Forgetting Forgiveness

You know that saying that goes around by email every once in a while, the one about how friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime? Well, regardless of how corny it might be, lately I’ve been thinking about that notion, what it really means and how various people have touched my life over the years. More specifically I’ve been thinking about how Facebook has thrown a wrench into the natural order of things and really stood the notion on its head.

In FB, we find a new force acting on the nature of relationships. All of a sudden we are in contact with people we’ve not seen nor heard from in years, decades, possibly a lifetime. People we would otherwise never get back in touch with.

On the phone to a reconnected FB friend recently, I wondered “Just how many marriages do you think are being destroyed by Facebook?” Relationships broken asunder by old flames reconnecting, for better or worse and more often than not due to boredom. [Not completely irrelevant is the fact that the friend in question happened to be someone I’d had a burning crush on for the majority of my adolescence and I was really wondering what his wife thought about us getting reacquainted on FB.]

Reconnecting with old friends inevitably leads us down the dusty, vine-ridden and hidden paths in the garden of memories. I happen to have a memory as long as a toothpick, but it’s a tragic flaw of the human psyche that even I can remember injustices or unkind words like it was yesterday. On the other hand, we must receive a compliment upwards of a dozen times before we actually believe and remember it.

And so the distant past comes into view through the foglight of a jogged memory. The depths of pain and sorrow felt at the hands of long-lost friends are remembered more easily than memories of sunny days building sand castles and swimming at the lake.

The question at hand is whether there is a point to bringing up a deep emotional wound to the person who so many years ago bore the blood-stained sword of friendship. In the current situation, there has never been an opportunity to address the issue head on. The wound was delivered and soon after our paths diverged.

Dredging up the past. Old wounds heel. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Can forgiveness can be granted in silence, without extension of the olive branch on the part of the other? Is the betrayal even remembered? “How could it not?” Was the depth of the wound perceived? “Callus bastards they would have to be and therefore not worthy of renewed friendship.”

An insightful friend of the present feels strongly that the issue cannot be ignored. “Trust,” he said, “must be the basis for all relationships. Without it, you cannot have a relationship. And this person broke your trust. To move forward, to renew your friendship you must address this issue and they must apologize.”

Dear reader, what do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Forgetting Forgiveness

  1. Dawn once again an enjoyable read, I think they must apologize. But does an apology now mean anything really? Will it be sincere or just a quick fix to an awkward moment when it is brought up.There are friends I will not have on my facebook because of some of the same reason's you have mentioned. But I am happy I have been able to find friends that I spent some of my happiest childhood memories with. I better stop I need to go start reading December. Your faithful reader !!! Tammy

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