I’d like to begin this piece with a confession: I watch Being Mary Jane and I love it. In contrast to the dramatic and somewhat shameful first season; this season, Mary Jane uses her platform to touch on prominent issues in the black community. The show has strategically highlighted issues with race, women, family and controversy in the workplace. While watching the very last episode of this season, emotions that I was sure had been buried over time, began to arise. By the end of the episode, I was angry. Angry with my past and the situations that I’ve had to endure. I was angry that I’ve always felt as if I had to be the bigger person and annoyed with the complications that I’ve had in my friendships over the course of 10 years. I said to myself “you’re a strong woman”; and while I believed it, it wasn’t good enough for me. I began asking questions to the air around me. Why do I always have to be the bigger person? Why can’t I ever express how I truly feel to people? Why can’t I hurt someone who never apologized for hurting me first? I began to realize that these feelings were accompanied by thoughts that I had been having lately of saying a few rude comments to someone who I feel deserves the harsh truth. Someone that has hurt me over the years yet barely apologized for doing so. While I’ve convinced myself that I’m healed, I can’t help but realize that I may never get over the drama and pain that this person has put me through.
In the moment of these questions and realizations, I wanted so badly to do something. I wanted to let my emotions lead my actions and the first thing I could think of was Facebook (which has become our answer and platform for emotional expression and general communication above face to face and phone calls). I wanted to comment on her Facebook status’ and say something true yet harsh. Next, I thought about creating my own Facebook status and referencing her just vaguely enough so that only a few people could identify her. And while these both seemed like viable solutions to my pain and frustration; deep down, I knew that they would solve nothing. At the very least they would make me feel a little better, but they would fail to solve the actual issue here; which is unforgiveness.
These emotions were weighing on me so heavily that when I awoke the next day, I could feel the remnants of their pain. After saying good morning, my husband could instantly detect that there was something wrong based on my tone and countenance. I shared with him my Being Mary Jane experience and the emotions that surfaced afterwards. He made me realize that I was dealing with unforgiveness and through our conversation I concluded that sub tweeting or even directly commenting on a persons Facebook status is a passive aggressive way of approaching resolution in any relationship or situation. While it often feels good and may even get the point across, I have to admit, it’s a bit cowardice (for lack of a more politically correct word). I’d rather just make a direct comment on this persons Facebook status but then what will that do? It would make me feel like I’ve extracted revenge but then it would create an awkward vibe between us and most likely questions in their mind that could lead God knows where.
Am I at the place where I want to discuss these wrongdoings head on with this person? No. I don’t want to. And while it’s a natural feeling, it’s also my problem to deal with. I can’t blame another person for the way that I feel and for my decision to keep these feelings buried inside of my heart. Sub-tweeting is easier. And sometimes, it actually works. But I know for a fact that I am not a person that was built to address issues on Facebook let alone without direct and intentional conversation. I hate it, but unfortunately I will have to choose to express myself and my emotions directly or continue to live with them while silently building resentment and frustrations in my heart.
My choice. Because ultimately, forgiveness helps me in the long run, not the other person. I am the one with the trapped emotions and questions. I am the one with the pain. I am the one that suffers silently when I see this person, even when it is on social media. I am the one that has to make the choice to be healed; otherwise,I’m making the choice to remain damaged.
So now, I ask myself everyday what I will choose. Will I continue to roll my eyes every time I see or think about the people that have hurt me? Will I choose to have a conversation? Or will I simply choose to forgive them of their wrongdoings and move on? One thing that I have committed to, is that I will not give in to my urge to passive aggressively address hurt. Either address it boldly,or forgive and move on. Neither of which are easy but ultimately they make for healthier relationships and a healthier me.
Who haven’t you forgiven? Have you fallen into the sub tweeting trap? Have you made a decision to forgive or are you walking around with pain and unforgiveness in your heart?
Colossians 3:13 ESV Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Matthew 18:15 (NLT) “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.