Forgive and Forget
I forgive you, but I won’t forget what you did. So I will bring it up every time we get into a fight, because I remember. But don’t worry, I totally forgive you, I am just bitter and resentful enough to recall your actions when it is convenient for me. Sound fair?
Forgiveness is complex. Especially with contradictory clichés that tell you not to forget the wrong doings of whom you are graciously forgiving. I really don’t get how that works. Because if you dwell on how that person hurt you, and always keep it locked in your memory banks, do you ever really let go? And is that truly forgiveness?
In my worldview, if you are going to forgive someone you have to fully surrender. You can’t keep someone around who you are still angry at just to punish them more the next time they fuck up. It is like keeping a person hostage to their guilt and misdeeds. If you are going to allow them in your life, you can’t continue chastising them for past exploits. Of course there is a fine line between accepting the bullshit people throw at us, and taking a bath in it. It is easy to drown in feces when you never stand up for yourself too. Being the bigger person doesn’t mean you have to be an emotional doormat. So sometimes you can’t suspend the blame, and that is fine, but then you have to set that person free and not be in their life anymore.
In order to truly forgive someone, I think it is necessary to understand their motives. You don’t have to agree them, but having some sort of comprehension of why they did what they did will help. I have had people in my life who I felt betrayed me, and the challenge was extending empathy to their experience. But once I committed to being sympathetic to their psychic state, I was more sensitive to their position. As long as it wasn’t doggy style.
I have acted questionably to people in my past, and it wasn’t’ because I didn’t love them. It was mostly because I was being selfish. Or weak. Or too scared to deal with reality. But mostly selfish. The people that were able to forgive me for my dubious actions were the ones that took the time to talk to me about it in a real way. It was never easy for me to admit my petty emotions, but it was only through that humbling display could the other person feel for me, rather than at me.
Forgiveness is about acceptance. Accepting the fallible nature of the human condition. The unpredictable impulses that expose the ugliness we all harbor. Forgiving can feel empowering…
So Munch, I forgive you for taking Baby from me… and for upstaging me in this picture.