I forgive you.
One time I dated this guy…he was the first person I felt like I wanted to marry…my first love…my first a lot of things, including my first and last heartbreak.
I cheated on him, we’d break up, then he’d come back and ask me out and I always said yes. Finally he broke up with me and stopped asking to come back. I loved him for a year after that, asked him to stay in my life, to be my lover once and for all. I gave him an ultimatum. All, or nothing.
He said “I can’t give you all”. I hung up on him, and refused to feel anything until I watched The Notebook three months later. I cried for a whole day after that. He asked to come back into my life after that, and I didn’t let him. Later on I asked him to keep a promise and he broke it the very next day. Never again did I talk to him.
But I forgave him and moved on. I have no regrets.
About a year after him, I started dating someone else..who became one of the most unhealthy relationships but also one of the most intense and closest I had been in. He would call me names. He would treat me like dirt one day, then like a goddess the next.
It took me a year to break up with him and get him out of my life.
However, our break up was messy. So every year after that, I kept trying to make things better. Make things clean. Close the cycle.
It just never happened. Every single time I’d get insulted. Every single time I’d get dragged in and spit out.
I hated him. I hated him for what he had done to me, and how he had made me feel. I felt stripped from my power, betrayed.
To this day, I still feel sick when I think of him.
But even though I feel sick, I forgave him too.
It was thanks to these two men that I learned one of the most basic emotional and spiritual chunks of wisdom. You do not forgive for the other person’s peace of mind. Ever. In relationships, in friendships, in family, on a day-to-day basis because of how we’ve been raised, it’s good to say, “sorry”. But even saying “I’m sorry” is more of a “I’m doing this for me”. It shows great strength, being able to admit when you were wrong.
So this is what I know. This is what I learned. You can still love someone. You can still wish them the best. You can forgive them, and understand why they did what they did….but that doesn’t meant you have to let them back in your life. I never got why people would say, “i forgive too easily” and be ashamed of that. THere’s no such thing as forgiving too easily. Forgiving is hard. It should be something you’re proud of. That you can forgive and then love someone. But then, HOLD.YOUR.GROUND. Forgive a person that hurt you, but don’t be stupid and then let them back in your life, especially if you know they’re not trustworthy. If someone slanders your name, insults your, hurts you, cheats on you, whatever…forgive ‘em, sure. But keep ‘em out.
As far as people who think they’re being badass or whatever by not forgiving someone, I ‘ve never understood that. It’s like what buddha said about poison. If you don’t let it go, it’s like you the poison and expecting the other person to be affected. The other person doesn’t KNOW you haven’t forgiven them, you know? They can just assume you have, get over their own issues, and move on, and there you are sitting with your anger and resent. Which is only going to attract more anger and hate into your life.
And I’m not stupid, you know, I question my own values all the time, I make sure that I’m standing in the right light as far as morals are concerned. And here’s what I’ve come up with: I’ve managed to, for the most part, lead a drama-free life despite the fact that I myself am fairly dramatic and emotional. I have friends that are open-minded, sweet, loving, intelligent, and have a good life with healthy relationships…and these people love me, respect me, keep me in their lives…they make sure to water our friendship. So what does that tell me? That I’m on the right track. That I’m doing something right. Same with my boyfriend.
Despite me not going out as much, I’ve established a circle of friends here, and everywhere I’ve traveled around the world. People love me, tell me I’m wonderful, that they’re thankful I’m in their lives, etc etc. But most importantly, I just FEEL good. What I do FEELS right. The only relationships that I ever felt guilty, I made sure to apologize and move on. If it didn’t work because the other person just wasn’t going to hear it, then I forgave myself and moved on. I don’t let other people’s issues drag me down.
So there’s a lot of lessons I’m constantly learning and rebuilding and re-establishing. But if there’s one I was blessed enough to learn early on, it was that one. Let go of people that hurt you, forgive them, forgive yourself, and lead a life spreading LOVE. You will see it return tenfold.
I’m still on the path of increasing that, I will never stop learning about forgiveness, one of the most useful tools I will ever have. But for now, that’s what I offer you. That lesson. Hope it resonates with you.