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Toyosi Phillips: I Am A Forgiver

Toyosi Phillips



I was stupidly forgiving. I called it my strength. It pleased me to forgive people, to let everything go and give no further thought to what had been said or done. I took insults and abuse in good stride. I forgave even before I was asked. I welcomed anyone back, scratch that, I invited everyone back and called it my strength.

“I’m a forgiving person.” That was the lie I told myself but the truth is it wasn’t genuine. It wasn’t any rubbish strength bestowed on me. I forgave out of guilt and fear.

Guilt because my many sins paid regular visits; the wrong I’d done others. So who was I to hold a grudge or dwell on any insult? Who was I to stay angry and ask for space to process stuff? No. I had to let everything go and forgive immediately. Guilt…and fear.

I forgave because I feared being alone, because I needed the attention and validation that family and friends offered, because I feared that secrets I had shared excitedly and in trust would slip through angry and malicious lips if I stayed angry. So I forgave.

I was not a forgiving person. I was a scared person cloaked in guilt till the truth hit me and you know what they say about the truth.

I had an honest conversation with myself, mo ba ori mi s’oro and just like that… light pierced the darkness. The cloak was lifted and discarded. I learned to let people walk away but more importantly I learned to walk away. I learned to give myself time to process things and forgive with wisdom. I learned to validate, respect and be honest with myself. Most importantly I learned to stop magnifying things I had done. Nothing was belittled but nothing was magnified either. I started living in the present and working hard towards the bright future I was told about in Corona. (Shout out to Mrs Tokolo and Mrs Sasegbon 🙂 )

Now I’m a true forgiver but I no longer pine after those who have finished playing their divinely-charged role in my life. I’ve learned, and am still learning that life is one big revolving door. Wisdom has taken over emotions.

SO… if you can relate, especially if you’re still in the “cloak phase”, get rid of the guilt and fear and truly live. Live in peace. Live free. Let go of every weight not just because holding on won’t do you any good but also because like someone I know would say, “it doesn’t worth it”.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Danie Nel

Toyosi Phillips is a Lagos-based producer, presenter and writer. She produced and hosted “The Gist with Toyosi Phillips”, an entertainment show on SaharaTV New York for two seasons and co-hosted Sahara FM's weekly radio show from 2014 to 2015. She guest-writes for different publications including Bellanaija and Genevieve Magazine and is quick to mention to everyone that she saw Oprah at the 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans. Her vlog turned talk show, "As Toyo Sees" will be airing on networks world wide soon. For more news and updates, - Subscribe to her YouTube channel (Toyosi Phillips) - Check out her website - Follow and interact with her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn @toyosiphillips


  1. adeola

    November 7, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Let go of toxic relationships, especially those who steal joy and take your energy away
    ‘It doesnt worth it jare”

    • G

      November 7, 2014 at 2:42 am

      self love….

    • Ivy

      November 7, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Toxic jobs too. Biko, I cannot kill myself for anyone. Why do most business owners undermine and insult staff? It doesn’t make the staff work harder instead it pushes them to get a better job. Boss will shout at a grown woman and she will be crying……say wetin happen? Business owners forget that once your staff is happy, they work harder and ultimately bring more money to the company.
      Pardon my rant

  2. A. MONE

    November 7, 2014 at 12:50 am


  3. kafui

    November 7, 2014 at 12:56 am

    nice piece


    November 7, 2014 at 4:14 am

    why the straight face??
    like seriously..

  5. Gorgeous

    November 7, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Some people will even use your forgiveness to destroy you the more. I learnt to put such people away very quick. It only becomes a bad situation when you find one in your family. How can you possibly put that person away??? Most times, forgiveness is not enough

  6. Grown Woman

    November 7, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Very true,i would relate this to rships.Some people can really hold grudges for days even after saying sorry like a thousdand times.”I learned to let people walk away but more importantly I learned to walk away ” If someone molonger serves you right, its time to walk away.Fear should never be a driving force in a rship.

  7. Neo

    November 7, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Once you have identified the true motives behind why you forgive a heart of forgiveness is something to take pride in. There are some things we already think we would never be able to forgive till they are done to us. People hurt people yes, but the decision to get over that hurt is on us. If you hurt me I will ask God for grace to forgive but the decision whether you will ever occupy any role that gives you the ability to hurt me again is solely mine.

  8. praise

    November 7, 2014 at 8:08 am

    This piece liberated me. It spoke directly to me. I am at a point in my life where I need to let go of so many people that have held me down for so long and I am asking myself if it is the right thing to do. Thank you Toyosi

  9. Mashauto

    November 7, 2014 at 8:20 am

    One thing to remember all the time is forgiveness and trust are two different things. Yes I believe in forgiving people before they ask for forgiveness but stop trusting them.

  10. Efe Tommy

    November 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I can relate to this piece in so many ways. Thanks Toyosi for lifting my dpirit up, u were spot ON!

  11. Vladmir

    November 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Please, how do I send my article to your team? I want it posted.

  12. dapo odejimi

    November 7, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Toyosi, weldone, keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. toi

    November 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm


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