I forgive, but I also learn a lesson. I won’t hate you, but I’ll never get close enough for you to hurt me again. I can’t let my forgiveness become foolishness.
This is possibly Tony Gaskins’ most famous quote, and for good reason too. These two mere lines hold a lot of power within them, how? Let’s elaborate.
Tony Gaskins is talking about lessons here, life lessons in particular. When life teaches us a lesson, it’s for our own good, it’s for us to know what to do and not to do later on in order to avoid a certain scenario or a mistake. Take the example of being cheated on; once a person gets cheated on, their trust is broken, their insides hurt, their depression and sorrows take over them. But there is also a very good lesson to be had from all of this sadness, it is to not make the same mistake of giving that same person that same level of trust again, hence the quote.
This quote can be used on giving people second chances (or the lack thereof). If you’ve been hurt by someone, it is essential that you forgive them (for your own wellbeing and happiness), but you should always remember the misery they put you through in order to not let them hurt you twice. The quote reads, "I can’t let my forgiveness become my foolishness", which is very true as we are fools if we let someone take us for granted for a second time after learning the lesson the first time.
I can use my own very recent example here, as I’m the fool Tony Gaskins is talking about. When I got cheated on, it was one of the most devastating experiences of my life. I was completely torn apart from the inside. I stopped eating healthy, I stopped going out, I stopped smiling. All in all, I had lost every ounce of happiness I had in me. And then, after a few months when I got back on my feet, my ex came back to apologise. After some contemplation, I forgave her. But it didn’t stop there, I wish it had but it didn’t. She asked for a second chance and against everything in my existence, I gave it to her. I was the fool here and I got a second lesson soon after. She cheated on me a second time after two months of asking for forgiveness. Hence, lesson learned the hard way.
Don’t be like me, don’t be a fool. Forgive them, because it frees you from your own demons, but do NOT forget, for your own good and for your own well being.