I’m a Scorpio. The Zodiac is a fickle thing I guess, but why don’t we indulge for a moment? This seems to have a lot of bearing on who I am as a person, though I’m not totally convinced that star signs are a real thing. Whatever. My dear reader, perhaps you know what my title entails. Perhaps you don’t. Let me clearly define this for you.
JK, I’m not going to do that. I’m only going to paraphrase it.
Scorpios are dark, broody, and mysterious. Adorable. They feel a lot of emotions. Cute. They hold grudges until someone sticks them six feet in the ground and then they dig that shit up and come back to haunt the fucker who did them wrong. SO ENDEARING.
I’m sorry! I’m just going off what the internet tells me.
Had you talked to me before The Burn, I probably would have agreed with you on this bleak character assessment. It is what it is and I am who I am. Why would I ever forgive someone who raped me? Why would I ever forgive someone who abused me? Why would I ever forgive someone who broke my heart?
Because that’s what people tell you to do. The path to happiness? Forgive them. The path to self-acceptance? Forgive them. The path to loving yourself? Forgive them. But this type of forgiveness is based in fear. Fear that you will never move on. Fear that you will never be your full self without acknowledging this shit. Fear of losing a part of who you had been. Say ‘yes’ because it is the right thing to do.
That isn’t forgiveness- it’s acceptance.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Burning Man and my recent exploits in life- it’s that the only path to forgiveness is to forgive yourself- wholly and truly. This means telling yourself that ‘it’s not your fault’ multiple times a day. It means believing it. It means that whatever happened to you was not your fault, but the fault of someone who couldn’t see themselves for who they were. It was the fault of someone who was so incredibly damaged that they felt the need to take it out on you.
On that note- the people that perpetrate terribleness against you? They don’t know any better. They are the product of their own upbringing. Their parents raised them to be the person they are today. And do we blame the parents? I mean, we could, but they, again, are only the product of their domestication. And so it goes, until someone breaks the cycle.
For example: if someone tells a child that they will never be attractive unless they are under a certain weight limit, then that child will grow up into an adult who has body issues- a woman who hates their body and actively attempts to destroy it. This isn’t their fault- it’s the fault of the person who told them at age 10 that they wouldn’t be good enough if they didn’t conform. It can be hard to see outside of that idea when it is something that has been instilled from such an early age. But, it is possible to break that confine.
I just read this incredible book The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz (thanks to its recommending party). It’s a very short and simple read, but it presents these ideas that are completely confounding and life-changing, at least for me. There’s a bit in the end about forgiveness that struck me quite hard:
…We must forgive those we feel have wronged us , not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because we love ourselves so much we don’t want to keep paying for the injustice.
Forgiveness is the only way to heal. We can choose to forgive because we feel compassion for ourselves. We can let go of the resentment and declare, “That’s enough! I will no longer be the big Judge that goes against myself. I will no longer beat myself up and abuse myself. I will no longer be the Victim.”
I finally understand. I finally feel compassion for myself. I finally see that I am only abusing myself by hanging onto anger and resentment. I get it. And I want to let it go. I love myself (star sign and all).
So, I forgive you, not because I feel you deserve to be forgiven (at this very moment), but because I deserve that forgiveness. I thought about going into details here, but I won’t. It doesn’t matter. Whatever I’m holding onto that a certain person perpetrated- it doesn’t matter. I forgive you, and that’s all there is.
It wasn’t me- it was you.