The most basic definition of forgiveness is: to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake. It doesn’t, interestingly enough, involve forgetting, and in most extended versions, it involves differentiating between condoning or excusing the actual offenses, and letting go of the angry and hurt emotions caused by the behavior. There is often stress on letting go of the anger without diminishing the acknowledgement for the mistake.
The definition is fine, I guess. What sucks the potential function right out of the lint laced treasure trail is all the morality we had to wedge into whether or not we do it when we’re supposed to, or as much as we’re supposed to, or as nicely/freely/eagerly as we’re supposed to. Like if only we could never be angry at all, then we’d be the bestest of humans, the mostest loving of truthing.
I’m relatively certain anger got a bad rep because someone showed up late one too many times without an apology and then didn’t like it when Casilda shit rage pellets from her sphincter of doom whilst screaming, ‘Quit fucking with time that isn’t yours you chapped grundle buttered crevice!’ all over Gregory, who was, still and thoroughly, convinced he was a good guy (generally). Aside from our need to control things and our anxiety around confrontation, there’s not much that makes our tendency to have disdain for anger a reaction with actual backup. It doesn’t even make practical sense: A) I will stop being angry when I am not the fuck angry anymore and not a minute sooner. Possibly consider the wild idea that my anger is there for a reason and the reason is someone fucked up and so I get to be angry about it. B) Concluding that being angry about the way that I have been treated means anything shitty about my growth as a human or my clarity regarding decision making and choices at large makes you both ignorant of me as a person and ignorant of anger as thing that people feel because actual reasons. C) Why the hell would I want to let go of my anger, when my anger is the flavor that tells me my dish needs different ingredients? Why in good fresh fuck’s name would I want to let go of my anger and still hold on to the hideousness of whatever Gregory has done now? Why.
Unfuck the idea that choosing not to forgive someone is unhealthy. Unfuck it forever till it optimistically grows a third nipple nubbin, names it Happiness, and spends the next eternity trying to squeeze peace and satiation from its milkless end. Let’s also forever unfuck the idea that holding someone accountable is somehow worth less if we are angry while we do it. Let’s further and additionally unfuck the idea that someone who allows (allows, y’all! Because it’s your fault you’re upset. What were you wearing anyway) themselves to be upset is diminishing their capacity to be truly happy.
Happiness often treks hand in hand with the anger that burned away your doubt. The notion that the two cannot exist together or must happen in certain percentages or at certain times is absolute fuckery. Fuck a forgiveness platitude, and fuck forgiveness itself if it isn’t what you want to do.