HOW (NOT) TO FORGIVE, PT. 2

Gugu / 3 Apr, 2019

Approximately 2 months ago, I shared my issue of, experience and burden with unforgiveness. I think that the present juncture serves as the perfect time for an update! Kikikiki. Wellllllll, I think I have good news. On the whole, I have forgiven the person but maybe I am still somewhat “puzzled” by the whole debacle, LOL. Notwithstanding other spiritual aspects, what this means is that, in the main, I often find myself marveling at how THAT person could have done THAT to me. I will often imagine having a conversation (more like a diatribe because I am the only one that gets to talk in these mental scenes) with said person and basically ‘telling them off’ and adding how they “musta not known who the f*** I was”, because if they did, they wouldn’t have done x, y OR z! The ego-driven part of me still wants to have some sort of last word but when I think about what it is I would really like to say, my thoughts just don’t gather themselves well enough for my liking. Like, as in I can’t tell you or articulate convincingly, what x, y or z are. LOL! And that, for me, is strange. See, the thing is I am generally quite structured in my thinking, even when I am mulling over a complex set of issues – I am always able to go round and round in all the circles and non-linear movements that a situation may require of me, but I am always able to come back or bring it back to a main point or two. But not now…

I’d venture to say that the above is 1) proof that I generally and genuinely no longer give a hoot about that situation but I am trying to tie up some kind of loose ends and 2) there are some lessons/truths to swallow and digest centered around the idioms All’s well that ends well”, “Leave well enough alone AND (MOST IMPORTANTLY), At some point, it doesn’t matter who is wrong or right. It just matters that you remain kind and allow yourself some sort of peace and closure”. Pheeeeew! That last one is my own conjuring, LOL! But you get its drift/point.

So let’s work through this, shall we? 1) This is true; I don’t care about the situation in the way I did two months back. And yes, I believe I am reading my sub-conscious correctly: there are just some things I would like tied up in my mind for me like, “Are you dumb?” (kidding, not kidding), “Do you know who I am?” (also not my finest question, but it must be asked, LOL), “What kind of thinking (read character flaw) led you to do what you did?”, and “Can I ever trust you again?”. But look, the problem with needing to have clean and clinical (i.e. no loose ends) conclusions to things is that often, you remain with more questions than answers. I did say in the original piece that the problem is that we judge and operate from OUR perspective and we may often not be privy to the other person’s motivations, character, weaknesses, etc. And once there’s a falling out, we may not get those answers…we just have to make inferences (which are not always the best kind of method of reasoning) about these things. Not to say that what a person may tell you about themselves in their defence is to be taken at face value; actions ALWAYS trump words. So…I guess you are better off with those inferences from past, witnessed and experienced behaviour. But still, they’re often not as satisfactory as we’d like. But therein lies the lesson for me: life is messy BUT you must still find a way of moving on for yourself even when it’s a mess in order to do what you have to do (be kind, forgiving and Christ-like) and gain peace. You can’t know everything. And this ties into the second idiom mentioned above.

2.1) Leave well enough alone. Now as much as I envision myself telling said person off, the reality is actually 1) above: I no longer care enough to and thus the reason why my thoughts about the issue are suddenly all very murky, whereas a few weeks before, I could quote for you, in detail, the various aspects (yes, hunty…various and plural cos you know it was aspectsssss, LOL) of said offence, LOL! And I know that I no longer care because I have had the opportunity to tell the person off and basically run through my list of “questions” above. But when I have seen them, I am quite (Very. Frighteningly very) neutral. You know when you just don’t feel n’un? Like, nada. Yeah. Ku-bird. That person is dead to me, sadly. But not in a callous way – just in a “Ain’t ever giving you the time of day again” way. Because honey, my time and affection are precious. And earned. Periodt! Nobody that hasn’t earned those privileges (with the exception of family, LOL), will just automatically have my attention, and by extension, my energy. Like Ariana Grande said, “Thank U, NEXT!” This truth (that said person will never have my attention and affection the way they once did) is sad…because they were someone I trusted and had a lot of faith in. And those are the worst disappointments. When people we had so much confidence in show us their true colours.

And so the conversation of me telling them off just ain’t gon’ happen (and man do I love nothing more than a good telling awf!), because my emotional disposition regarding the situation agrees with my mental realisations about not always getting or having answers and STILL being able to move forward regardless. These two have conspired to get me to leave well enough alone.

So, you know dealing with “idiom” 2.2 in my list above is perhaps the greatest takeaway for me. I was so hell-bent on being right that I did some things I wish I hadn’t. It’s the pride thing I referred to in the original piece. I was ugly, and God don’t like ugly. And I felt justified in being ugly because I had been wronged and I was upset. But in the aftermath, none of that should have mattered. What should have mattered is distancing myself in a quiet, non-destructive manner. I say non-destructive because whew, chile, Hurricane G left a trail of destruction, hurt and pain. Put simply, I made sure the offender felt as much pain as I did…and it worked. I may have forgiven, but my process to getting there was not clean or laudable. Tangentially and asking for a friend: I guess if someone is hurt when you take a hurtful action against them, it shows that they do (still) care about you even if they did mess up? Because no one is perfect? Le sigh. Truth and revelation, man. They have a way of piercing you so deep. But anyhoooo…it’s late now.

Back to the main issue: I know that I was so hard and harsh that the person is afraid of me now. Even if they wanted to apologise, they wouldn’t know where and how to begin approaching me or what inlet to try to use in order to get in. And see, this is why (like I had said in the original piece) by trying to do things our own way when hurt, we can make things worse or irreversibly change the direction in which things go. And this is why the Bible repeatedly warns us not to sin in our anger and not to take away God’s rightful duty: to avenge. Our wrath and indignation leave much to be desired and can NEVER be like His, which is righteous, measured and perfect. I have no way of knowing what could have been if I had not sinned in my anger. But I know that my actions did materially change things between us. And I will have to live with that. But during my destructive phase, my only consolation was I’d already burned that house down at the first offense anyway (their offense against me) because that’s how deeply wounded and angry I was; and so there was nothing they could have said or done to get me to allow them back in. So, really what would have been there to salvage had I been less vengeful or destructive? Or is that really so? Would I really have been beyond extending any type of grace had the offender (then) tried to make some amends? I don’t know. But what I know and will admit to is that if walking away in peace (i.e. no wreaking havoc in the aftermath) and “humbly” (read dejectedly or like a fool) would have only gotten me an apology, then no, I’m good thanks with my bad behaviour. I feel/felt that I deserved more. I am being transparent because I want this to be as honest as possible. A part of me is actually pleased with some of my impudence. But here’s the gag, and a very important one at that: sometimes, the people who hurt us aren’t the ones to give us the closure, “win” or thing we need to be OK. Sometimes they’re inadequate or incapable. And that’s also part of learning to leave well enough alone, making peace with and moving on from a messy situation with many loose ends. You have to learn exactly where your peace, your closure and your wins are located if not (and it’s usually not) with the perpetrator. However, despite my being pleased with parts of my bad self and actions, there is still a part of me somewhere that is (somewhat) regretful of my actions, post the offence. We’re complex us humans – we can be simultaneously attached to two diametrically opposed sentiments with some equal measure. Sigh.

Whatever the case, one thing I am taking away from this experience is that I hope that the next time I am betrayed and I have the opportunity to still interact with the offender, that I would, instead of conspiring to hurt them, walk away and lick my wounds with grace until I am healed. But my pride and ego won’t let me (presently) go out like that, like a punk. I am so terrified of the person ever thinking that just because I took it “lying down” (their interpretation), they have some power over or one up on me, like on some “Hahaha man, I played her!” Gosh! The horror!!! Yes, the force (my pride) is strong (stroooong) with this one. Sigh. But we are growing kanene, so one day is one day. I mean, I have forgiven, LOL. That’s progress.

But real talk though, despite what happened in the aftermath, I finally got my (hard won and fought for) closure and peace. The fact that I no longer care enough to even go awf about it and that I no longer even remember the specificities of the offense – those are signs that work has been done or change has taken place internally. I would like to think that I would have still gotten my closure without me wildin’ out too, hehehe. I am sure I would…and all would still have been well with my heart and mind (and ego and pride). Because here I am now, looking at this situation really convinced and feeling that truth that “It no longer matters who is/was right or wrong. It just matters that I have forgiven, have some closure and am at peace.” But yo, man. I feel like sometimes you gotta go to war and battle for peace to come. I’m just sayin’. And if you ever find yourself also having to go to war in such matters, I hope you wage a clean war…unlike some of us.

The last idiom, 2.3, “all’s well that ends well”…well, I think that there may be some humbling of self that I will have to do in order for that to also apply, because I wouldn’t say that ‘tis “well” really. ‘Tis more like frozen – an impasse of sorts. And Lulu told me to do it – this extending of an olive branch, of grace, towards the person – a while back, but chilllleeeee, the pride!!! Even as of this morning, I still can’t bring myself to say the words that will free this person, and perhaps also clean up some of the mess that I made post-offense, the words, “Hey. Just FYI, we’re good. We may never be what we once were, but it’s cool. I’ve let it go”. Because, theoretically, we are good, because I’ve forgiven and I’m no longer waging chemical warfare (LOL) against them. I’m no longer driving that agenda because I am no longer hurting. Not hurting people don’t hurt people, hahaha! Unfortunately, at the present time, they just don’t know this, kikiki. But I feel like they need to know. For my and their sake, particularly theirs because I see their hurt and pain as a result of my actions. But also, maybe this wall of silence (put up solely and effortlessly by moi, thank you very much, hahaha) (also remember my reference to boundaries vs walls in the original piece), is a good enough ending. You don’t have to resume speaking with someone after a fallout, but if you don’t have peace about it, perhaps that is a sign that you have some more ways to go and work to do. And my thing is, I don’t actually care so much about freeing the person as I do about honouring God (again, refer to previous post) and actually growing and being able to see and measure that growth (selfish I know).

So, you know, when all is said and done, as concerned as I am about pleasing God, you can CLEARLY see from the above that I fall waaaaaay short…several times…ask anyone that knows me. I am NOT perfect. Buuut, work in progress…

Can you share similar (or not, but related, LOL) experiences? I would love to hear these and glean wisdom from them.

You can also find me at twitter.com/honeybmissg.

1 thought on “HOW (NOT) TO FORGIVE, PT. 2

  1. Yeah, like I said in response to part 1 of this — this forgiveness thing really is a difficult one for me and you’ve expressed a lot of the why’s for me here. For me, it’s not that I care so much about the loose ends, or closure, but like you said; there is a sense that forgiveness is weakness. But I guess it depends on the type of offence, because forgiveness is only really hard (a weakness for me) when you have been deeply hurt AND that person either 1) keeps repeating the same offence, or 2) doesn’t acknowledge that they’ve hurt you. In both instances, I just can’t be involved, and I don’t want my “forgiveness” to make it look like it’s okay. I don’t necessarily want to punish the person, or actually even hear their reasons or excuses, for me whatever they say is irrelevant. I just want them to know that whatever it was, IT IS NOT OKAY and my unforgiveness does that. And if I forgive, particularly if they don’t acknowledge, it feels like I’m saying “it is okay” and then I feel like that can lead to them being a repeat offender. Now that one, that one I have NO time for. I understand mistakes happen, and people are flawed and we aren’t perfect, but when you know you’ve hurt someone and you hurt them the same way again — especially in a deep way? This can’t be excused. But yes, a lot of this is a God thing. It is not our strength, and I’ve also learnt that recently too.

    What I also wanted to say was, when you said: “But here’s the gag, and a very important one at that: sometimes, the people who hurt us aren’t the ones to give us the closure, “win” or thing we need to be OK. Sometimes they’re inadequate or incapable.” — I actually think that that’s more often than not the case, which is why they say forgiveness is for you not the other person. You are forgiving to set yourself free, not them. And I think that’s why, because they themselves can actually not do anything to set themselves free.. or get you the closure you need. Even, (dare I say) if they are remorseful AF! Like I was saying, for me, what they say as reason or excuse for their offence does not mean much to me. Of course I want to hear I’m sorry, but I know that in my mind I will still flirt with the idea that “they are only just saying it” or just doing what they have to do to be “sorry” — (and not to say they won’t be) but I (maybe to protect myself?) don’t consider it much, so nothing they say will actually MAKE me forgive them, and therefore, I will not get closure from them or feel okay because of them. It will have to be on me to get there. Thankfully, I just pass the buck to God, and leave it to Him to make me.

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