This Is How I Learned To Forgive You

girl reflection
Lane Jackman

I had always prided myself on being the ‘cautious one’. I protected my heart from anything or anyone that might hurt me. I was comfortable in this feeling, like wearing your coziest sweater in front of a crackling fire. It was all I knew.

Sometimes however, things do not go according to plan. Sometimes, a person just walks into your life and disrupts everything you ever knew. And just sometimes, you will want to give that person a chance. You will want to give them a chance because they seem worthy of your attention, time and energy. You will want to give them a chance because you want to feel wanted and special to someone. You will want to give them a chance because you want to understand the deepest parts of them and you want them to understand yours. And so, you will give them a chance.

When you give someone a chance to know your heart, you also give them the opportunity to break it.

Because we are all messy humans, sometimes the person won’t know what to do with your heart. Maybe this person has had their own heart broken before by another person. Or maybe this person has broken their own heart in some way.

Regardless, I opened my heart to someone. I expressed my genuine thoughts and feelings.

And I did this willingly, expecting to receive the same treatment in return.

This was my thought process: “If I treat this human with kindness, compassion and the utmost respect, then this person will have to treat me the same way. After all, why would you want to hurt someone who cares about you?”

I am unsure why I thought this. People hurt others, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. And just because you treat someone a certain way, does not mean you will ever get that treatment back.

After all, marriages end, sometimes after 20 years or even more. Relationships built on the strongest foundations can crumble. I knew this then and I know this now, but it did not stop me from going all in.

Ultimately, I gave my heart to someone whom I thought wanted it. And maybe this person did at some point. But life happened and this person did not know what to do with my heart or their heart, for that matter. 

I have spent a lot of time reflecting, sometimes crying, sometimes being angry and even sometimes laughing over what happened.

I have also spent time being mad at myself for ‘letting’ this happen to me.

I now understand that I can’t let this define me or my definition of love.

I should not beat myself up for putting myself out into the world and caring about another human being. If anything, this was brave of me, for even trying.

I cannot be responsible for the actions of another human being. I can only be responsible for my own actions. And through my own actions, I was selfless, thoughtful and caring in this situation.

Through this situation, I have to allow myself to recognize what I learned about myself during all of this.

Some things I learned: 

I am more understanding than I thought.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt (this was really shocking to find out).

I am compassionate.

I have a lot of love to give.

I like to take care of people.

These are all things I never knew about myself honestly. Now I am glad I know a little more about myself, because this will only serve me better in the future. You really can’t love another unless you know and love yourself.

I hope those who don’t know or love themselves find the understanding and peace they need. I can no longer be mad about someone’s inability to meet me on the same level, if they lack understanding of themselves and the people around them.

Whoever has hurt me, I forgive you. I only wish you happiness. 

As for myself, I look forward to all that is yet to come. TC mark

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