I chose to forgive you.
Not just because holding onto anger is a waste of my energy, but also because you don’t deserve my ire. I know you and I know your heart. I know you’re doing the best you can. I will cherish the memories I have with you and the version of you that you shared with me will always stay safe with me. It’s hard to be angry with someone that you feel very deeply for, but that’s not actually my point right now in writing this.
I see that you’re in pain. I know you’re doing anything and everything in your power to try to feel better again; you’re searching everywhere for an answer or even just for some relief that never seems to come. You’re resorting to old habits that won’t die or you’re shutting down entirely out of fear—anything to make you forget why you’re hurting.
I get it. I have trauma that I’m still working through, scars that have yet to be reopened, and shit buried deep inside me that I haven’t even acknowledged. I have caused others great pain while running away from things I didn’t want to face. I have really, seriously fucked up and lost people who meant the world to me. I have blamed others for my setbacks. I have passed my trauma onto others in an effort to run away from it. I have been selfish, I have been impulsive, and I have been toxic. I used to be an absolute disaster, and honestly, there are some days I’m convinced I still am.
Hurt people hurt people. It’s just the way that life goes. I had to realize that how you choose to treat me has more to do with you than it does me, and that the only thing I have control over is my own emotions and how I choose to react.
Electing to respond to others with compassion and understanding in the face of their projections is a skill that is damn near impossible for any of us to completely and consistently master. Just acknowledging and taking responsibility for our own emotions, reactions, and projections is really, really hard. That’s why so many of us feel so stuck; it requires a certain level of self-awareness, and honestly? When you’re in pain, it feels easier in the moment just to stay ignorant. But I’ve learned that if you keep going through karmic cycles without actually taking anything from them and evolving, the lessons will continue to manifest in different forms until you finally do. The Universe, Higher Power, or God—whatever you believe in—will keep testing you.
And so the cycle goes—hurt people hurt more people, on and on and on.
Until or unless you choose to heal.
It’s easy to be angry, it’s easy to be sad, it’s easy to fall into a hole of despair. But ultimately, I have to take responsibility for myself. So, I have learned, instead, to pause.
Do I know why I am angry? Can I identify where this sadness stems from? Am I angry because of what they did or because it brought something else up entirely? Or is it both? There are no wrong answers. Did them saying that remind me of a time that my dad was disdainful or my mother was unsympathetic? Does the way they do the dishes remind me of my ex and that’s why they drive me so crazy? Does this have more to do with me than it does them? Are they actually doing anything wrong? What just happened that triggered me? Why does this hurt? Where does this hurt? What can I do to alleviate this hurt?
I have to stop expecting for others to tiptoe around my feelings. I have to stop expecting others to pick up my broken pieces and put me back together. That’s my job.
If I continue to carry the burden of others’ behavior, I will not have the strength to grow. I release myself of this weight because it is not mine to carry.
I chose to forgive you so I could be free. But the main reason is because I care more about your well-being than I do about being mad at you. I care more about my peace than I do about my pride. And I choose to love you anyway in a time that you need it most, because that’s what I want when the roles are reversed.