“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Do you ever have those moments in your life when it seems like one specific topic is coming up more often than others? I do. And when it happens, I usually try to step back and see why.
Well, recently, I’ve been receiving all kinds of messages about forgiveness. TdotB was the first one to bring the subject to me about a month ago when she and I were discussing forgiving people in our past. Well really, she was discussing it and I was commenting on the general topic, not necessarily saying that I had or that I should. Then, one day while checking my emails, I noticed that I’d gotten backed up on reading my emails from Joel Osteen. So, I clicked on an old one, prepared to just read a bunch at one time, and I realized that the message was also about forgiveness. Then 2 weeks ago, I received an invite from Chasing Joy to participate in her weekly Flashback Friday posting, and the topic of that week was – you guessed it – forgiveness.
It was fair to say that the idea of forgiveness was all around me. But why? I don’t consider myself a bitter person by any means, and for the most part, I’ve been particularly happy and somewhat carefree this year. But when I read the topic of the Flashback post, (she’d asked her readers to submit an old blog post that centered around forgiveness), I realized that even though I’ve spent four + years of writing and discussing some pretty personal topics on here, I actually had none on that one. Really? None? Not even on Jake or Cosby, I wondered.
Nope, not a one. And that made me sad, because I then wondered if that meant I hadn’t actually gone through the process of forgiving them yet. And then also forgiving myself of the decisions I made while with both of them.
I have to admit that this all kind of hit me. Because by all accounts, I’m in a good place with Jake. And by good place, I mean – we work very well in groups and in business, but it doesn’t usually go beyond that. And I hadn’t talked to or cared to talk to Cosby since the beginning of this year, but it wasn’t something that bothered me. And so since I wasn’t bothered, I’d just assumed I was good to go. But the question remained – had I actually forgiven them?
If the personal journal posting I wrote in January that included a picture of a ripped up poster I made for Cosby was any indication, the answer was no. Or how about the shock I had when Jake wished me luck on my new job when the guy I was dating didn’t even care to do so (clearly he’s not around anymore folks, so no need to get up in arms over him lol)? I expressed this emotion to C-Murder and she replied kinda casually, ‘Well that’s because Jake is your friend.’
‘Is he,’ I asked.
‘Yes. I mean not in the traditional way, but y’all will always be there for each other and thus always be friends.’
‘Hmmm, I don’t know,’ I replied. I also made a face, but since we were on the phone she couldn’t see it.
And then I stepped back and thought about that face I’d just made. Probably another indicator that I hadn’t forgiven him like I thought I had. Our latest homecoming adventure might have been another.
But I still kept going back to the fact that usually if you haven’t forgiven someone of something, it weighs on you. It eats at you. You’re constantly upset and/or angry. And I was none of those things. Remember, I’m the girl who just wrote about the joys of dating. That woman couldn’t still be hurting and suffering from the fact that she hadn’t forgiven the people of her past (including herself) and thus also hadn’t let go of the pain.
And yet, when I finally stopped denying it, I realized that I was that same woman all in one. Sure, not forgiving them hadn’t consumed me consciously, but it’s possible that it had affected me subconsciously. Maybe it’s the reason I haven’t been excited about a guy in a couple years. I’ve dated, sure. I’ve been in relationships. I’ve had some fun times. But I haven’t made it past 5 months with anyone because truthfully, I haven’t cared if I do. And the one or two guys who managed to catch my attention more than the rest, even when those didn’t work out – it barely managed a shrug from me. That’s crazy, right?
I mean, It’s been 2 1/2 years since I finally let go of the idea of Jake one day being my husband in quite possibly one of my more dramatic outbursts ever. And it’s been 10 months since Cosby and I had one of our frequent “you don’t understand how much you mean to me” conversations (<– his words) that always ended with him also saying that he just wasn’t equipped to be with someone right now. The difference with this one was that less than a month later, he was equipped to be with someone because he apparently was with someone. Just not me. And he was expressing how much he loved her all over Facebook.
It’s also been two years since I wrote this post about learning from those experiences. And two years since I wrote this one about being over them both. But in the time that has passed since then, I’ve yet to really give my heart to someone else. I don’t think I’d noticed that until recently. Until all this forgiveness talk started coming up.
And I think, if I’m really really honest, there’s a part of me that still fumes when I think about them. And there’s definitely a part of me that hasn’t forgiven myself for dealing with so much less than what I deserved for so so long from both of them. And if that’s the case, like the quote above says, then that also means there’s a part of me that hasn’t moved forward.
And that’s just not acceptable.
So starting today, I’m making it my business to do so. I’m working towards forgiving Jake and Cosby, but more importantly I’m working towards forgiving myself. No longer will I allow myself to beat me up for the choices I made in those relationships. Those things are over and done with it, and they need to be in the past.