Arn't I A Woman?: Forgiveness



Apr 12, 2012


Forgiveness is a really important tenet in life. You’ll never find peace if you hold on to things that make you angry or upset. But there is a difference between forgiveness and letting someone/something back into your life that isn’t good for you. Forgiveness, for me, is contingent upon moving on from something or someone. You can forgive because you are ready to let go.

I’ve been on both ends of forgiveness. A little over a year ago, I lost one of my best friends ever. We had a huge fight and ended our friendship ostensibly. A situation came up which required both of us to be together in an intimate setting. We talked a little before hand, and while it was kind of uncomfortable, I realized what was going on, that she forgave me, but didn’t need or want me in her life anymore. When it came to being around each other, we were civil, more than civil, we were able to even kick it and it wasn’t weird and it was actually quite nice. It was nice to let the anger subside on both sides and be happy for each other in our new lives.

We didn’t call each other after that and kick it and become friends again. We achieved closure and released the pain and anger from what had happened. But we couldn’t go back to how things used to be. That just wouldn’t be healthy for either one of us. It’s important to know when to let go.

I think when someone has hurt you deeply, you can forgive them but only in rare occasions can you trust them again. And often when you let someone back into your life like that, it can sometimes relinquish those feelings of anger and hurt. It brings back memories and reopens old wounds. I try to always believe the best of people, and I know that I have hurt people in the past so I try to give people second chances because I hope other people would do the same for me. But when something deep happens, I’m just not sure it works like that.

For me, it’s not healthy for me to be around people that have deeply hurt me and that I have a long history with.  Or even vice versa, it’s not healthy for me to be around people that I have deeply hurt. It brings me back to a place I never wanted to be at again. It sucks that it’s like that. I used to think that’s what forgiveness was, being able to let someone back into your life that has hurt you, or just getting over something and having things go back to normal. I thought that was how forgiveness works. I thought I was a bad person if I couldn’t do that, like I was leaving things unresolved. If I forgive someone, shouldn’t I be open to having them back in my life?

I guess I’ve realized forgiveness is about moving on. And you can’t move on if you’re haunted by your past.

Just some things I’ve been thinking about. 

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Sojourner Truth

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention

Akron, Ohio