How I Learned To Forgive


Every single night I do the same thing.

I wash my face, brush my teeth, do the neti pot, and then I sit in front of the mirror and softly comb my hands through my dreadlocks with lavender oil. Even if I’m dead tired–I still perform this little ritual.
It’s been over seven months now, and I know each dread as if they were my children. I know which ones have weak spots, which ones are loose, and which ones have loops that absolutely drive me crazy. And as I rub my hand over them with lavender I practice letting each one of them be the way they are meant to be. There’s not a whole lot you can do about dreads. In some crazy silly way–they have their own life to live–their own way to express their experience adorning my head.

And so every night, I sit in front of the mirror and watch myself as I practice letting go of control–one dread at a time–one thought after another.

Some people get married, others have commitment ceremonies, I get dreadlocks that stretch to the middle of my back. These matted ropes of hair symbolize the truth and path I have deeply decided to venture.

No matter how distracted I may get–I can’t escape this decision. They are there as a constant reminder of what’s important. What my life is worth living for.

I didn’t enter into this decision lightly–both the dreads and my spiritual journey. I knew what I was asking for. I knew what I was deciding. And that is to walk a path of light and love–of being FEARLESS in the face of adversity.

What I am about to say comes from the softest place in my heart–the place that even I try to hide from. Lately my decision to place my spirituality as number one priority has been something that makes me crumble and fall apart. It is not always easy to choose love– to choose love. I may preach this like a professional, but I have been falling flat on my actions to follow through.

This week 10 people who I have never met sent me emails accusing me of things I know not to be true. I took these as attacks and like any good soldier gathered up my arsenal and began to rally up the troops. I let myself tumble into anger–I even let myself take on the hurt that was coming through these emails. And I decided for myself who is worthy of love and who deserves to be shut out. This is my path…my space–I decide what to do.

And then late Wednesday evening as I brushed lavender in my hair, I realized each person that wrote me was like a dreadlock themselves–each person that wrote me had weak spots and loops that drive them crazy. Each have a journey they need to live–each have a way that only they are capable of expressing it.
Who am I to decide who is worthy of love and who is not? Who am I to decide who I encounter on this journey–who I touch or don’t touch. Each person that comes into my life is here to teach me how to love. Each person who comes to me is here for me to learn how to travel more deeply on this path I have chosen so heartedly and seriously.

So instead of going straight to bed, I turned on my laptop again. I wrote each of those 10 emails back and I filled each word I wrote with love. I really took the time to try to pick away the fear and pain that was present there–and to instead address that all of us are connected at the heart.

I put down my sword, I put down my pride, I put down all the thoughts that were keeping me locked inside my mind….and I chose to love what is in front of me….I chose to be the purest form of FEARLESS there is. I chose to give of myself to those that hurt me.

And together we both learned how to forgive.


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