I'm joining the entire Red Room community in writing a short blog post on this week's topic: "Forgiveness." We'll choose at least one of these blogs to be featured on Red Room's homepage next week, and we'll choose one blog writer to receive a free book from a Red Room Author. Submit your blog entry by Friday at 10:30 a.m. PDT [GMT-0700] for consideration. Be sure to tag the entry with the keyword term "forgiveness blog” so we can find it.
Living here in the peace-and-love world capital, I felt, for a long time, very bad about my inability to forgive a few people who had directly or indirectly done me wrong, and to thereby live forevermore in a state of transcendent bliss. Then I said to myself, "F*** that. This is how I feel, and I will not beat myself up about it." Call me unevolved, but I don't think forgiveness is always necessary--or always necessarily a good thing. There are a few people whom I'm going to stay angry at for a while longer--maybe forever. I will die cursing their names and shaking my fist at the heavens.
So you might say that I forgave myself for being unable to forgive others. That counts for something, right? I'm working on being a better person, obviously, but for now I'm still royally pissed off at a select group of jerks, crooks, and nitwits.
I accept that harboring anger for another person affects me much more than that other person. But I don't accept the notion that anger is always a bad thing. Can it not also be a motivator? A protector? A reminder? My inability to forgive a malicious nincompoop of a former boss is one of the things that has motivated me to succeed in subsequent jobs. A tiny kernel of rage left behind by a duplicitous ex-lover guarantees that I will look be more careful with my heart next time. And unremitting anger about malefactors on the world stage keeps me ever wary about the actions of governments.
I don't want to make peace with these people--for the same reason I don't want to take some mood altering prescription drugs that have been suggested. My feelings about these people, about these things that happened, are part of what makes me, me: complicated. . . a bit dolorous. . . dense. Without them, I fear I might float into the lower atmosphere like one of those flimsy New Age balloon people who feel only love and other lighter-than-air emotions.
OK, I feel bad about calling those enlightened sorts "flimsy balloon people." But I acknowledge that my snarkiness is in part caused by jealousy, I will take a moment to forgive myself, and I'm sure they forgive me.
Some people think that holding grudges weighs a person down. But maybe I like being weighed down. Or maybe the trick is to always hold an even number of grudges--that way, they don't "weigh you down." Rather, they keep you balanced.
Causes Charles Purdy Supports
San Francisco Food Bank, Gay Men's Health Crisis, Project Open Hand, San Francisco SPCA, Smile Train, National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association...