Isn’t it funny how life sometimes causes you to remember to forget, but never forget to forget? I came upon this first-hand a few weeks ago when I saw the Managing Director from my first job where I was fired for being gay. I was walking towards my car and I heard this person shouting out my name and giving me the BIGGEST hail EVER! I looked back as the car passed me, trying to figure out who it was and the person said, ‘this is me Ivy!’ I was like okay waved and kept walking…and the thought came to me, did she remember treating me like dirt because of my sexuality? I smiled because the man I am now, have NO problem with her or her past actions. I just thought to myself, how would the 31 year old me explain my forgiving her to the 21 year old me?
I could see the 21 year old me saying remember when your manager called you in her office on a daily basis to ask you how you were feeling and if everyone is treating me okay? Even when she knew they weren’t because she NEVER let me forget that if it came to her job or mine well…How could I forget the way they belittled me and made me less than human…making me question my existence on this planet. I sometimes wonder how I didn’t take my own life when it was SO hard for me to understand who I was @ that time.
But I know that I didn’t because back then I knew that as humans we judge others by what we think we see and TOO frequently our judgments are incomplete. I don’t have the need to set myself apart from what they fear and I’ve learned that though there is NO excuse for how I was treated, I understand where their fear was coming from. In the words of Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them.” If we are quick to pass judgment on others, we forget that they, like us, are human beings. As I traveled my path, I bear in mind that we VERY seldom know what roads people have traveled before we encounter them or why they came into our lives. But I know that the natural thing for me to do is accept that experience and still grieve for the way things ended up.
I would hope that the 21 year old me would understand that bitter feelings ONLY allow us to become perfect victims in that we no longer feel obliged to work toward healing and choose instead to identify with our pain. So while we all are tethered to the earth, existing in bodies, our physical selves can seem burdensome at times. So as I carry this welcome burden from my past, I know that I am WHOLLY present in a body and that gives me a better understand of my place on this planet. So I hope that I get to see each and everyone of them so that I can show the 21 year old me that @ 31 I have moved past what we were to them and ourselves and I feel blessed that I went down such a path because now that I know better, I can do better…