I used to think that to “forgive and forget” was the only way to truly move past something terrible that happened to me.
I now realize that often those two concepts don’t make sense in a lot of situations. To forgive means to give up all claim on account of. But there are things that happen to us, hurtful things people say, painful wounds people inflict that we cannot give up all claim of. To forgive and forget for some of these assaults seems like fantasy-making to me. The trying of it has left me conflicted and anxious.
Reconciliation however is a concept I can live with. I won’t forget what happened but will reconcile to use the experience to consciously build a better relationship. I will learn to understand that because of what happened I have the opportunity to make healthier and wiser decisions in the future.
I used to think I needed to provide proof or evidence of why I felt something. In my mind I would think that feeling something others might perceive as weak or womanly or negative was unacceptable so I would build a case in my defense so that I could justify this “insubstantial” stream of feelings or thoughts. As if just little ole me feeling it or thinking it wasn’t reason enough that it should be heard.
But now I know that the fact that I feel it, desire it, fear it, love it or just plain old dreamt it up is legitimacy enough.
I used to think that a nice person doesn’t speak up when her needs aren’t being met, a nice person doesn’t disagree with family members, a good person goes along to get along. But now I realize that all of that is a bunch of BS and really a form of self torture.
I know now that I am responsible for my own happiness and that means speaking up the truth when something doesn’t feel right or good to me. It means doing what’s best for my soul and my true self even if it causes discomfort. It means speaking the truth, my truth when I feel compelled.