A few days ago I made a social media post about this “new revelation” I had when I was in Ghana, staring out at the ocean my ancestors were shipped off from. I had had a few days to get back and reflect on that beautiful day and the thoughts I had on what it would take for me to progress.
True enough, I have harbored ill feelings towards a lot of people for the hurt and pain they’ve caused me. I’ve been angry more days than I’ve been happy in the past. I’ve also spent countless hours shedding tears when I could have been so much more productive. The thing about those feelings is that no one has acknowledged or shared them with me so I have been the only one suffering. I know I have to learn to deal with them so that I can go through (yes, through) my potential.
After that post, I received numerous messages of praise. “Beautiful words” they said. “Growth” they said. “She finally gets it” they told me. “Always be the bigger person” I heard over and over again.
The psychological definition of forgiveness is: a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness or not. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses.
So, what are people celebrating?
Forgiving someone doesn’t make the pain go away. It does exactly as it has done my entire life: masks the hurt so that I can go on day after day. It releases accountability from everyone else and demands that I just “move on.”
When we forgive, the only person that immediately deals with the hurt is the same person that’s been dealing with it. Yeah, I forgive you but, I still carry this pain. I’ll just set it aside so your feelings won’t be hurt.
That’s how forgiveness feels to me.
The worst advice everyone always gives me is “be the bigger person, Cherron.” Of course I will, that’s all I know how to be. Letting others live in peace so that my chaos doesn’t disturb them.
When you tell someone to “Be the bigger person,” you’re basically silencing them. You’re telling them that no one cares about their feelings so just do what you have to do to keep the peace because, “Life is too short” as people like to say. You can’t stay mad at people because you never know if tomorrow is coming. So, fuck your feelings!
Forgiveness to me feels like an incredibly painful journey that I must continue. It’s a journey that I still must travel alone, with the only accountability my own. Forgiveness isn’t hard to do. I literally forgive every single person that has ever hurt me. It’s just that, at the end of the day, the burden is still on me.
It’s on me to continue to seek therapy, to continue to meditate, and most importantly, to forgive myself for things I’m not even responsible for.
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know I’m a fighter. You already know that I’m going to continue to do all of the things that have gotten me this far. At the end of the day, my healing has always been based on the strength I have built from the pain. Forgiveness doesn’t change that.
I only wish I wouldn’t have to continue to heal alone…..