. Take it day by day and brick by brick until you eventually find yourself at peace with your decision. Whether he’s coming back from work later than usual, fraternizing with a work colleague or bruised by an unknown source, if he’s cheating on you, you will find out one way or another even if you are the last to know.
In matters of the heart, when it comes to forgiveness, how long does it take to forget?