Alexandra's Notebook

The Act of Forgetting

Reading Robert Birming's post this morning, We Live and We Learn, made me think of something my mother once told me and I don't know if it was a quote from somewhere or someone, but I distinctly remember her saying:

"Our greatest gift is our ability to forget."

It wasn't till much later in life that I fully understood what she said in the context of why anyone would want to forget, especially the good things in life, but after a handful of painful events in my life I realised her words made perfect sense. While we might not forget the essence of something that happened to us—a car accident, the loss of a parent, a nasty breakup—time and fading memory do a good job of lessening the emotional impact of these events, which is what I think my mother was trying to convey. That, while at the time we're feeling an unimaginable pain or hurt, time really does make the emotion of that moment fade.

I think it's one of life's greatest gifts and, in truth, gives us the ability to carry on.

Thanks for reading, Alex