“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” -Pema Chödrön
Running away from problems and moving on. That’s how I’ve spent most of my life. I’ve never begged to an ex to come back to me, nor I’ve claimed my father for all the time he never gave me. I don’t think I’ve ever truly felt the pain of a heartbreak because I’ve buried the small tragedies of life within the walls of myself. I never let myself mourn the end of seasons and I can’t actually tell which part of who I am prohibited me to scream and cry and ask questions. Which knowledge, traumas, or experiences I’ve used to act like this? I don’t know. That’s who I’ve been forever.
Whomever knows me well can attest my dislike for confrontation, big or small. I have this tendency to accept things without questioning and move forward instead of embracing and communicating disagreements, disappointments, frustration, heartbreaks or pain. I don’t even discuss those things with myself. I close chapters and live okay with that.
Lately, I’ve imagined and felt all those things I’ve buried coming out from my opened chest. I lost Azul and I acted as I usually do. I cried a bit and wiped away his smell. Hid his things. Went back to work. Little I knew that my good boy wouldn’t let go of me that easily. I have suffered every bit of his absence until the present day. I have hidden to smell his things, see his photos, and cry. I have watched other dogs and cried. I have thought about getting a new dog and cried. I have come home after work still believing he’ll be there and cried. I’ve had happy thoughts about him and still cry.
Welcoming someone in my life that genuinely cares about me and gives me all the attention I haven’t had in a while, has (maybe) helped me to open up with myself, to let go of control, to feel spoiled, to be taken care of. And as well, I’ve had to face all those things that hurt me and I ignored; from my childhood to the recent years. I have relived over and over the night my dad left home, the times I left home, the times I’ve broken someone’s heart, the time someone’s broken mine, the days when someone’s hurt me with words or actions, the moments when people’s been unfair, the times when I’ve have changed who I am to please other people, the moments when I’ve put everything else first… And again and again, the day I had decided to let Azul go.
I can assume that the things we’re able to ignore in the moment are the things that we forgive. With time, when for some reason we’re able to open up our wounds, we end up needing to forgive ourselves. Forgiving us for not taking care of things when we should have. Forgiving us for not being vulnerable when we should have. Forgiving us for not understanding the power of pain and grief when we should have. And forgiving us for not accepting that suffering, losing, and failing is elemental in the journey of becoming.
If that’s a thing, I’m recurrently forgiving myself. Some of those open wounds are still fresh, still healing, and still, I am in the quest for reasons to forgive, and to be kind. Forgiving will be recurring since we continue making mistakes and learning. We never stop forgiving, and even if it’s ourselves, is a magical thing.