“The strongest person is not the one who conquers others, but the one who conquers himself.”— anonymous
My daughter placed her head on my heart tonight as we lay in our pj’s getting ready to fall sleep.
She looked into my eyes listening intently.
Shiyara interrupted my day dream to say, “Its not tired.”
“What’s not tired honey?”
“Your heart is not tired mommy. It’s making music so fast.”
There are so many things we forget as we grow up. We think we have all the answers because we have seen it all before and sometimes lived too much and are jaded. We feel we can’t learn anything new, but another person’s view on life like that of a child can change the way we think.
I do get tired and sometimes I think I can’t do all the things I should. I both underestimate myself and then judge myself but my daughter’s words tonight made me realize a profound truth that I had forgotten.
Whether sleeping or in stress, despite judging myself or thinking I am incapable, despite all the false narratives I have written about myself….the truth is my heart is never tired. It can take it all. The only thing I need to do is remember.
As I sat at dinner yesterday I finally found a moment at the end of the night to talk in a hush to some more friends in the corner of the room as Syria waged on TV (which no one comments about, no facebook posts, no protests, nothing).
We ended up talking about love and forgiveness. “Love is about forgiveness and if you cant forgive then you cant love.”
The conversations helped me understand that I don’t understand people. If they were raised with me and lived what I did maybe but the reality is no one lived how I did which was in polar opposition to the mainstream. So I don’t always get people and I assume why things happened the way they did until friends give me another vision and version of the truth.
My friend listened as I recounted the events of the past few months and my dilemma at the moment to forgive right on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. She observed me talking.
All my girlfriends have identified that I usually don’t listen to anyone because I can’t. I need to go through the experience versus hearing the summary and warning.
I think that I am a tough girl. I think that my heart is hard but the truth is that I can easily forgive but when I forgive I want to start over, start from zero whether that is possible or not. I fight to not forgive because if I let the reins go, I would run into the arms of everyone who has done me wrong and want to stay whether that’s healthy or not.
I guess like everything it goes back to our parents. It all starts and ends with my father. Still. Even in Morocco. If you press me, I am here in this country because of him. Unintentionally and yet knowingly I can acknowledge this. The complexity of forgiveness still follows me.
I could forgive. I guess I already have on some level but I hold on to the anger because I don’t yet have a better way to juggle being worthy enough to be mad over injustice and being worthy of letting it go.
The anger also allows me to hold on just that much longer while protecting myself because when I do let go of the anger it will be gone forever.