Fuck the Past

At any given moment, you have the power to say: this is not how the story is going to end

~ Christine Mason Miller

Have you ever made a mistake you thought was terrible that you simply couldn’t forgive yourself? A mistake you thought was so bad that you sunk into depression? A mistake that made you wonder silently if you’re not probably the stupidest person alive?
Well, here is my story…

I was in this relationship for almost 4 years. Though he said that he loved me, his actions proved otherwise. But I continued to see the relationship for what it could be, rather than what it actually was: toxic. There were lots of things that I thought I could ignore or shove under the carpet. Then he hurt me, on purpose. He cheated intentionally. I, on the other hand, not knowing better, kept wondering silently what lacked in the relationship that gave room for such betrayal. Perhaps love is truly blind.

Despite it taking me months, I came to terms with reality that it wasn’t much of a relationship, at all. It was just a fantasy world created from his half assed efforts, with a strong foundation in delusion. It was entirely unsatisfactory! I used to think that I was never good enough for him. I was constantly coming second to dozens of other girls. I thought I was the main chick, but I was being played. I was led on, for almost 4 years. I thought he shared my love for him. Then the cheating happened and photos on his social media accounts broadcast the fun they were having, status updates said what was on his mind or announced his availability, commitment or something in between. When I questioned him about it, he quickly pulled them down and denied it! Hehe. I kept quiet but I’d seen everything! I tried harder than anything to forget that but I couldn’t. He made me feel completely worthless. He emotionally ruined me. However, I finally realized that it wasn’t me not being good enough for him. And these words have resonated with me for some time now. 

Later, I was overcome by shame. How could I be so stupid? Why did I tolerate such behavior? Why did I allow all that to happen? This terrible feeling continued. Flashing before my eyes, I saw all the opportunities I had to walk away, but I had chosen the other way. I would be so close to getting out, but he would call or text, and I would blow it again. I would fail myself again. The logical-side knew the truth long ago, but the emotional-side nearly destroyed it. Sure, emotions keep one from being cold and cruel. But they can also cloud vision and enable scum to try to create a mess.

After walking in and out of the door so many times, he taught me to lock the door. The hardest and saddest part was to stop fighting and just walk away. But then I thought why should I be sad? I had lost someone who didn’t love me but he had lost someone who loved him, genuinely. Not only was I done investing my time in him, I also cut him off completely and burned down the damn bridge, instead of running around absorbing and forgiving everything. Sometimes, you got to be cold to show people that you were being loving (and understanding) the entire time.

Looking back, now, I wonder how I even tolerated such unhealthy behavior. No matter how hard I tried to forgive myself, I continued to beat myself up for this. I couldn’t shake off the feeling. Even after the break up (for lack of a better term), I continued to experience shame and self-loathing thoughts. But you know when you’re dealing with a person who did you wrong/hurt you, you can choose to forgive, release the hurt, and maybe not maintain contact with them anymore. But with yourself? That’s not even an option. You don’t get to quit or walk away from yourself. No!

Fortunately however, one day it gets better. You wake up and you’re not angry or sad anymore. And there’s no explanation or reason why. It just happens like that.

I can’t go back in time and fix it. However, I can recover from the mistake, learn from it, forgive myself and move on with my life. Because having had my heart broken, I learned to forgive but I can never forget how a broken heart feels. I’m learning to be selfish with me and with my time. I don’t want to reconcile with him. I want to forgive myself for not knowing better. To forgive myself for all the pain that I’ve caused myself. For not loving myself enough. I am constantly reminding myself that I deserve better than the distorted perception of love that was handed to me on a tarnished platter. 

The experience has changed me. It made me a better person. It made me stronger and more discerning. I learned the dangers of not putting myself first and not loving myself enough. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be loved in a way you feel you deserve. I deserve better than being ignored and taken for granted, I deserve better than being manipulated. I deserve God’s best for my life and nothing less. Simply because I’m worth it. I am thankful for the opportunity to grow in these ways. I celebrate who I have become because of my past mistakes.

I’m happy now

HE WILL BREAK YOUR HEART

When I started this blog, I asked a friend of mine to write a guest post.
“About what?”
“Anything. Anything that comes to your mind”
Today, she called me and sent me this.

I always thought that if my boyfriend cheated on me, I would dump him there and then, without any regret. Cheating is a deal-breaker. I imagined it would be “We’re over. Leave”. I thought I would stick to this if he cheated. Well, he did. And I didn’t.
It’s so easy to judge someone who decides to stand by their SO who’s cheated. I’ve always been such a great judge of people’s behavior.
“I’d never stay with someone who betrayed my trust” That’s what I thought. But the truth is, you never know how you’ll respond to finding out about an infidelity until you’re in that unenviable situation.

A few weeks ago, I learnt the unthinkable: my 2-years boyfriend confessed to cheating on me. And got the girl pregnant. He’s expecting a baby, in months to come. I was in extreme shock when he told me. My world was shattered. I trusted love not to leave me hanging. But that’s what happened. It was as if the world stopped turning while I was left to make sense of how the person I had such faith in, could hurt me like that. This is a twist everyone in a committed relationship dreads facing the most, and now it’s happening to me. I spent hours struggling to come up with a solution. That night I cried myself to sleep. I spent the following day in bed, crying…my eyes were red and swollen.
One of the reasons I grew to love him as much as I did and still do, was because I never would’ve expected him to do anything like that. To say that I was devastated is an understatement. The trust is gone. I can’t describe the hurt I feel.
I cried for days…and I still cry. I’m having sleep and appetite disruptions and I am losing weight. Every morning, I wake up thinking…and all the emotions I am suppressing begin to bubble up and I can’t help it but think “How could he do that to me?” My mind has a massive amount of conflicting painful feelings.

However, as worse as it feels, it has certainly helped me grow. I’ve realized how strong I am, stronger than I thought. When he dropped the bomb on me, things felt like they were at their absolute worst. But I am not dead yet. Through this painful process, I’m learning a lot about myself. I’m extremely confused by how understanding and compassionate I feel towards him.
I could punish him for the way he hurt me and refuse to let him back in. I could ignore the feeling in my gut that tells me we could fix it. I could listen to the other voice telling me that people who hurt me don’t deserve a second chance. Or I could listen to my gut feeling…as complicated as things are, the love I feel isn’t complicated at all. And that’s what is making it easier to give it another try. I know what I feel. My heart still beats for him. My feelings are still strong. And I know that whatever gain or lesson is meant to come from our story, I won’t have to live with a what-if.
My love for him has rendered me very weak. 7 years ago, I too was offered a second chance. I lied to some people, knowing that it broke their hearts. But instead of giving up on me, they tried even harder to help me. By not giving up on me, they taught me what unconditional love really is. And now I want to help my boyfriend. I love him, and I don’t want to throw it all away without giving it another try. I’m a firm believer of second chances. I put myself in his shoes, and realized that I would want a second chance too, a chance to prove that I could change. That’s what everyone deserves.
These weeks are difficult. Especially because I have to pretend to be fine. I have to smile at everyone at work. I haven’t told anyone about this, not even the closest friend I have, my mom. As much as I want to be heard and comforted, I don’t think I am ready yet to handle the advice coming from every one, blasting in my ears. For now, I just write down everything in my diary. So, this is also a way of venting out.
There’s always been an emotional block between us. Even before the incident, sometimes I felt like shaking him and saying “Open up! We’ve been together for 2 years and we’re going nowhere”. I want us to have a healthy open discussion to let bygones be bygones, figure out why the cheating happened, what led to it in the first place, how we both may have contributed to it, and about how we can avoid our relationship failings in the future. But I can’t do all the work in figuring out how to get our relationship back on track. He has to step up and work to make our relationship better.

Truth is, I am terrified we might never be able to get back what we had. Because, I don’t trust him anymore, and trust is such a large part of love. And it’s of course impossible to predict the future and know if settling down for a second time is 100% the right move. I’m risking it and I am scared.
If he does screw up again, I am confident I’ll be able to walk away from this with dignity, knowing that I gave it everything I could. Relationships take real effort, and I’m ready to get to work.

THINGS I WILL TEACH MY CHILDREN

 

  1. Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past.
  2. The most difficult challenges are often the most rewarding and satisfying.
  3. Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted.
  4. To do great things, you have to go unrecognized, be under-appreciated and push to unreasonable lengths.
  5. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find/get what you need.
  6. Loving someone and having them love you back is the most precious phenomenon in the world.
  7. A modest dose of self-love is entirely healthy (who would want to live in a world where everyone hated themselves?)
  8. Worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
  9. The real troubles in life are always things that never crossed our worried minds.
  10. Don’t be afraid of a broken heart. You’ll love again.
  11. There’s just one life for each of us: our own.
  12. There’s no such thing as perfect. Give people second chances.
  13. When one door closes, another opens.
  14. Each failure teaches us important lessons in life.
  15. Life is good when we accept failures and success.
  16. Look at life positively and you’ll find every hurdle a stepping stone to success.
  17. Good friends love you at ALL times. Period.
  18. Prince charming is a myth.
  19. Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery.
  20. Life ends up being really short, no matter how long you live.
  21. Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you.
  22. The word sorry loses its magic when you use it too often, especially for the same mistake.
  23. Difficult times help us to understand better how infinitely rich and beautiful life is, that so many things one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.
  24. There will always be mean, inconsiderate people.
  25. Keep smiling.
  26. Remain true to yourself because there are even a few people who will always be true to you.
  27. Saying sorry when mistaken illustrates strength not weakness. Saying “I’m sorry” does not come easy for most people. If you have made a mistake, confess it and come clean. Seek forgiveness and be courageous to accept punishment.
  28. Don’t promise if you are not sure you’ll do, just say you’ll do your best.
  29. “Thank you” can be an incredibly powerful pair of words, especially if the person you’re thanking really needs to hear them, or isn’t expecting them.
  30. Life takes place only in this present moment. Living in the present moment has the power to open the door to joyful living.
  31. Never take anything for granted, be grateful for everything that you have.
  32. Love is a refuge for the lonely and depressed. With it almost nothing can go wrong.
  33. If you love someone, tell them (before it’s too late).
  34. Music, music, music…makes everything better.
  35. Enjoy the little thing in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things.
  36. (Sometimes) A good cry is great therapy.
  37. True wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
  38. You can’t control what others think of you. So let go.
  39. Jesus loves you.
  40. Make efforts everyday to be your best possible self for the good of all.
  41. The good life is one inspired by love.
  42. Home is not where we live, but who we love.
  43. Seek to love more than be loved and you will be loved much more than if you seek it directly.
  44. Respect is the root of all good things. Respect for authority shows obedience, respect for others covers kindness and respect for oneself shows self-control and self-worth.
  45. Take advantage of every opportunity you get, you never know how much you can learn.
  46. Be sure people always come before things.
  47. Never do in private what you would not want the public to find out about.
  48. You will never marry someone you don’t dated, so never date someone you wouldn’t marry.
  49. If you can’t sing, sing anyway. if you can’t dance, dance anyway.
  50. Always give a hand to the needy, because they suffer.
  51. There’s more joy in giving than in receiving.
  52. No matter how sure you are of someone’s love, it’s always nice to be reminded of it.
  53. Be kind, for everyone we meet is fighting a struggle we know nothing about.
  54. Above all, fear God.

Another Day

There was a school with a class of students that no teacher had been able to handle. Two or three teachers had been run off from this school in one year by the unruly students.
A young man, just out of college, heard about the class and applied to the school. The principal asked the young man, “Do you know what you are asking for? No one else has been able to handle these students. You are just asking for a terrible beating.”
After a few moments of silent prayer, the young man looked at the principal and said, “Sir, with your consent I accept the challenge. Just give me a trial basis.”
The next morning the young man stood before the class. He said to the class, “Young people, I came here today to conduct school. But I realize I can’t do it by myself. I must have your help.”
One big boy, they called Big Tom, in the back of the room whispered to his buddies, “I won’t need any help. I can lick that little bird all by myself.”
The young teacher told the class that if they were to have school, there would have to be some rules to go by. But he also added that he would allow the students to make up the rules and that he would list them on the blackboard.
This was certainly different, the students thought! One young man suggested “NO STEALING.” Another one shouted “BE ON TIME FOR CLASS.”
Pretty soon they had 10 rules listed on the board. The teacher then asked the class what the punishment should be for breaking these rules. “The rules are no good unless they are enforced”, he said.
Someone in the class suggested that if the rules were broken, they should receive 10 licks with a rod across their back with their coat off. The teacher thought that this was pretty harsh, so he asked the class if they would stand by that punishment. The class agreed. Everything went along pretty good for two or three days.

Then Big Tom came in one day very upset. He declared that someone had stolen his lunch. After talking with the students, they came to the conclusion that little Timmy had stolen Big Tom’s lunch. Someone had seen little Timmy with Big Tom’s lunch!
The teacher called little Timmy up to the front of the classroom. Little Timmy admitted he had taken Big Tom’s lunch. So the teacher asked him, “Do you know the punishment?”
Little Tim nodded that he did. “You must remove your coat,” the teacher instructed. The little fellow had come with a great big coat on. Little Timmy said to the teacher, “I am guilty and I am willing to take my punishment, but please don’t make me take off my coat?”
The teacher reminded little Timmy of the rules and punishments and again told him he must remove his coat and take his punishment like a man.
The little fellow started to unbutton that old coat. As he did so, the teacher saw he did not have a shirt on under the coat. And even worse, he saw a frail and bony frame hidden beneath that coat. The teacher asked little Timmy why he had come to school without a shirt on.

Little Timmy replied, “My daddy’s dead and my mother is very poor. I don’t have but one shirt, and my mother is washing it today. I wore my big brother’s coat so that I could keep warm.”
That young teacher stood and looked at the frail back with the spine protruding against the skin, and his ribs sticking out. He wondered how he could lay a rod on that little back, and without even a shirt on. Still, he knew he must enforce the punishment or the children would not obey the rules. So he drew back to strike little Timmy. Just then Big Tom stood up and came down the aisle.
He asked, “Is there anything that says that I can’t take little Timmy’s whipping for him?” The teacher thought about it and agreed. With that, Big Tom ripped his coat off and stooped, and stood over little Timmy at the desk. Hesitatingly the teacher began to lay the rod on that big back. But for some strange reason after only five licks that old rod just broke in half.
The young teacher buried his face in his hands and began to sob. He heard a commotion and looked up to find not even one dry eye in the classroom. Little Timmy had turned and grabbed Big Tom around the neck apologizing to him for stealing his lunch. Little Timmy begged Big Tom to forgive him. He told Big Tom that he would love him till the day he died for taking his whipping for him.

 

*sobbing*

 

I always get teary eyes from reading this story. And today after reading this story, I thought to myself how quick we are to judge another and how terribly slow we are to recognize the walking wounded all around us.

If I had one dream for humanity, it would be that tomorrow morning we would all wake up with amnesia. We would then see the world for the first time, with new eyes, the way a new born baby sees it, except that we would be in a grown up body.

We would have no conception of what was considered beautiful or good or important according to society’s ridiculous standard of worth. Everything and everyone would be a blessed opportunity for us, just the way they are. Life would be waiting with another possibility to be all that we could be.

Another opportunity to practice the gift of kindness in every moment. Another chance to rise above our mere mortal existence and for that one grand moment in time to walk among the gods.

Another day to love.