Saying “no” to the people you once wanted in your life, but who ended up bringing you more pain than happiness is hard. Choosing yourself over someone you once wanted so badly shouldn’t feel like you’re breaking your heart all over again, but it does. It feels like you’re constantly losing, like you seem to hurt more than they do. If they even hurt at all.
But that’s not all. You learn to second-guess yourself when you say no. You wonder if you were being selfish and closing doors on opportunities to have more friends in your life. The result of these oppressive feelings is that you forget about good things.
So, let me remind you of something good:
You are still here.
You are hurt, and it’s hard. God, I know it’s so hard. But that means you are still soft. You are still open to love and to loving others. That, my lovely reader, is bravery, because this world is not built on love. It is built on the principle of using things, consuming them, and discarding them when they are no longer useful. It is made of people who feel entitled to take and take and take, even if they themselves don’t know they are doing so.
You gave something, opened yourself to the possibility of happiness, and that was brave. Because deep down, you knew there was no guarantee to have that piece of you back. You are not selfish for putting yourself first and protecting your heart from people who don’t take the time to consider your feelings. You are not selfish for saying “no” to those people who want more of your kindness and time. You are not selfish for knowing you deserve better.
You are learning through your pain and accepting yourself as you change. And that is brave.