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I am a firm-believer of forgiveness because once we forgive, we can heal. And, once we heal, we can progress. It took me a long time to realize but progression is the direction that I want to remain in.
When I truly started practicing forgiveness, I thought that it was the kind of thing that you do once and never have to do again. But, I have learnt and am still learning, that forgiveness never ends. Everyday there is something to forgive.
This is what I am working on forgiving today:
Everything starts and begins with the self. I cannot ask myself to forgive others when I haven’t forgiven myself. I have found self-forgiveness to be both painful and liberating because I have to acknowledge and sit with what I have done to myself and others that has made me want to forgive. But, this work is necessary. Whether I am forgiving myself for calling my thighs big or for taking out my frustration on another, self-forgiveness helps me to move forward.
Although colonization had a few positive aspects to it, there were many more negatives. Especially coming from a continent (Africa) where colonization has, and still is, having negative effects on the economy, agriculture and people, it is dis-heartening. Colonization has tried to strip the colonized of their own culture and enforced an ideal that Europe or people of European-descent are better than others. When I look around me and see how this way of thinking has left us, it makes me sad. But, just like I mentioned before, forgiveness is about moving forward. I have learnt that blame doesn’t solve problems. I have had to forgive my European ancestors for exploiting and taking advantage of my African ones and accept that these two aspects live within me. If I continue to be angry at European culture, I am being angry at a part of me and angry at a lot of my friends. So, I release that anger and put that passion into re-building. Re-building Myself, My Family and The World. So that I release oppression and embrace love for everyone, the way that we are supposed to. Because love empowers and helps us lift each other up.
I am very open about the relationship that I have had with men in my life. And, only recently, did I get to understand why many men that I see around me lack the willingness to connect. The reason, I believe, is because we expect men to shield who they really are by wearing a macho-mask. Leaving a lot of them in denial of their emotional capacity. This understanding has helped me forgive. Recently, I found out that a man who had expressed interest in me, was romantically with another woman. Naturally, I became upset and I closed off any prospects with him. I am in the process of forgiveness because I know that his behaviour has nothing to do with me and I want to release myself of the hold that he might have on me. I deserve to be with someone who is great and I am not standing in the way of that by holding onto someone who is not able to appreciate me. I move on with love and forgiveness.
4. People who are not ready to accept my love.
It’s taken me almost my whole life to understand that to be loved, you have to accept love. I’ve come across many people who I have loved immensely and thought that I was overbearing or too much, only to realize that they were not ready for it. Now, instead of changing how I love, I move on to people who are ready to accept love on my level. In addition, I let go of those that I have given a lot to and didn’t get back from because counting how much I have given to another and didn’t get back is exhausting and only holds ME back. I leave the relationship knowing that I have given my best and that was enough.