It is wrong to say that we should just forget the past, for the simple reason that the past will one day be our entire life. Past, present, and future are aspects of our soul that need to be reconciled to God. We must take our living hurts from the past to those who can heal them. We can bring to light patterns we have learned from our parents and other adults, confess those destructive patterns, disagree with them, and repent from them. If we have wronged people, we must confess our sin, apologize to those we have hurt, and make amends. Though none of these processes change the past, they can redeem the past. God is in the process of reconciling everything that has gone wrong, including our personal past. But in order for him to deal with our past, we need to bring all of our broken parts to him.
I do not come to my enemy and then try to love them, I come to them as a loving person.
If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,” where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word “Let love be without dissimulation” and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Forgiveness does not mean that you have to feel great about what happened to you; nor does it mean that you have to reconcile with the violating party. Neither does it mean that you ever have to trust a person who violates you. Trust and forgiveness are not the same thing. For example, if a woman is raped in a dark alley, she must forgive the rapist, for otherwise hatred and bitterness will eat her from the inside out. But she never has to be alone with that man again. Trust is earned through relationship, but forgiveness was purchased by Christ on the cross.