"Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has something to forgive." - C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
As the new year settles in, I can't help but reflect and recall all of my achievements that have led me to where I am today. Many of you can relate. The reward is worth the laborious effort. The reward of self-contentment. Although, every now and then, pride and pain seem to rear its ugly little head and bring up the bitter end of a relationship. There are so many unanswered questions and words that we would like to express if given the chance, but reality is, the daunting task of forgiveness doesn't settle until oneself acknowledges the pain, instead of sweeping it under the rug. We've all been there, the tantalizing promise that "we can still be friends," or "maybe we can try again," but such wishful thinking is a dangerous game of "Sorry." Sometimes, we wish that it never happened, that we never met the person, that we can be happy again. But, that's the thing about pretending, when there is no one else around, you're only fooling yourself.
Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator
Now there are exceptions, there are rare occasions when exes do become friends and move on with their lives, but that doesn't apply to everyone. Like many, some try to beg or bargain the relationship back, that it was unfair for the sudden end, and that this is just a setback. That was a mistake I made, that I wish I knew sooner, not to search for the answer, but to save me the time and energy to discover tranquility with singleness. Nevertheless, the grieving process for a person is not just extreme cases such as death, but also for temporary problems such heartbreak. It will take time and intentionality to better oneself. Good news for a heartbreak is, you don't have to face it alone. There are about seven billion people in the world, and there isn't one person who hasn't experienced the heartbreak of losing someone they most cared about. As humans, we were made to be around one another. Sure the bitter end of a relationship is never pleasant, but dwelling in self-pity and guilt won't change a single thing. This is a perfect opportunity to discover your identity: new hobbies to try, changing eating or sleeping habits, reflecting. You may never receive the apology you so deserve, but you can forgive yourself and forgive the person that left that emotional scar. Wounds will heal, but your life is short, dwelling on the past and worrying about the future will slowly drain and kill you from the inside out.
Forgiveness is never easy, it's a process that requires a will to want peace, joy, and love. If I didn't experience the bitter end of my relationships in the past, I wouldn't have patience to be content. To love myself, as I love others. First steps to forgiveness are acknowledging that you are hurting, that it did hurt when somebody you confided in intimately hurt you deeply, that your trust was broken, issues may have occurred in communication, or that it wasn't a healthy relationship. It's easier said than done, I know, but recognize that forgiveness isn't a walk in the park, it's more of a goal-oriented ideology. Setting goals to forgive an ex, may look like getting out of bed for some, then progressing to picking up old talents or even discover new disciplines. Writing is initially one of my strongest coping mechanisms along with listening to music, prayer, socializing, selfless services, cooking, etc. The advice I've heard from an upperclassman in college said this, "You have to be okay if you are to be single the rest of your life, otherwise you will never experience the peace you deserve." While the counsel was difficult to swallow, he made a good point. It doesn't matter about setting a time limit to finding the "right person," nor does the "right person" exist. Pickiness is putting on the rose-colored glasses, expecting the desired traits and qualities. Do realize, that you might be attracted to someone with opposite characteristics than yourself. There may be some traits in common, but primarily, both parties of a couple have different strengths and flaws.
For me, it's been almost eight months since I was in a relationship. Before that one, it was about a three-year period of singleness and contentment. What I thought was patience, really was the denial that I wasn't exactly ready to jump into intimacy again. I needed to wait longer and to grow in some areas. I'll admit curiosity was my gluttony, I've always had a constant drive to know everything. But, with more knowledge, may also lead to more sorrow, alternatively, knowledge is good. Knowing that the pain of my past, and the weariness of the future, has shown me that I cannot move forward if I am stuck where I'm at. I had to look at my past this way, like unpacking a suitcase and repacking it. I had to throw away the junk that was holding me down, and replace it with every fond memory that has brought me here today. As for the future, I have no clue what will happen, let alone be promised if there is a tomorrow. This could be my last night on earth, but that doesn't matter. What matters now is the ability I have today to impact myself, the community, and everyone else around. There's always someone going through pain, and it's not necessarily our job to fix them, but to point them forward in the direction where they can find peace. Nobody was made to walk this alone.
Eventually, when time passes, progress is steady, growth within oneself has shown improvement, you begin to realize the blessings you do have and who you have in your life to support you. One day, a time may come when you're ready, when you are to share life with your future spouse and pass on the legacy of a life verse. If there are still some heavy chains dragging, maybe it's time to apologize to yourself or make that step to make amends and move on. Regardless of what it is, just know this, you are loved, you matter, and that you're not done yet, God still has a plan for you, and the very person you may be waiting for is waiting right next to you, it just may be the right person, wrong time.