Saturday, 21 February 2015

Day 4: Forgiveness

Forgiveness, culpability, remorse.
Ultimately, forgiveness is a positive thing. Its precursor bitterness, however, is the kind of thing that festers. That clenched fist of hurt and anger that rests uneasily somewhere between your ribcage and your belly button, like the drop of fresh ink on parchment, silently bleeds, staining all but the air around it.
The thing I have always struggled with is forgiving people who then use that forgiveness as permission to keep acting in such a way that necessitates you having to keep on forgiving them. The bastards.
How is it possible to reconcile the personal need to let go of the ways in which we've been wronged, with that act of self-preservation, the protecting of yourself from the actions of others? Is it possible?
Maybe that's just life: you give people the tools to hurt you, and then hope they won't.
Where is that balance though, between forgiveness and forgetting? Must you choose to forget certain details in order to forgive? It is surely a skill, that ability to live with the knowledge of how you have been hurt, so exactly, systematically stripping it of its venom, slowly choking it of the oxygen of any kind of feeling towards it and simply sitting with the fact of its existence.
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to forgive ourselves.
We put pressure on ourselves, expect of ourselves and hold ourselves to standards we would never dream of imposing on anyone else, and while to a certain extent these things can be harnessed for good, for betterment, at some point we must simply give ourselves a break. At one time or another I have reached a point at which I have had to forgive myself for my own misplaced forgiveness of others. (A bit meta that one, but go with it.)
It hurts, and then it stops, and then it gets better.
Forgiveness is the catalyst of forward motion, of recovery, and closure.
Without forgiveness we resign ourselves to a life unrelentingly certain that people aren't inherently actually-kind-of-alright given half a chance.
That's not a world I want to live in.
Believe the best in people, and sometimes, just sometimes, they will surprise you.
If they don't?
Well, fuck 'em.


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