“forgiveness is the only freedom” — on forgiveness. and freedom. and happy.

i sit here among tea & books & inauguration speeches, reflecting on this past weekend, guided by words of an undoubtedly great man human being mentioned and honored on this day along side another significant individual in our nation’s history.

There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

this weekend seems to have brought this to life for me. lost interaction resurfaced. new words. same hurt. new interaction, found. meeting of a kind soul i don’t know well quite yet but who seems to be guided by love instead of hate. tests of past struggles, won. tests of new control, conquered. i chose forgiveness over hate. i chose forgiveness over hurt.

i chose happy.

Breaking Benjamin sings something worth reflection in their song  Without You: “I wanted to forgive. I’m trying to forget.. Holding the hand that holds me down. I forgive you, forget you, the end.” It played as i drove one morning, shortly after the resurfaced interaction. after every fiber in my being was tested. after memories of it-shouldn’t-be-this-hard. after self-blame. i wanted to return words. return hurt.

that thought, that want, frightened me. that’s who i was for a short time. when i was lost. when i was hurt. when i allowed other to define me. but that’s no longer who i am. and i recognized that that want was simply for my own self-serving reasons, thoughts of explanations needed, for others, for him. but mostly, probably for me. and i realized that didn’t need to happen. or rather, that had already happened.

so, i’ve taken the liberty of adding my own thoughts to those lyrics.

I forgive you. I forgive me. I forget you the hurt. the end beginning.

it actually is very freeing. had i not had that moment, ignoring the words of my Mexican mother que lo devolviera with sarcastic wit para que lo sienta, instead listening to my heart and soul and love, forgiving myself most of all, i don’t think i’d be in this place. you know that place where you’re no longer looking for the wrong, for the next shitty moment, for the sadness. open to the thought of kind souls existing. i’d be in that place where bitterness and cynicism and negativity fill your thoughts. ((if you don’t know, you’re lying. we’ve all been there. moments we don’t like to reflect on because it makes you question that idea of who you are. but moments that require reflection because it is through  that reflection of those moments that will determine who we will be)).

I’ll leave you with these thoughts on happy from someone who knows it at a deeper level that i can only hope to reach some day. to reflect. to aid in the search. or non-search. but mostly, to help forgive. it does seem like forgiveness is the only freedom. in so many ways. and the only way to move forward.

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”  ― Martin Luther King Jr.


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