People always say to forgive others, and I am no exception to that “rule”. I put the word “rule” in quotations because it isn’t a real rule. A personal rule, maybe, and a rule that people push onto others…but nevertheless, not a real one.
I have been thinking a lot about this lately.
I don’t know many people who would forgive someone for Mortal Kombat-style ripping their heart out of their chest. Or, more realistically, for literally squandering years of their life. However, the act of forgiving someone frees the forgiver of being bitter towards the “forgivee”, but also towards life in general.
Life is not meant to be lived with a bitter attitude. There was a period of time after my divorce where I thought of real love as a huge joke. I remember being on a plane, going to North Carolina, and being stuck beside this young couple who were basically glued to one another. I remember that bitter feeling I had towards them and really feeling compelled to tell them that they were dumb and it wouldn’t last. Like, what a jerky thing to think, right? Who am I to push my negativity onto others? So, no, I did not say a word to them, although I side-eyed them every once in awhile, with my nose in my book.
Needless to say, I got my shit together (hence this post).
I will not give anyone on planet Earth the satisfaction of knowing their actions made me bitter and cold. I will not model a negative attitude for my children. And I will not let this event in my life define who I am. So, forgive others? YES. Forget what they did? HECK NO.
Let me tell you why.
Every single part of your life is important. Every experience shapes you. You live and you learn… you know, like Alanis said. Everything in your life teaches you something very valuable. For instance, I have learned that I am worthy of being loved unconditionally and whole-heartedly, with kindness and respect. I have learned that there really is someone out there who believes I am the bee’s knees. I discovered that I was able to fall in love again, and that this time it was legit. I figured out that healthy relationships do not actually consist of constant arguing, gut-wrenching feelings of insecurity, and never knowing where I stand. I realized that I am stronger than I seem. I figured out how to grit my teeth and be a bad-ass for the sake of my children and my sanity. I learned that not everyone will see my side of things.
I learned that life continues, even after you think it won’t. And that is why you should never forget where you have been, or what you have been through.