This essay is dedicated to everyone that’s offended me.
I forgive you.
Don’t get in touch though, I am not forgiving you that much.
Forgiveness is like the sun — you never look at it directly. Not until you see anger has made you blind already.
A few know their way around anger, its purgatory pathways: Artists, Zen masters, children. For the rest of us, anger is the emotional ejaculate of hate, hoarded. That’s why anger makes you stupid. It’s a painfully long time-lapse of forgetting what you wanted, a parade to the edge of coherence. That’s when you see the face. The face that says or does something that pushes you over.
A face you never forget. Never forgive.
There are some artful monsters that walk the planet. Their idea of productivity is entirely based on how much misery they can cause per minute. It’s normal for you to get angry at them and offer prayers that include a macaw ripping off their balls. It’s not your anger that’s unfounded as much as the extent to which the people you are angry at begin to control you. They may not even be an active part of your life anymore, and that’s what is abnormal about this. The faces you carry weigh you down, choke your exploration, and bring out your worst. They become a reminder of your own helplessness.
Some of this requires Freudian analysis, but most of it is theatre. When shitty people become your excuse to never try, your anger has morphed into laziness. You are using up your fire to extinguish your freedom.
That’s why it’s hard to forgive. Once you do, you are on your own. Alone with your feelings. Responsible for your life. Without your anger, you are fightless. Forgiveness makes you weak because it takes all your strength to do it. You can’t extinguish freedom without damaging love.
If you think it’s hard to forgive, try asking for forgiveness. It’s harder letting go of your ferocity to change people. It means falling into trust, the moat of freedom. It means admitting the thing you saw when you were standing at the edge was a mirror.
To forgive and to ask for forgiveness,
like the first time a bird jumps off a cliff.
If hope is the thing with feathers, forgiveness is the wings.