please forgive me

Please forgive me.

I haven’t known what to say here for a while now, so I figured I’d start with those words because this is the kind of thing you say when you realize that you’ve done the wrong thing.

Initially, I thought that so much needed to be said about what’s been happening, so much that I just didn’t know where to begin. I quickly realized though that I am easily overwhelmed by the constant supply of social media bombardment that is the sum total of friends and followers sharing their opinions and feelings about what’s happening. I have frequently tapped out from it all in order to manage my own care and focus, and I just allowed myself to embrace silence, to feel numb, to just be as I am in the moment.

The distance away from social media has been helpful, I think—it has provided me the space to look at life more deeply, and I have far fewer words to say than I initially thought because it doesn’t make sense to have a lot to say when you’re just wrong.

Right now, it seems to me that I am much more culpable than I ever once believed when it comes to this broken system we currently inhabit, and I feel incredibly humbled by that reality. I am starting to think of myself much less now that I realize that I have been calling wrong right for quite some time, that I have been oppressing folks all while trying to live anti-oppressively.

Allow me to explain.

Those that follow my writing on this blog know that I’ve been trying to figure out how to manage my sexuality. Admittedly, I’ve still not been incredibly successful at my attempts for alternative positive celibacy. I keep getting caught up, sabotaging my attempts to abstain for some extended period of time for casual encounters here and there.

I’m not proud of this for a lot of reasons, but I think the primary reason is that casual sex, pornography, and other selfish means of obtaining sexual pleasure are completely counterproductive when it comes to living anti-oppressively.

This is me realizing that I have been treating some people, especially the attractive ones who I don’t know so well, as objects for my pleasure rather than as PEOPLE, as other real human beings created by God.

So really, this is me asking forgiveness for the countless times that (you and) I have treated people as objects, as property, as commodities, as playthings, as prizes to be won, as obstacles to be overcome.

It may not have led to someone being raped or murdered, but that’s no justification. I’ve done it in body, mind, heart, and spirit, and it’s not just at all.

Even worse, I have justified in all kinds of arguably problematic ways like “I’m grown,” or “look but don’t touch,” or “I’m not hurting anybody,” or “I’m just having a good time,” and it’s still a whole bunch of mess that’s just not right.

It can’t be.

It cannot be justice when we call something right when that something is wrong. It cannot be real justice. God, forgive us for the times that we’ve justified our wrongdoing as righteousness.

I’m focused on me in a lot of this, but I say “us” here also hoping that someone else will resonate with this, that some other people will also take seriously the ways in which they see people as anything other than actual people.

In my estimation, that’s a core part of the problems we have in this world.

So you will miss me at the organized marches, peaceful protests, and staged die-ins—that’s not the lane for me right now. Maybe one day, but not today.

Today, it just seems so counterproductive and hypocritical to fight against one kind of oppression while engaging in another kind of oppression, even if the latter has been justified time and time again.

Today, and for a lot of days ahead, I will be praying for forgiveness and seeking repentance for the ways that I have been oppressing and objectifying other people. That will have to be my justice for now because I cannot understate how silly it feels to have been contradicting my own life mantra of “love love love.”

In short, please forgive me, and pray that I “love love love” a lot a lot better.

Love Love Love,

Jesse

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