My dog spends a lot of time outside. She sits by the backdoor, squeaking and wagging her tail in circles, waiting for one of us to let her out. She spends hours out there, just sitting. This confuses me because for most of her life, before she was rescued and adopted by my family, Nessa spent all of her time outside, uncared for and unloved. Now I love dogs, probably more than I do people, so I will never be able to understand how any person is capable of some of the things that rescue dogs endure but what I find myself constantly amazed by is dogs' ability to forgive. People tend to generalize and group things together; I am stubborn as hell and am likely to hold a grudge. People see a single instance of violence or incapability and apply it to all people who share similar characteristics. This is the basis for all kinds of harmful stereotypes regarding race, sexuality, or gender. But for my dog, people and the outdoors have done nothing but neglect her but everyday I come home I am greeted by her love and a nudge towards the backdoor.

This is not a metaphor for loving what hurts you. The prevalence of this in media is harmful, unhealthy, and sometimes even dangerous. Things or people that hurt intentionally and repeatedly do not deserve that type of devotion. This is a metaphor for forgiveness, not for the sake of anyone or anything that left you feeling broken but for your own sake. So you can begin untangling yourself from everything you have been conditioned to believe. So you can find new people and new loves. So you can sit outside for hours and hours everyday just because it makes you happy.