I just read a blog post that concluded “life is too short to be so fucking angry all the time.” You can read that post at Change the Topic, a blog I discovered through yeahwrite. I absolutely agree with this statement, but I question whether or not I have actually been following this bit of advice. I have struggled to let go of anger all year long. It comes and it goes. There are good days and bad days … and there are also really bad days where I can’t even get out of bed.
When I was teaching, I was typically the one adult in the building that students sought out to share their secrets and struggles with. Those kids were smart; they knew a good thing when they saw one. One bit of advice I would often offer was to use writing as a means of moving beyond it. I would frequently suggest that a student write a letter to whoever he was holding responsible for his current pain. The secret to that letter, however, is that it never actually gets sent … or e-mailed … or tweeted … or whatever else the kids are doing these days. It’s the act of getting that anger out of you and onto the page that is most important.
I wrote one of these letters a few months ago. I wish I could say that it helped, but I guess I wasn’t truly ready to forgive (you just MIGHT be able to tell). I shared it with my husband, who said it was too much cursing even for me. But, if you’ve been following me, you know Sam is supposed to “suck it” this week anyway, so here that shit is:
According to Joyce Meyer, Christian author and speaker, “Usually, when a person hurts someone else, he's probably hurting himself at least as much and is suffering some fallout as a result." When I recently read this quote, my thoughts immediately fell upon you. In the recent year, no one has hurt me more than you have. Although such hurt was recently imposed upon me, said hurt is some of the greatest I have felt not just in the past six or seven months – but in the whole of my existence. I acknowledge the truth of Meyer’s statement as I have been witness to such hurt before by people who were in even greater pain than I, and really just doing the best they could at that point in their lives. I believe you must be hurting to have proceeded as you did. I don’t know who hurt you; I don’t know what they did to you. I do, however, know that it wasn’t me. I didn’t hurt you and I did not and do not deserve the hurt and pain you have imposed upon me, and thus my family. As I reflect upon Meyer’s words, I know I must tell you two things. First: Fuck you. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you until your ass is sore you fucking piece of shit. Second: I forgive you. But know this: my forgiveness is not for you. You don’t deserve it one bit, and I will never, ever like you or approve of your actions. I forgive you for me and for my family. I forgive you because people that are personally hurting hurt other people and I don’t want to hurt my husband, my daughter, my son, my best friends, and my family. I love them too much to let the pain you have unjustly and unnecessarily imposed upon me to hurt them any longer. So, you are forgiven you asshole.
Clearly, my catharsis is not yet complete. But, I'm trying. Please trust that I am trying and I want to be good for the people I love and that love me too. If you're one of those folks (again -- you know who you are and I fucking love you): THANK YOU. I would never be able to forgive the people who have hurt me without you guys loving me like you do.