Let it go, and then mind all of your own business
I struggle with being quiet. I love to talk.
My closest friends and best frenemies can all attest to this fact. Often, once people get to know me, they’re shocked that my demure, shy demeanor is merely a veil, a mask to hide the spinning and twisted cogs beneath. I love to use my slick, witty tongue to slither and snap. I am twisty. I am layered. These traits are not unique solely to me. These traits are what make me human.
I am oh so very, very human.
I’ve spent the last 22 years taking lessons from the greatest teacher to ever exist on this planet: Experience. And boy oh boy, have some of those lessons been hard to learn.
Now, I know I am still a wee grasshopper, and I have so much more to learn but, I would be lying if I didn’t admit how Holy Ghost proud I am of how far I’ve come (FYI: “holy ghost proud” is an apostolic pentecostal platitude that I refuse to let go of, even though I’m a worldly, backsliden heathen. Sue me).
The most tremendous place of growth that I’ve discovered is my learned ability to forgive.
I used to be the kind of person who would hold onto a grudge tighter than Michelle Visage’s bra strap on a Friday night. Speaking of Michelle Visage, Nina Bo’nina I-cry-black-tears-over-spilled-milk-and-need-to-get-it-together-on-Rupaul’s-Drag-Race-of-Season-9 Brown get it together. This whole self sabotage thing has got to stop. Get. Your. Self. To. Get. Thur. Nee. Nah! UGH! Anyways, I used to hold on to grudges so hard I would plot out revenge sequences. Complete with maps, back up plans for the back up plans, and 007 inspired, manila folded briefs, I was ready for anyone who dared to cross me. I would divest countless hours and multiple vials of blood, sweat and tears towards making sure my oppressors received what they doled out to me triple fold.
I quickly learned that holding grudges takes a lot of work. I got tired of trying to carry out karma and I discovered that the universe does a really good job of doing that all by Herself. Unfortunately, along with being a talker, I’m also a hard headed thumb. I had to have the lesson beat into me a couple times. It wasn’t until this past year that that lesson finally clicked into place.
This past year has been a hard one for me.
I got kicked out of my parent’s house. I’ve had to deal with misguided assessments and attacks of my character. I started school after taking a 4 year sabbatical. My grandma and a former classmate of mine passed away. A deranged, orange-tinged faux leather couch took the highest office in the land.
And that’s just my personal life.
On a macro scale, a deranged, orange-tinged faux leather couch took the highest office in the land. Black people are still dropping like flies and the collective response remains to be “oh well.” Immigrants are being treated worse than a Vivica Fox shake-n-go wig. Flint still out here being forced to pay for “water” that got pumped directly from Shrek’s swamp. America’s bombing Syria for Syria bombing Syria. We’re still arguing about whether or not greenhouse gasses exist; while the ice caps are making like many of yall’s hairlines and receding. It’s. Just. Been. Too. Much. And sadly, this puny little list doesn’t even compare to the plethora of other problems that I could name that would make this list even longer.
This world is rife with bitterness. Thus, the world is literally crafted for us to hold grudges and be angry. We’ve all heard the cliche a thousand times, where there is opportunity for bitterness there are even greater opportunities for betterness (insert eyeroll). I think whichever yuppy-faced dolt crafted that over used idiom and others like “let go and let God” or “forgive and forget” forgot to take into account the utter and total joy that one gains from being successfully vengeful and petty.
Nothing compares to watching your enemies laid low. Nothing compares to crushing your foes beneath your heel and basking in the dust of their caved skulls and dancing in their blood.
Or so I thought.
I ran a little experiment to test this theory and the results surprised me.
I made the decision to let all my grudges go. I took it a step further and decided to apologize for my part in whatever grudges I did hold. And then I took it all the way over the Nicki Minaj shelf booty ledge by deciding to forgive every single person who hurt me, whether or not I got an apology from them.
Let me be clear, I made the choice to solely forgive, not to forgive and forget. Never forget. Do not allow yourself to become a door mat in pursuit of forgiveness.
Never mistake degradation for humbleness.
Like I said before, the universe does a much better job of handling karma than I ever will be able to. Forgiving people (including myself) has taught me this to be ever more true. I think that because we’re taught that forgiveness is a rocket that thrusts you to a moral high ground, when faced with the hard and harsh realities that forgiveness entails (e.g. forgiving a cheating spouse), we’re often deterred from pursing it as an option. I think that if we were honest with people about how hard forgiveness is, people would be more willing to experiment and give forgiveness a chance because they wouldn’t be blindsided by the harsh intensity of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is hard.
While I do agree that forgiveness is a tool that helps us ascend higher planes, I prefer to look at forgiveness as climbers chalk. It doesn’t do the job for you, but rather it assists and firms up your grip as you ascend the plane yourself. Once you’ve reached the summit, you see that all the people who have hurt you, and who you’ve worked so hard to now forgive, are now beneath you.
Justice is a single black mom. She don’t give a damn who you are. If the fade is deserved, you’re gonna catch it. Let her do her job fam.
I’ve finally learned to take my pain and anger, and fuel it towards forgiving and releasing. I’ve learned that though I may not always get over things, I’ll always get through them.
I recognize that there are somethings that are unforgivable. I know that we’re all different and while I’ve found letting go to be an easier option for me, for someone else that may not be the case. That’s totally fine. That’s also totally none of my African American business. You do you, and I’ll do me, ok? All I know is that for me, this approach has worked tremendously. From now on, once I’ve done my part to remedy the situation (i.e. employing forgiveness), I’m gonna leave the rest of it in the hands of karma and fate.
Que sera, sa freaking rah.