The 2015 Fuck It List: #10 – Defending The F-Bomb of Forgiveness

Back in 2014, I posted my 2014 Fuck It List based on and inspired by this most excellent post:

Welcome to my Fuck It list. Fourteen things I’m going to stop giving a fuck about in 2014. Because, as important as it is to push yourself to be a healthier, more compassionate person, that can be downright impossible. Refusing to give a fuck, however, isn’t just easy — it’s kind of awesome.

{Prehistoric Amber} The Fuck It List: 2014 | AmberL.Carter.com

So fuck it. Here are the fourteen things I’m going to stop worrying about come 2014.

– 14 Fucks I Refuse To Give In 2014

This year, I’ve made a list of 15 Things I Refuse To Give a Fuck About In 2015 (capitalized, because it’s IMPORTANT). But instead of trying to write and post a huge massive manifesto all at once, I decided to instead break my list down into bite-sized pieces.

 

15 Fucks I Refuse To Give In 2015: #10 Defending The F-Bomb of Forgiveness

 

Loyal friends are the fucking best. Next to freedom, autonomy, and being known, loyalty is a thing I crave the most, one of the dearest treasures I can offer a person. For instance, I have never felt more loved than when a friend offered to take a baseball bat to someone who had hurt me…and I knew, instinctively, that if I gave the okay, they would have done it.

(I mean…love comes in all kinds of different forms. We’re not here to judge what that looks like)

So loyal friends are the fucking best, because they have your back when you’re singing a Someone Did Me Wrong song.

But it’s also kind of scary to face those loyal friends when you’ve decided to up and forgive the someone you were singing that song about.

Case in point: Earlier this year, a friendship that had been buried in the deep freeze for the past six years was put out to thaw. This person had been like a sibling to me…and then…nothing. Suddenly they weren’t talking to me, and through a bunch of shit that isn’t worth going over on here, battle lines were drawn. There was a lot of pain. A lot of hurt. A lot of hatred. I swore I would never, ever forgive them.

And then one night, after battling anxiety all day that I was going to see this person at a party…after carefully avoiding them all night at that same party…we ended up standing next to one another in the line for beer.

And just like that, shit was over. 

I know my decision to drop the F-Bomb of Forgiveness on this friendship surprised a few people. It’s the stuff you know people are saying about you without them having to say it to your face: Some of it comes from a loyal place…they’re worried I’m going to get hurt by this person again. They’re worried that I’m somehow being fooled by them, taken in. Other people, however, are kind of bitter about it, reciting the fact that I once said I would never forgive that former friend.

Like people can’t change their own fucking minds. Like once you say something, it’s trapped in stone.

So here’s a thing I’ve learned in 2015: You don’t have explain your forgiveness to anybody. 

You don’t have to defend it. You don’t have to rationalize it. And you definitely don’t have to seek someone else’s approval for why you did it.

You can just choose to do it, and then do it, and then move the fuck on.

A lot of people view forgiveness as weakness. That you’re being dumb, or soft…that you’re losing a piece of yourself, of your integrity, by choosing to forgive someone who hurt you. That you’re setting yourself up to be hurt again, which obviously seems like a really fucking dumb thing to do. And I used to be that person, too…I used to think it was cool to hold a grudge, that it made me look tough to rage and rant about the people who had hurt me in the past. But it didn’t. It made me look like a bitter and angry bitch who wouldn’t forgive you if you dared to commit even the tiniest of transgressions. And who wants to be friends with that? Who even want to be that?

In the past five years, I’ve learned a lot of about forgiveness. It’s the #1 basic skill set when it comes to gettin’ right and tight in your spiritual practice (for more on this, check out Marianne Willamson’s now-classic guide A Return To Love, Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie, or the master class in dropping the F-Bomb, A Course In Miracles). I’ve learned that it can be fucking tough, especially when it comes to those deep betrayals and epic hurts…sometimes you have to practice that forgiveness every freaking day – every freaking day – each time scraping a little bit of rot out of that tiny dark cavity in your heart until that space is finally clean and clear.

And sometimes, forgiveness is simply a snap decision, easy peasy as pumpkin pie. Like, BOOM – you’re just fucking over it. That’s it, The End.

At the end of the day, no matter what, I’d always rather have peace and forgiveness than bitterness and resentment. Because ya know what? Forgiveness hurts a lot less than hatred. It’s a lot less tiring than resentment. It’s a lot less brittle than bitterness.

And it takes a lot of fucking energy to hate someone. Moving back to Minneapolis, it was always in the back of my mind…would I run into that person; was it going to be super awks for our mutual friends if the both of us were in the same room together; what was this person telling people about me; who knew this person but not me and therefore probably didn’t like me…

Y’know? SO MUCH ENERGY. Energy I would rather spend on writing, or watching Grey’s Anatomy, or trying to find someone to make out with.

The moment I forgave that person, it was like…peace. A deep, deep exhale. The Cold War was over. And suddenly, I realized just how much this thing had been a cloud over my life without even really being cognizant of it. It had stripped so much joy from my life. Minneapolis just wasn’t the same after that friendship froze over, and it felt like, now…I had my friend back, I had my city back, I had my peace back. Those are good things, great things. My decision to be over it, to forgive and move on, was one of the healthiest, most gratifying things I’ve ever done.

But you know what? I don’t have to explain that shit to you. Or to anyone.

And neither do you.  

Like I said before, my loyal friends are everything to me. I know they want what’s best for me. I know that if someone hurt one of them a shit-ton and that friend decided to just up and forgive that person for it, it would be hard for me to understand. And it would be hard for me to forgive that person for hurting my friend. But I’ve come far enough in life and in my spiritual practice to know that I shouldn’t ever make anyone feel bad for choosing to forgive someone. Or make them feel bad for the way they choose to forgive someone. That’s their own soul’s path, and it’s none of my fucking business.

And it’s none of yours, either.

So please don’t expect me to explain an F-Bomb of Forgiveness to you, or ask for your approval, or worry about whether or not you’re okay with it. Because even if I love you and your opinion means the world to me, when it comes to stuff like this? This sweet ’80s jam by Mr. Bobby Brown has it right:

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Want more posts like this one? Dig into some of the archives here and here. Your soul’s path will thank you for it. 

And if you’ve liked this post, be like Bobby Brown and exercise your prerogative by hitting those share buttons below!

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

2 comments on “The 2015 Fuck It List: #10 – Defending The F-Bomb of Forgiveness

  1. Love the depth and maturity of this – and you! I struggle with grudge holding and this was such a light and gracious perspective. Beautiful, friend.

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