Thoughts That I Have That Are Mine and Are Not Yours Because They Are Mine – PT. III

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
~Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t believe in the concept of forgiveness. Or at least, i don’t believe it’s necessary. Not for happiness, not for freedom, and not for personal evolution.

I’ve been raised to believe forgiveness is important, and right, and good, and necessary, if i’m going to be the sort of human i want to be. Everything i’ve read or heard about being the best person possible includes forgiveness as one of the best and most necessary qualities to possess.

I don’t buy it. Not for me.
For one thing, i’m not religious. I’m not bound to a set of beliefs that requires this of me. And for another, forgiveness would be detrimental to my growth as a person. It would compromise the person i’m trying to be.

From Google:

  • stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.
    “I don’t think I’ll ever forgive David for the way he treated her”
    synonyms: pardon, excuse, exonerate, absolve;
  • stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake).
    “they are not going to pat my head and say all is forgiven”
  • cancel (a debt).
    “he proposed that their debts should be forgiven”

I grew up as the receptacle for many adults unwanted feelings. I was the punching bag and the living doll. Got something sticking to you that you want off? Stick it on me. I absorbed it all – including the blame. So now, part of my healing is no longer accepting responsibility for other people’s actions. I can’t be a fully functioning and healthy participant in life and living if i’m carrying the weight of other people’s bad acts.

Why should i stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone who harmed me? I mean, i’m not feeling that way all the time, and not even every time i think about the person who harmed me. But sometimes i do think of what they did, and feel angry and resentful. And it’s not damaging to me, rather, it’s empowering. I acknowledge what they did to me and that it was NOT okay. It was bad and it was wrong, and it’s natural and right for me to be pissed off about it.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m actually one of the most forgiving people i know. I don’t hold grudges. I don’t seethe, nor am i vengeful. If you’ve done me wrong, i’m not plotting. I let go of most things. The things i don’t forgive are not trivial, and they’re not mild; they are heinous. That i even lived through these things is fantastic. And although my brain did get sick and twisty because of it, i’m not a bad person. I’m a good person who has done bad things, and has made amends wherever possible. Where it hasn’t been possible or safe, i live my amends and leave my door open to the possibility of something more tangible. It’s who i am, and if it happens organically, i let it happen.

Even the truly terrible things i might forgive. I don’t know for sure, because i haven’t been asked. If any of those people were to approach me and take full responsibility for what they’d done, and then asked for my forgiveness – i would probably forgive them. But some of them are gone, and some of them are just awful creatures who aren’t going to change. And i don’t forgive them. It would be wrong for me to do so. It would be a betrayal of myself, on the deepest, most personal, basic, and vulnerable level.

Besides, i’ve moved on. I’m not anchored to pain and dysfunction because i won’t let go of the evil done to me. Neither am i moved to commit wicked acts of my own. No. I’m under no faith-based obligation, and no one’s asked, so it is not given. And it will not be fucking offered, either. They don’t deserve it, and it’s appropriate for me to feel profoundly indignant about every monstrous act committed against me.

I don’t think emotions are positive or negative. They just are. My anger over what was done to me, and my resentment towards those who did it, has in fact allowed me to reattach to my own psyche, and to disentangle myself from most of my dissociative behaviours. I’ve connected to myself and become my own champion.

Because of the healing power of anger and hatred, i am my own hero.

Mahatma can kiss my pale, fallen ass.


IMAGE: Aureanne Mailhiot

But Yoda, Try Is All I’ve Got

Every once in a while it hits me.

I’m angry, and i have no idea why.

Although i’m slowly learning to live a more conscious life, i’m not, nor do i want to be, a deeply introspective person. Whatever that means. I don’t fucking know what i mean.

I’m still pissed off.
I want to know who i am and what i want and what i think and why i think it, but i don’t want to live my life as a floating head. You know, all cerebral and nothing visceral. All thought and no action. Never going outside and getting dirty. As if i’m sitting on a mountaintop crosslegged, watching the world happen while i smile and sway to some wicked sitar music. I wouldn’t mind seeing the view from up there, but those folks in the valley really know how to party.

Some balance is what i’m aiming for in my life. I don’t need to see everything coming, but if i get coldcocked, i’d at least like to know by whom. I have enough reasonably uncrazy time under my belt now that i recognise this has been happening for a long time. Maybe all my time. I don’t know if i’m triggered by anything in particular, or if it’s like a bleed valve and i had too much pressure built up. I don’t think it matters for now.
The first step is recognising it’s happening. So, check. Now i have some basic ideas about where to go from here, based on identifying other emotional/behavioural issues before this one became a blip on my radar. It mostly involves being aware it’s going on and doing a lot of information gathering:

– What was happening before i noticed this issue?
– Is this relatable more to the current precipitous event, or could it be a childhood-based reflex?
– How have i handled this before, and has there been fallout from that as well?

Then i just get down to the business of trying.

I do not subscribe to Yoda’s philosophy, particularly “No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” It makes a great story, but in my life it has no place. The foundation upon which all my successes are built is trying. It’s the bedrock that provided stability as i floundered around in the soft, shifting loam that has been my own personal edification.

What i mean is i make as educated a guess as i’m able, then i just try something to see if it helps. Something that cuts down on or (ideally) eliminates negative outcomes. Then i assess its effectiveness and tweak to improve my results. Some things i try don’t work at all and some work pretty well. Nothing’s ever worked perfectly, but i’ve never expected it to. I’ve never found a panacea and i don’t think that’s even possible.
What i expect is some level of chaos and mess, and in that i’ve never been disappointed. I care about that kind of thing less and less these days. As i let go of my desire to be liked, accepted, and understood by everyone, my fear of rejection has diminished to the point where i just wade in and start swimming towards that other shoreline. I can’t let a few sharks stop me from getting there, and i see a couple of boats i can ask to take me in if i need a break.

I now realise that occasionally i find myself inexplicably angry. Even enraged. I’d like to know what it’s about so i can figure out what, if anything, i can or want to do about it.

And it’s already over. A couple of simple steps later and it’s gone. But the next time it comes ’round, i’ll be ready. Well, i’ll try, that’s for sure.


IMAGE: Umit Y Buz