I have seen evil smile straight into my eyes. I have heard kindness whisper lies into my ears. I have felt the searing pain of a tender touch. If there is one thing I have learned it is that meanness can wear many hats. I am not the victim and not the culprit, nor are you. We are only marionettes that switch hats interchangeably.
I hold no one responsible for the wrongdoings against me in life. I have no hidden agenda to maliciously hurt another person. Nor do you.
Yet each and every day discrimination and prejudice, meanness and harassment, bullying and sabotage reign in a portion of this big planet and in a portion in all of us.
Blame gets thrown and tossed. Punishments rarely find the deserving party. I have lived twenty-five years and some odd months to learn that the corrupt society we try so desperately to fit into has never changed. It has never accepted us. It has never made us feel redeemed. Yet, we yearn and we so desperately try to fit into some mold, which could never be fit into.
I have been raped. I have seen immediate family die. I have suffered weeks upon weeks in hospital with an ailment attacking my body. I have gone without meals. I have slept outside without a home to go to. I’ve been mocked and ridiculed. I’ve been rejected and felt beaten.
Today, I make myself vulnerable to society with the brutal and honest truth of who I am. I make myself vulnerable to the same society who has hurt me. I wash clean everything I have been internalizing. I share my ‘ugly’ with you because I know that you have ‘ugly’ too. I know that each one of us deserves better. Each and every one of us longs for something or someone so desperately. Even if we’re all in this against one another, we are all still in this together.
For someone in this world, money has found them popularity. Whether they know it, or not. Maybe it was being able to afford camp as a child, which made you that friend you’ve known all of your life.
For someone in this world, poverty has enriched him or her. Whether they know it, or not. Maybe it gave them the tools they needed to be self-sufficient in a spoiled world who’s on the brink of a depression.
Maybe never marrying can save us from being hurt by love. Maybe loving someone and marrying someone can save us from the hurt of being alone.
Maybe all the money in the world can buy that big house and that luxury car without the stress of knowing where the next payment will come from.
Maybe the stress of knowing where the next payment will come from can save us from buying a house and car we can’t afford that would only trap us into a single city for years to come.
What goes around does not necessarily come back around. Everything does not necessarily happen for a reason. There is no proof to substantiate everything will be just fine.
Here is what I know. The world is cruel. The people we find closest to us can be ripped away in an instant. They can leave us ripped into pieces. Everything we own can be lost in a blazing and smokey fire leaving us with nothing. We will never look exactly the way we want to. There will always be something we wish we could change. Blaming someone does not remove pain. Blaming someone doesn’t mean they get what’s coming.
All we have is now. We have choices to make. We will make mistakes. We will hurt people even if we don’t mean to. We can never take back our bad choices.
I have made many bad choices. I am human. You are human.
It is my choice in this moment to step forward and make this statement:
I know that no matter I do, I can never take back the hurt I have made you feel. I know that no matter what I say, I can never reverse the effects of things I have said in the past. I only have right now. I cannot expect forgiveness. My only request is that you look into me and understand why I may have said what I said, or did what I did. If I have been malice, perhaps it was in defense or retaliation. Either way, there is no justification. There is only regret and deep apologies for the hurt I have made you feel. There is only disgust that I have become what I fear the most – hatred.
To each person who I have been bullied and discriminated by: I have endured your prejudice and your repugnant and abhorrent behavior. When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? At night, do you struggle to sleep with some choices you have made? You are human. You hate and you lie and you steal and you destroy and kill and you spit venom. You are human. You love and you care and you can be kind and giving and honest.
We are our own worst enemies. We are these marionettes that switch hats interchangeably. Never do we mean to be cruel yet we are. So this, right here, is the graphic confession I deliver to you. This is the dirty truth and the heartfelt apology. This is me forgiving you. We deserve better. We are in this together. This is me making the choice to remove hatred from my life as much as humanly possible.
Can you forgive me? Can you accept my apology? Can I forgive you even if you never apologize? I will spend the rest of my days trying to be the best me I can be. I will spend every day trying to be thankful for every aspect of my life.
What doesn’t kill us might not make us stronger, but it is an opportunity to learn something. I pledge to try to find every lesson. I vow to renew my repentances often. I promise to forgive often and to never give up on the power of love.
When hurt comes to find me, even in the sweetest of it’s forms, even through all the deceit, I will remember that the individual behind it, has their own ‘ugly’.
When my body was being caressed by the kiss of a stranger, when it was violated, the man behind it, was suffering with addiction. I will forgive him.
When the friend I considered a ‘soul sister’ whom I once poured my heart into disappeared and rejected and broke me, she was suffering with mental illness. I will forgive her.
When the students at my schools smiled to my face and spread lies and hateful words behind my back, they were suffering with insecurities of not fitting in themselves, I will forgive them.
When promises had been whispered into my ears and never fulfilled, I allowed myself to be taken advantage of. I will learn and grow and forgive myself. I may never fit into the perfect mold I dream of. I cannot change what is history. I can only make the choice to do things differently now that I know better. There is no justification for wrong doings. There is only the choice to forgive and the choice to accept forgiveness or to let the burden and the darkness weigh you down.
I choose light; darkness is too heavy for me to carry on my own.