Today is a big day for me. Not so much because something has happened per se, but in that I achieved something I have been trying to do for years now unsuccessfully. Funny thing is, now it actually happened without me trying.
Last night, right before sleep, me and K watched “The Fluffy Movie”. If you’re not a fan of Gabriel Iglesias, this simply means you have never watched him on stage. Because it’s not possible to have watched him and not be a fan of his. Anyway, Gabriel Iglesias, also known as Fluffy, is (in my humble opinion) one of the best stand-up comedians ever born. And while I don’t pretend to have watched all stand-up comedians or even all popular stand-up comedians, let me tell you this: I know about funny. I know about laughter, I know what it takes to really make people roar with it, I sense in my gut when something is brilliant comedy that will make you laugh for years ahead every time you think of it.
But here’s something I didn’t know and found out last night. And that is that Fluffy can be mighty inspiring for someone going through a tough time in their life. He can be incredibly wise in what he says and knowlingly or not, he can touch the hidden chords in people, who need to let go of something. Now, Fluffy has helped me before – as simple as making me laugh when I’m feeling depressed, which can be a huge deal. He’s helped me forget my worries and enjoy life. And I love laughing. It’s one of my favorite things to do. So he’s kind of my guru in that way. Most of all, I love Fluffy because he can be insanely funny without actually being insulting or offensive or rude. But I get off track.
So last night I watched “The Fluffy Movie” with K. We were lying in the warm bed, it was late, it was just us, the cat and Fluffy, lighting up my laptop. It was a pretty funny movie – we actually had to pause the film at one point, because we were laughing for 5 minutes straight and couldn’t hear what he was saying after the story about the Indian driver and the cow lying on the road.
At some point the stand-up got more serious and personal. Fluffy has talked about his family before, he joked about them a lot, but he never let it get sad before and this time, he did. He talked about how his Dad came back into his life after 30 years of being absent. He never called, he never wrote, he never seemed to want anything to do with his son. Then suddenly, 30 years later, he was there. Fluffy talked about how angry he felt and how he couldn’t find it in his heart to forgive his Dad. How he build up this huge wall and thought for hours (and even rehearsed) how he’s going to angrily let his father know just how much he has hurt him. He wanted to punish his father, make him feel the pain of being a fail as a parent and express the pent up anger, hiding in himself for 30 years.
He described how they met and how it was supposed to be inside a restaurant or something, but they actually met outside, because they both arrived at the same time. And then Fluffy described the image of his father, who stopped stock-still … and just outstretched his arms with his head hanging low.
Fluffy didn’t know what to do. Whether to hug him or punch him. His girlfriend who was accompanying him, helped him through his anger and he actually hugged his Dad, even though he says it was the emptiest hug ever. Then they went inside and talked, Fluffy got to ask all the questions that pained him all these years and his Dad got to answer them as best as he could. And as the evening progressed, all the anger, the contempt, the anguish… just melted away. Maybe not completely, but suddenly… he forgave him.
He forgave the one person who has hurt him the most in his life, who messed him up in ways that remain hidden for everyone but his closest family. He didn’t feel the need to blame anymore. Because he forgave him.
It was one of the moments in the movie that stuck with me the most, but I didn’t know how much yet.
Because after I fell asleep, I had a dream about the one person that has hurt me the most in my life.
She was a girl who five years ago betrayed me in a way that I had seen only in the movies. She had been my friend for years and she showed me what it’s like to be hurt by someone you had completely trusted. Because of what she did to me, I had been unable to have faith, complete faith, in people closest to me. I put up these walls that no one had the right to pass and I let this utter betrayal define me. I went on the path of revenge, I wanted to hurt her. Not physically. I wanted her to feel just the ounce of the agony she put me through. I thought I’d have some closure after that. But it just messed me up even more.
All these years I had been trying to forgive her , unsuccessfully. She seemed unredeemable. She never apologized, on the contrary – she painted herself the victim in all of it, she even tried to make me feel sorry for her after everything was known and she was caught and I had proof. The words “I’m sorry” never left her mouth. I still think she wasn’t sorry. I had build up so much hate for this person. I knew in my heart she was a sociopath, an egotist and a liar. I knew she wasn’t worth it. But I still couldn’t let it go. The beatrayal, the hurt an anguish. The walls. It was all up there, simmering in me even in my happiest moments. And every time I thought about a probable scenario where I meet her on accident, I imagined me snapping at her, taking her down with words, insulting her, giving her the harsh attitude she deserves. I’ve played different scenarios in my head where I meet her and each of them ended badly. For her.
And then funny thing happened. Last night, after watching The Fluffy Movie, I had a dream about her.
I was in unfamiliar setting, sitting on a couch with a mutual friend of me and her. She walked in, holding some papers she had written poems on. And she sat down – not next to me, but next to our friend. Then she tried to talk to me. And I snapped. I yelled at her, told her to get the hell out, that she was nothing and no one and that I didn’t want to ever breathe the same air as her again, because she was poisonous. I pushed the papers from her hands and they scattered on the floor and I remember looking at them and seeing a line from a poem that said something like:
She is my burning fault and bridge, she is regrets
She is the one I failed to protect
I was filled with rage. She got up and for a second it seemed like she was about to leave. But then she turned and came close at me. And she outstretched her arms… to hug me. Her face was sincere and sad. And I froze.
In the dream, as it would have been in real life, my first instinct was to push her away, but in that very second, something shifted in me. Something lifted from me. I broke in tears. And I just hugged her.
And I forgave her.
Suddenly, in my dream, I felt light as a feather. I felt liberated. Free. It was like a huge weight has lifted from me because of that one hug from the person I had told myself I’m never going to talk to again. The feeling was amazing.
I woke up with this feeling and felt completely, utterly happy. I had forgiven. I had let go. I had no more hate, anguish, fear, vengeance in me. And this dream was the simple thing that had helped me achieve it. Her outstretched arms, extended towards my hate for her, were the redeeming part that was always missing from this situation. It was just a dream, but it was enough. After five years of struggling, it was finally over.
To wake up without a shred of hate in you, not for anyone in this world, is heaven.
I don’t know what I would do if I ever meet this person in this life again, but I know what I will feel for her. Peace, forgiveness and a little, just a little pity.
So this is why today is kinda special. I let go of a grudge I had tried to move on from for five long years. I’m back to my old self that hated no one. And I want to say a very special thanks to Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, whose movie triggered in me the realization that if a son can find it in himself to forgive his father for his total abandonment after 30 years, I can very much forgive a woman, who hurt me, because she didn’t grasp the concepts of friendship and loyalty.
So thank you, Mr. Iglesias. For showing me the way.