the goodbye letters (final)

the goodbye letters

unforgiveness

noun

/ʌnfə fəˈɡɪvnɪs/

  • not willing to forgive or excuse people’s faults or wrongdoings
  • anger or resentment towards someone for an offence, flaw, or mistake
  • feel angry about or wish to punish an offence, flaw, or mistake

Dear Unforgiveness,

It’s so hard to say goodbye.

Holding onto you was how I punished the perpetrators of my hurt. It’s how I would mete out justice. Felt like if I let you go, they get away with it, and that just made me angry as hell.

But you’re too heavy for my shoulders, comrade. I don’t get to keep you and be free from pain, too. How’s that work? How’s joy and love and peace live in the same house as vengeance and resentment and bitterness?

The weight of your presence makes me a prisoner.

The wrongdoing isn’t mine to punish – you had me believing I was qualified to play judge and executioner, but I won’t be fooled anymore – I have better things to do than to hate the people who (and the things that) stole my joy from me.

Even sans apologies – I choose to forgive.

I acknowledge all the harm done against me, but I will not be held hostage by it!

This is for my emotional wellness. This is for victory.

Listen man, I’m not about to be besties with the people who hurt me, but I can release them from the really big, really unhealthy room they’ve occupied in my heart.

And I’m forgiving me, too. Yes – I forgive myself – over and over again. I am worthy of that bit of kindness.

This is farewell, and I’ve sealed it with a prayer and a mustard seed.

So then, goodbye, old friend.

And good riddance!

Weight-less and free,

Dusty

“Hard time forgiving/ Even harder forgetting/ Before you do something/ You might regret friend/ This time I will be/ Louder than my words/ Walk with lessons that/ Oh, that I have learned/ Show the scars I’ve earned/ In the light of day/ Shadows will be found/ I will hunt them down.” Seinabo Sey, Hard Time

“People withhold their forgiveness, thinking that it makes them badass. But really, the unwillingness to forgive is merely the wishing that things were better. You wish that you had better, you wish that someone else were better so they could have treated you better… it’s you making wishes. And that’s not badass. To forgive is to be able to look at the person and say “I accept that you weren’t any better than what you were”, “I accept that you were you and couldn’t have been what I wished you to be”, “I accept that things were the way they were and weren’t any better.” The ability to forgive is intertwined with the ability to accept the reality of the way things are/ the way a person is or was. You stop wishing things and you just accept. And hope is what says to you: “One day you’ll have what’s better.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

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the goodbye letters (#4)

the goodbye letters

self-sabotage

/sɛlf/ and /ˈsabətɑːʒ/

noun

  • the act of undermining a personal cause
  • any underhanded interference with personal productivity and work
  • the act or process of hampering or hurting ourselves
  • the act of deliberately stopping ourselves from achieving success

Dear Self-Sabotage,

I’m a perfectionist. It’s a strength, and it’s a weakness. It’s a strength because it pushes me to excel, but it’s a weakness because if I weigh the chances of success, and decide that they are low, I tend to get stuck; or worse, I don’t even try.

You’re that inner voice that keeps telling me I should be working harder, and if I’m not, I’m already doomed. You’ve chained me to a work ethic that’s rooted in believing that I’m not doing enough because I myself am not enough. And so my efforts feel like I’m punching a wall.

I know some of your other lies, too: “No one will care about what you have to say!” and “It’s already been done – except better!” and the most severe, “You’re running out of time – your window of opportunity has already passed!” It’s the most defeating one because it kills hope; and well, “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”.

I can barely think for all the lies you scream at me. And that’s your whole point isn’t it? To stop me from thinking, and therefore doing, and being.

I’m enormously talented. Yep – I said it! The opposite has been so ingrained in me for so long that it even feels like a lie to say this – but it’s true. And it’s for that reason –my talent, my drive, my opportunity to give to a world so in need of love and beauty – that I am parting ways with you.

The enemy within, making way for the strength to fight the enemy without.

I will not doubt my success, anymore.

I will not expect to fall as I rise, just because rising feels so far from the ground.

I’m going to touch the sky!

This is farewell, and I’ve sealed it with a prayer and a mustard seed.

So then, goodbye, old friend.

And good riddance!

More than a conqueror,

Dusty

“Unless we learn to know ourselves, we run the danger of destroying ourselves.” 
― Ja A. Jahannes, WordSong Poets

“So I forgive what was taken from me/ I will be free from the picture you paint you see / Tell them ‘these troubles are out of your hands’/ Tell them ‘you’re free to use them to clap and dance.’” – Seinabo Sey, Pretend

the goodbye letters (#3)

the goodbye letters

control

/kənˈtrəʊl/

noun

  • a means of limiting or regulating something
  • the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events

Dear Control,

The funny thing is that my struggle to let you go is part of the problem, isn’t it?

On Sundays when I lie in bed and think of the week ahead, I like to know that I’ve already sorted out what’s coming ahead. But sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we plan for it to.

Sometimes life is the maybe, the what if, the in the event that. Sometimes life is full to the brim with variables, and all we can do is let it be.

That drives me crazy. I like for things to go according to Plan A, to be set, to be certain. To complete the sentence with a full stop, not a question mark. Finality.

I lowkey think I wasn’t built for the variable, but I know that’s not the case, hard as it is to accept this truth.

So I’m breaking up with you. I’m letting you go because I know that if I do, I open myself up to a life of adventure.

I know that if I do, there is an endless world of surprises waiting for me. Some are good, some are bad, and that’s okay. Both these will make me better, if I learn from them. If I l view surprises as art, then I can appreciate the creativity of life.

I know that that a hand that is closed cannot receive.

I know that a mind that is bogged down with details and blueprints cannot expand.

It’s not me, it’s you.

This is farewell, and I’ve sealed it with a prayer and a mustard seed.

So then, goodbye, old friend.

And good riddance!

Forever free,

Dusty

“For now he knew what Shalimar knew: if you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.” -Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

the goodbye letters (#2)

shame

/ʃeɪm/

noun

  • a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour
  • dishonor or disgrace

Dear Shame,

I’m ashamed of you, how about that?!

I’ve carried you because it’s easier to sink into you than to fight you off. Then I have to imagine an existence that isn’t dependent on me fading away, and that takes a certain kind of creativity and courage I’m yet to master. I cannot master it, though, if I don’t try. Masters are merely students who kept trying. And didn’t stop learning.

You’re slick, you know that? Your biggest trick is that you make me feel embarrassed about not being able to fulfill obligations that were never mine to fulfill. Who said I had to be perfect?

You blow everything out of proportion. Damn it! Why didn’t I see it sooner? You’re just trying to make me miserable, because you’re miserable too.

Oh, dear Shame – you rob me of intimacy. I can’t be in community and covered in shame, too. You’re a leech like that (“Shame is a soul eating emotion,” CG Jung said. Gosh it’s true!). You take wellness as your sacrifice like the spiteful witch that you are.

I deserve to laugh without feeling like I’m cheating.

I deserve to hope without remembering how I failed in the past.

I deserve to dream without fear that I don’t have what it takes.

I deserve to be me without being disappointed that I’m not someone else.

I deserve better.

This is farewell, and I’ve sealed it with a prayer and a mustard seed.

So then, goodbye, old friend.

And good riddance!

Living in love,

Dusty

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” – Brene Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

 “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” – Brene Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame