How many times are we told to forgive a transgression? Like it’s a prescription. It’s supposed to make us better or so the story goes.
The point being what? Enlightenment? Brownie points in heaven? Feeling good inside? I wrote recently about how yoga has made me feel more vulnerable and more forgiving towards myself and sometimes others. It’s true. I mostly feel more open and aware of my own heart.
It’s also unlocked some deeply buried pain. Pain most especially from the men in my life who haven’t just hurt me but keep coming back to hurt me again.
And I have let them.
And let them.
(I take responsibility for that, for the record.)
Recently in yoga, my teacher said, “Yoga stirs things up. It brings out the darkness and the light.” It does. Life does. As a reflective person, I’m realizing how important it is to truly honor all the parts that come up. She said, “Namaste means honoring all the parts of us. The light. The dark. The demons and the demigods. ” I gave a very emphatic Namaste in class that day.
This is the work. Honoring all of it.
But as a “good Christian woman” I was only taught the forgiveness part. I wasn’t taught about boundaries. I wasn’t taught how to use the F word. Wasn’t taught to say FUCK YOU nearly enough.
I wasn’t taught to draw some boundaries around myself and my own psyche with an energetic sword. With my tongue.
In the past, I’ve received negative feedback about having a sharp tongue. Guess what? I no longer give a fuck. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how I say something; if the person who did something hurtful doesn’t want to be held accountable, they will push against whatever words are spoken. After years of therapy, I’ve learned that it’s really okay to speak my truth and ask for what I need. That’s how trust is built.
I can forgive people but not let them off the hook. Amends need to start being made for bad behavior. We are doomed to keep repeating old patterns until we stop the cycle. Sometimes the cycle is stopped by a good, solid FUCK OFF.
Today, I honor my demons and demigods. I honor my Mars in Aries self. I didn’t come here to fuck around. I didn’t come here to play small.
So I won’t.
The glorious Helen Mirren was quoted as saying,
“At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘fuck off’ much more frequently.”
I find myself wondering how different things might have been for me in my life if I had been raised in a culture where women were encouraged to draw boundaries more often. I wonder if so many women would have fallen prey the abuse from Harvey Weinstein if we were encouraged to speak truth to power and expect to be listened to instead of told to forgive and carry on or worse, threatened for doing so.
So, lovelies, now you have permission. Like most powerful tools, use it judiciously but use it all the same. I did recently and guess what? It felt amazing.