‘I’m Writing Bravely for the Write Tribe Festival of Words – March 2019 and today’s prompt is forgive“
Right from the time we were kids we were told to forgive and forget.
If someone ate your tiffin, forgive and forget and shake hands.
If someone made fun of you, forgive and forget and become friends with them.
We were told that if we did this we would be happy. But today when I look back, I think it’s a recipe for disaster; for pain. It only teaches you to be non-confrontational and as you grow up you keep quiet over a lot of things that are really important.
A colleague takes credit for your ideas at work, forgive and forget and don’t forget to smile.
Your partner abuses you, forgive and forget, till it happens again and again… and the cycle goes on.
But, “they” say, “to err is human, to forgive divine.” They tell you, you must walk the high road and then you can act sanctimonious and enjoy being a martyr because you forgave, didn’t you?
Ah well, if you really must forgive, then there are things that you can and should like someone spilling tea over you or a friend forgetting to call you on your birthday because she was in a bad place herself or your kid breaking your favourite vase.
These are the things that you can forgive because the consequences are not life threatening or damaging to your soul or career. You can forgive them because they were not deliberately done.
When someone goes out of the way to deliberately hurt or harm you, why should they be forgiven? And it would be foolish to forget them because that would set you up for further hurt.
That friend who constantly runs you down, that boyfriend or spouse who abuses you, whether physically or emotionally, these are the people you need to remember and keep your distance from. You need to walk away from them even if you love them to bits. Love yourself more.
If you have to forgive someone, forgive yourself. We have this uncanny knack of finding fault with ourselves all the time. “He was angry because it was my fault that I can‘t cook well (or whatever).” “They laugh at me because it is my fault that I am so stupid.” And the list goes on.
You don’t need to forgive yourself for not knowing how to cook or for being stupid. What you need to forgive yourself for is for not loving yourself enough to tell your tormentors to take a walk.
I know it is not easy, but try. Try loving yourself and being kind to you. Accept that you are a wonderful person and don’t need to put up with this crap. Accept that it is not only okay but really great to be yourself, do what you want, wear what you want and be with people who love the real you, not the you they would like to make you into.