How I Learned How to Forgive, sort of...


I'd like to thank God, the Universe, the Holy Ghost and all his unholy friends for the lessons on forgiveness. But it's now time to stop, really. I'm okay. I get it. And I need a break.

The only reason why I think these incidences keep coming up is, I'm not very good at forgiveness. I mean, I'm not bad. Some might say, I'm very good! Because I can talk to my ex of 6 years after he cheated on me or because I have let go of my previous Waldorf experience.

But these kinds of forgiving deeds takes a lot of work. I journal everyday. And liken it to exercise, while it may feel good or self-indulgent in the moment, its effects are cumulative. I also read and listen to what is commonly referred to as “New Age” or “Self help” books – a lot.

Those are my greatest addictions, writing and reading those types of books. I like to make fun of this genre and I understand why folks are utterly turned off by that kind of material. But after I left home for college, I needed it. Also, reading about forgiveness and how to be a more compassionate person was much more my style than say, therapy.

I can't afford therapy and to be brutally honest, reading or listening to a book feels much more active to me. It's more private, too. And for whatever reason, I was drawn to a better way of thinking. I didn't want to be so negative (ah the teenage years), and I had some challenging experiences that needed sorting out before I had ever hoped of becoming a functioning adult.

So when the Waldorf thingy/firing/fiasco hit me like a softball in the face, I was already primed and ready for this next “lesson”. At the same time, everything that I thought I learned flew out of my mouth like teeth from a bad dream.

I found this quote and I don't care if it's from Gandhi, it sucks.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

The reason it sucks is, if you are feeling horrible, the last thing you want to hear is you are weak. I understand what Gandhi is saying, but I'm just sayin' the dang thing is probably taken out of context and don't expect to read a few quotes on forgiveness and feel better either.

Oh, I wasn't going to expect that, you might say. But! We are living in Prozac Nation Smart Phone times and I'll be the first to admit that I expected to get over my silly firing a lot faster and easier than I did. Maybe even more so because I had been such a “good student” of New Age/Self help books...

But it took time. I think a lot of forgiveness depends on the situation. Are you forgiving many people? Or one person? Family? Husband? Coworker? There are so many shit storms and the one you may be dealing with could be the perfect combination of Knock Me On My Ass, in which case, you just have to see what it is about this situation that is making it so difficult to move on.

Seems obvious but I think a lot of people wrestle with problems and give up too soon and pretend everything is okay or moan, groan and bemoan some more about it until they are dead in the ground. Look there are days when I just listen to “Self help” lectures all morning or night. Does this make me weak or strong? All I know is it feels nice to continually give the brain something positive and uplifting to feed on.

Or when I'm depressed, I'll listen to something or read something to help me remember to not be such a downer. I don't know what will work for you, but this is what works for me. I need constant reminders on how not to be an asshole. But like I said, this is important to me – I want to attain Buddha-like enlightenment. It's just one of those strange things that is a hobby of mine.

I don't think “self improvement” is something you can read about once, twice, thrice, and never have to read about it again. I mean, maybe, for certain folks, but not me. I want gratitude, forgiveness, and kindness to be habits, you know? So I guess this means the lessons won't stop. Gah!

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