Forgiven, Not Forgotten

I know I’m using The Corrs’ song title but when another year is about to end, one can’t help but look back at the months that passed — sometimes, even going as far back as the years before that. And when you look at triumphs and joys, it’s inevitable that you look at the hurts and failures.

And these hurts come from different people:

1. Strangers

I was held up before. Two guys obviously high on drugs pushed me down on the floor, pushed my face against the cement, and punched me in the gut. I ran after them, luckily caught one (with much help from bystanders and tricycle drivers) plus their accomplice, filed charges, and went to court. The guy who hit me was never caught. I know have forgiven them but I still want that guy behind bars.

A misguided girl maligned the two people I dearly love. So, a case was filed against her. And when a rumor monger came up to me and clarified what she’s been hearing, this foolish girl quickly believed what she was told. And to add more drama to her story, she showed me to her friends and now maligned me (old habits really do die hard). Naturally, her friends believed her for that is her forte — evidenced by her emails, stories from friends who don’t know each other, her consistent behavior, and so many other proof. Cunning and scheming as she may be, she is surprisingly predictable. And the hurt she brought to me is actually the hurt she caused for those that mean a lot to me. She may never come to her senses and never see the light of truth and never apologize to me but I am the bigger person. I forgive her cause that’s how her analytical and comprehension skills go. Expecting the impossible is unnecessary stress. But what she did and continuously do must be dealt with in the proper forum — where my side/our side has the same amount of privilege to explain as hers. And so long as I’m here, she will never be able to malign anybody I love again.

2. Acquaintances

These are the people that I encounter on various occasions — at work, neighbors, friends of friends, etc. When I moved out from my parents’ place and lived independently, I met so many interesting characters. There are those who obviously failed to do what’s right or what they’re supposed to do but still desperately fight and reason out. It’s exasperating, yes, but it’s silly to keep your anger till you sleep. But you never should let anyone step on you.

3. Friends

Ah, friends… This year, I’ve seen friends reveal their true selves and it’s painful as it is worth being grateful for. A friend who sold me out, a friend who hides from me just so he can escape paying his debt, a friend who sided with his paranoia and told other people, a friend who always says he misses me but never initiates spending time with me, a friend who got deeply hurt after she wasn’t greeted exactly on her birthday, a nosy friend who likes being the center of attention by meddling in my affairs, a friend who sought for my help and company during her time of need and completely forgot about me when she got promoted,  a friend who never showed up when invited, and friends who would rather listen to gossip than get it straight from me.

How ironic, these are the people who told me that I’m too kind and forgiving, that I’ve got no enemies, that I like telling stories in an animated way but I don’t gossip, that I am cautious not to hurt other people’s feelings when I point something out. Obviously, being selfless didn’t pay off. I’m not going to go about and be selfish, this time. I will respect myself, that’s what I’d do. But have I forgiven them? Yes, out of respect for the friendship. Now, it’s time to know who are worth keeping and I see how maturity and genuine love make a friendship last.

4. Family

My family will always be there. I’ve outgrown the little, hurts and fights with my siblings, and the trivial disagreements with my parents. Now, we deal with bigger issues, bigger responsibilities. I reckon problems and misunderstandings will continue coming in but I now know how communication patches holes and prevents matters from getting worse. My parents have always required for everyone to be at the dining table for whatever meal that is and when we go to church every weekend or go to the province for whatever occasion. Now that we’re older and my parents can see that their children have their own lives and families (I consider my best friend and pet family), I feel how they are slowly (initially painful) coping and accepting and understanding the art of letting go of their babies. Hurts from my family are truly the most painful, but these also bring the most joy when they’re forgiven. And so it doesn’t happen again, you learn from the miscommunication. You learn from the misjudgment. You learn from not accepting who they are. And that’s how you don’t forget.

Those that matter completely bring you down when they hurt you, intentionally or not. And there are those that just come and go. Ultimately, pain is to stay not to punish you, but to make you strong and make you appreciate those who acknowledge your worth.

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