While it’s not a conventional thank you I would give to my family, to my gracious friends, or just kind people I encounter on a daily basis, I want to give thanks; but I want to give thanks to those who caused me pain.
Now, it’s not everyday that you hear yourself thanking the ones who treated you wrong, but Ariana Grande is right: these humans taught us lessons and helped create a better version of ourselves. And truly, experiences and people come into our lives that aren’t always meant to stay indefinitely, but these endings aren’t always just a sad afterthought — they often create life long lessons. While some small percentage of the population may find themselves in a picture-perfect relationship that leads to a Nicholas Sparks Notebook ending, for many of us that’s not the case.
Many of us have experienced heartbreak and confusion that left us feeling weak. We’ve experienced the feeling of love and being on cloud nine, only to have it mistakenly shattered. We’ve also experienced smaller lessons from the undefined “thing” we had for couple months or the summer fling that ended abruptly or the classic “ghosted” case. They all gave us some ounce of hope after the more painful experiences we’ve endured, to just end with hurt yet again.
But for everything they taught you, they deserve a proud “thank you.” There’s no need to hold onto a sense of hatred from your past but rather offer forgiveness and understanding even if it’s hard to justify.
I am thankful for someone not loving me when I gave my heart undeniably, because I learned how magical it is to offer that to someone, even if its not reciprocated. I am thankful for the times I put someone as a priority and stopped everything I was doing just to be with them, because it taught me how silly I was to rely on others for happiness. It taught me to respect my time and value whom I spend it with, and to never change my own life and goals in hopes that it matches someone else’s.
I am thankful for those who did not think I was the most beautiful person in the room and often lusted after others, because I have learned jealousy is often associated with insecurity. I am thankful for the lying because I learned how much deceit hurts and made a promise to myself that I will never deceive someone I love. These lies taught me that if something feels off, it probably is, because lies are harder to remember and eventually the truth always comes out.
It’s a strange irony that someone who caused you so much pain can bring you so much knowledge in ways you never thought you’d be thankful for. These experiences and hardships in love have helped me learn so much about myself. They taught me love and to take care of the most important relationship – the one with myself.
Thank them for the lessons, grow from each experience, and then when it happens, it’s time for the next. Thank you, next.