Forgive yourself for falling head over heels for the person who only wanted you part way. Forgive yourself for letting him dictate your almost relationship, for letting him call the shots, and for letting him decide when he wanted to hang out. He was the sweet talker and a charmer, he had a kind but immature soul. Yet, it was so easy to fall for him. And so much harder to let him go. Forgive yourself for letting him in, and for falling for him, despite the fact that he only wanted a part of you, and not all of you. Forgive yourself for answering the late night calls. Forgive yourself for looking for meaning in his half thought out texts. Forgive yourself for letting him in, when he never planned on letting you into his life, or heart, in return.
Forgive yourself for putting so much energy into holding onto that one friend, who was slipping away no matter how tightly you clung. Forgive yourself for letting her treat you poorly, for allowing her to cancel plans 9 times out of 10, and for allowing her to walk all over you. Forgive yourself for letting her make you feel like you weren’t enough, for letting your friendship with her make you feel inferior and insecure. Forgive yourself for holding on to her when she wasn’t meeting you halfway, or even a quarter of the way. Forgive yourself for thinking that her lack of investment in you meant that you were boring, or not a good friend.
Forgive yourself for seeking closure, when he was already gone. Forgive yourself for feeling needy or clingy, especially when he never answered your calls or responded to your voicemails. Forgive yourself for feeling heartbroken when he never reached back out to you. Forgive yourself for thinking it wasn’t really over, when in his mind, it was undoubtedly over. Forgive yourself for feeling embarrassed when it was only you he seemed to need the closure after all.
Forgive yourself for that year of college where you tried to be who everyone else wanted you to be, rather than being who you actually were. Forgive yourself for drinking much more alcohol than you wanted to, and for kissing many more boys than you had planned to. Forgive yourself for trying to be there for everyone else, and neglecting to be there for yourself. Forgive yourself for acting like a different person, around each friend, just so that your hopes of being liked could be validated. Forgive yourself for not knowing who you were, and for giving in to social pressure so that you could feel like you fit in.
Forgive yourself for loving him long after he loved you. Forgive yourself for giving him your whole heart, over and over again, just praying that he would give you his heart in return. Forgive yourself for getting back together with him, knowing that he no longer loved you. Forgive yourself for grieving for for countless weeks and months after he left you the final time. Forgive yourself for holding on for so long, for having hopes that he was the one. For praying that your screen would light up with a “just thinking about you” text. Forgive yourself for investing your whole heart into someone who could no longer adore you in the way you deserved to be adored.
Forgive yourself for not always loving the people who loved you first. Forgive yourself for overlooking all of the care and love that was being sent your way, because you were preoccupied with the “wrong” kind of love. Forgive yourself from running from the comfortable, and seeking the excitement, even if it often came with immense hurt. Forgive yourself for choosing the people who made you feel insecure, just because you thought you were more important if you chose these people.
And most importantly, forgive yourself for never taking care of yourself. For choosing others over yourself. For feeling like you had to change to fit in. For feeling like you were never enough when you were being yourself. For feeling like you weren’t good enough for the people you wanted to have in your life. For feeling like you weren’t loved unless you did what everyone else was doing. For hiding who you were, under diets or alcohol or fake friendships and relationships. For choosing to be a person who you thought was more likeable than the real you.
Maybe you can’t unlove the person who couldn’t return your love. And maybe you couldn’t have made your friend stay, no matter how hard you tried. But at the time, you were just searching for love. You were seeking to feel both needed and comforted. You were seeking to be cared about by others, to be good enough for others. You were searching for everything you thought you were missing, when in reality, all that you wanted was all inside of you all along.
And maybe it’s okay that things worked out as they did, because in time, they taught you that mistakes happen, and that this is okay. They taught you, in retrospect, that love is never something to be ashamed of. You held on to people. You valued people. And that is nothing to be ashamed of. That guy who couldn’t love you? That was his loss not yours. In the words of Christina Yang, “He’s very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are.” And for all of the times when you pretended to be someone you weren’t? You were just trying to be accepted. And that’s not a flaw or a weakness. But what is more important than being accepted by others is being accepted by yourself.
Forgive yourself for all of these moments when you put others above yourself. Loving and investing in others is never a crime, so long as you invest in yourself first. So long as you love yourself before you love another. Because you have it in you to know who is serving you, and who is hurting you. And if you begin to choose yourself, letting go of the people and the behaviors that no longer lift you higher will become a whole lot easier.