As I prepared my year in review post, I found myself thinking about forgiveness. One of the hardest things to do in this world is to forgive those who have wronged your spirit. This year I have watched so many incidences of violence unfold on the news against women of color targeted for being women, people of color, young, and/or queer. I have witnessed unilateral violence and internalized hatred wielded outward. I have heard things I cannot repeat. And at least twice this year the combination of so many wrongs has literally choked the air from lungs and left me stunned and bleeding. Under the circumstances, it would be easy to walk into the new year with my hate on.
I am choosing forgiveness instead of hate.
I forgive those whose brokenness almost broke me too. I forgive those whose unexamined privileges forced me in to corners I had to fight my way out of. I forgive those whose naivete caused all kinds of internet drama. I forgive those who sat in judgment without even considering there might be things they did not know or that I could not say. I forgive those who did not have the strength to stand with me. I forgive those who watched when I faltered instead of lending a hand. I forgive those who lied to themselves and to others to protect the wrong things. I forgive those who laughed to hide the ways lies sting. I forgive those whose own self-doubt or self-hate clinched their hands into menacing fists with each perceived slight. I forgive those so caught up that they killed every opportunity to move forward, to see how much in common we actually have. I forgive those who tried and failed to silence us, to wipe us off the face of the planet, to publicly question our intelligence, or our right to speak. I forgive those whose success made them blind to the barriers the rest of us climb or die behind. I forgive those who forgot to throw a ladder back or who laced it with so many conditions no one could make it up and over. I forgive those who tried to bomb, rape, or shoot us into oblivion. I forgive those whose ignorance erased and punished us in the name of aid or justice. I forgive those too scared to speak, too weak to stand, too broken to heal.
I forgive you.
I forgive me.
Happy New Year y’all.