Forgetting

Some forgetting is a good thing

Some forgetting is a good thing

My last blog was about remembering, but what about the unsung value of forgetting? I heard of a rare disorder in a woman who couldn’t forget. All stored data and events were readily retrievable, causing an overload of vivid information and subsequent mental torment. In a healthy brain, many details and data, along with selective things we want to forget, are mercifully obscured or deleted. Oh sure, there are things I’d like to retrieve—like a name or date that has slipped into the abyss. But I’m grateful for the brain’s amazing ability to sort, prioritize, and delete a profusion of interfering or needless data. Some forgetting is a good thing. Mothers forget the pain of childbirth (well, almost), and are able to go through it again. People can move on after divorce or death of a loved one—not from forgetfulness, but because the sharp edge is mercifully dulled over time. After any trauma, we can eventually smile again. Looking at it this way, I shouldn’t be annoyed about occasionally forgetting someone’s name. This idea also relates to the merciful veil of forgetfulness obscuring our pre-existence with God. Acute divine homesickness would interfere with mortal experience, compromising our ability to find joy outside Heavenly Father’s presence. So, forgetting can be a kindness on many levels—another of God’s tender mercies. I want to remember the most needful things—and keep them in sharp memory always, such as my identity as a child of God, my purpose on earth, and my divine destiny—while appreciating the brain’s ability to let other things slip mercifully away.

4 thoughts on “Forgetting

  1. andy

    Very interesting! I hadn’t ever thought of being thankful for forgetting- that it is a merciful blessing. thank you. There was something else I was going to say but I uh,…

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