Happy Sunday. I am sending vibes to everyone that they are able to reset for the week ahead, accomplish all they want, and become one step closer to self-actualization. Maslow may have been on to something.
So the topic of the day: Forgiveness. This is a very difficult topic to approach because I feel like there are so many stipulations and conditions when it comes to forgiveness. This begs the question, what is true forgiveness?
According to Dictionary.com, to forgive means to,
“stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake”-Dictionary.com
To keep this post short I will not bother defining “angry”, “resentful” “offense” “flaw” and “mistake”. Another reason is that everyone’s trauma is different and words have different meanings to different people. So I guess the next question would be “Is there such thing as an unforgivable offense?” I personally believe there are many, but before I get into those I have to address the fundamental issue I have with the whole idea of forgiveness.
Society has been conditioned to believe that forgiveness is not for the offender but for the offendee, that if the person who was hurt forgives the person who did the hurting then all will be right with the world. Their chi will be realigned, cosmic karma forgiven and all will be at peace. Here is where the issue comes in; forgiveness doesn’t guarantee that the pain will stop. Forgiveness doesn’t take away the scars, both physical and or emotional. Forgiveness does nothing to take away the pain that they cause. Forgiveness is a misconstrued belief that letting go of anger will somehow erase the pain and makes you the “bigger person”.
This begs the question, “What is the bigger person?”. I think a more important question would be why do the people who hurt you deserve to be pardoned under the guise that it will somehow eliminate the pain. Why do they deserve grace? I’m sure that holding onto vengeful hatred for minor offenses can be tiring but who is anyone to decide if they are “minor” or not? People don’t get to decide what hurts you and what doesn’t. Your pain is valid and your pain is real.
This brings me to my next point, not everyone deserves forgiveness. Some crimes only the God of your understanding can forgive and even that’s too generous for some. Offenders are not entitled to your forgiveness, they aren’t entitled to forgiveness. If you should decide to let go of all the “anger” and “resentment” that is at your discretion and your choice. You don’t have to be forced to relinquish any feelings that you hold at all. Your feelings are yours. Your feelings are valid. They matter and so do you. Choosing to forgive your brother after he said a mean thing to you is just as much your choice as refusing to forgive him. Refusing to forgive your abuser doesn’t make you any less of a “bigger person” then acting as if they don’t exist.
My call to action
Refuse to enable toxic people. The people who hurt you are not owed anything, forgiveness included. If you should choose to forgive someone, more power to you. Do not let your grace be taken for granted. That’s all for now.
Exist and Bleed,