Forgiveness

The hardest thing to do.

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The bullets at the end of this post may seem conceited and arrogant. Well, if you know me and you think that I am conceited and arrogant, then you just don’t really know me and I have the benefit of not caring what you think. I’ll take a second to briefly explain why these bullets are anything at all.

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I’ve made some pretty big mistakes in the past 8 months or so. The kind of mistakes that hurt some of the people that I care about the most. Luckily, for me, I believe I have received forgiveness from the people I have hurt (for the most part anyway, not everyone believes in forgiveness). But I’ve still been struggling internally. I have discovered that, for a person like me, forgiving myself is the hardest thing I have to do and I haven’t quite gotten there yet. I’ve seen counsellors, I’ve talked with the people I’ve hurt and I’ve been able to establish reasons, lots of reasons, stemming as far back as my childhood, for why I’ve acted the way I have. For why I made the decisions that I did. I am realizing that going through that process was actually terrible for my psyche. When it comes right down to it, those “reasons” are excuses. I did what I did and that’s it, I made decisions that hurt people, period. It’s like this. When a serial killer gets put away, psychologists and behavioural analysts will look into the persons history and will establish the warning signs or triggers that explain why this person went on a killing spree. Well, that person, unless outside their own mind, was under their own power, they made their own decisions. There was no puppeteer controlling their actions. In a similar example, when someone commits suicide these days, we immediately assume that person had a mental health issue. I recently watched a documentary where a woman said she had no idea her husband had a mental health condition until after he killed himself. Well that could very well have been true in that specific case, and I imagine that lots of suicides are the result of a mental health issue. However, there are people who just simply make that choice. Who look at their life and decide it’s better not to be a part of the world any longer. How do I know this?Because I’ve made those considerations, I’ve written a letter in my head saying goodbye to people I love because I feel that those people are just better off with my memory rather than anything else. For me, that’s a choice, I took an analytical approach, thinking about how other people would feel and what I want for myself and I made a choice not to take my own life. This choice is just the same as any other choice I’ve made in my life.

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My history has nothing to do with it, people go against what they’re ‘prone’ or ‘likely’ to do all the time. This realization is important for me. I don’t get to lean on any excuses. I don’t get to rest on an emotionally and sexually repressed childhood. I don’t get to rest on my personality and it’s propensity to do things that others don’t expect. I don’t get to rest on anything. So all of this to explain that, it’s hard to live with what I’ve done to people that I really truly love, and always will (see previous entry on not losing love). What now follows is an attempt to gain myself back. To make realizations I’ve made in the past, to not forget why people have fallen in love with me in the first place.

1. I am an encourager. It’s literally what my first name means. Whatever it is that you do that makes you happy, I am going to tell you to pursue it. If I have any knowledge or wisdom, I’m going to pass it on to help you. Not only that, I’ll support you in any way I can. Going to your show or exhibit, talking to you about a struggle, just being there to do dumb shit if that’s what you need. I want the people around me to be happy, and I will encourage those people to make it happen for themselves.
2. I am really interesting. I think more about daily events than most people think about big existential crises. And I think in a different way as well, my view on life is a direct result of an adapting worldview, and I’m not afraid to talk about it.
3. I will help. It doesn’t really matter who, what, when or where, I will try to help. If you need someone to talk to, I will. If you need someone to buy you a beer, I will. If you need someone to pay for dinner and forget about it, I will. If you hitchhike, I will pick you up (if my kids aren’t in the car).
4. I’m no comedian and I’m definitely not the funniest person among my friends but I am funny. Usually in action instead of word, but in word too. People sometimes think my humour is dorky but whatever gets you smiling right?
5. I’m 31 and still pretty attractive. I’m not turning any heads on the sidewalk but I mean if I was the last guy on earth I’m sure you wouldn’t be that broken up about it. But if you wanted to repopulate you would have to learn how to reverse a vasectomy. (You probably just smiled, see 4)
6. I am pretty damn intelligent. One of my past flaws is that I don’t work hard or really apply myself as much as I can. Not trying hard gave me a 79 average in high school after almost failing grade 9, and a Bachelors degree with a 3.4 (of 4) GPA. I was recently in a job interview and was asked a math question, not only did I finish the question in my head before the interviewer was done asking, he had to use a paper and pencil to confirm I was correct.
7. I’m a fucking whiz kid with the written word.
8. I have this innate ability to get people to do what I want. To convince people of things. I realized this in the later years of high school. I purposefully did not practice nor hone that skill because it’s just rude in my mind. So I don’t use it. (Sometimes it happens by accident because my awesome just can’t be reigned in all the time, but whaddya gonna do?)
9. I am marginally skilled at a lot of different things. Think of any activity: sports, canoeing, rock climbing, reading, photography, driving, swimming… I can do pretty much anything, some things not very well and some things really well, I mean I won’t win any awards but it makes me flexible if someone wants to do something and hang out.
10. I don’t hold grudges. Basically if I think you did something to wrong me, all I need is to tell you about it one time and then I’ll be good. I have an ability to understand everyone’s point of view and that includes their motives. Therefore, I’m not going to hold something against you unless I know you purposefully tried to hurt me, even then, I don’t know, forgiveness right?
11. Everyone likes someone that sings in the shower and the car right?
12. I’m the guy that when you think up something crazy that no one will do, and you say “I bet no one would do __________”. I’ll do it, at times only because you said no one would. I just might need tequila first.
13. I care. About a lot of people and a lot of things. Generally I have really pure intentions, I never want to be the cause of hurt or pain. This might seem basic, that everyone is like that. It’s just not true. Some people just want to watch the world burn.
14. I am annoyingly polite, don’t believe me? Introduce me to your mom.
15. I do belly flops in pools.

Thanks for reading about how awesome I am. Help me remember when it seems like I’ve forgotten.

-Ben

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