"You can't forget anything that hurt so badly...(...) It's not possible to forget anybody you have destroyed." - James Baldwin from Another Country 1962. I was reading this tidbit of a snippet taken out of context just the other day. It struck me how many things we may think are "forgettable" but indeed they leave forever imprints.
All the things we think we can get away with, if we just close our eyes, like little children.
No consideration of what the consequences of our (in)actions are. Pretending that we can just walk away and our traces will be erased.
The people we destroy on our path through this life - they are not forgettable. Whenever we inflict that type of intense pain on another being on our way, not only do we rip them to pieces, we take a piece of that person with us - forever. The memory of destroying another being is the karma we pay for being arrogant enough to believe that all things are forgettable.
I think the greatest pain of all, is the pain we are responsible for putting other people through.
Even though we might not realize it in the moment. Typically because when we hurt other people, we are hurting ourselves: hurt people hurt people, as the saying goes.
While we cannot erase the ignorance of our past perhaps, we can make a promise committing to not destroy each other moving forward. This means we stop reacting and start reflecting. We stop taking revenge and start responding - responding to our own needs and the needs of those we encounter on our path.
We start understanding that there is a reason why each one of us reacts the way we do.
Knowing that in the end, we are all idiots when it comes down to it.
And we don't need to destroy other people, because we are hurting ourselves. We recognize the signs of wounds and instead of cutting deeper, we wrap a band-aid around it and stop the bleeding if we can. And with time, those cuts might then be forgettable.