When Forgiveness Means To Walk Away
Getting hurt is one of those things that we all have to go through at some point in our lives. Forgiveness as well. Getting hurt by someone we love and care about makes the pain 1000% more real (and of course more painful).
It is one of those wounds that cannot be easily fixed or fixed at all. In other words, it is impossible to use a little plaster to cover a massive hole. The pain seems to become unbearable when the other person acts like they don’t even care.
Whether it is friendship or romance, there is someone in that relationship that is invested more emotionally than the other. It is just the way it is. If you happen to be the person whose heart was broken by someone you deeply cared about, my bet is that you are probably the person who I am talking about. Please continue reading.
ARE YOU IN A ONE-SIDED RELATIONSHIP?
It is heartbreaking isn’t? You gave your entire heart (and years) to someone you thought you knew and loved. It’s more; you have done nothing but to love and care for the other person. But what they have done throughout the years to truly show you the same?
Think about it carefully. Analyze it overall. Who has given more? Don’t think all of this in terms of isolated, temporary moments that seemed to have been happy when all was well. Think about the difficult moments, the critical ones when you needed them the most. Was the person present?
Let’s think about possible scenarios that can illustrate these points. Lets us ask uncomfortable questions that can help us uncover the reality and not merely sugarcoat it. Sometimes when we love others, we are blind to the answers because they hurt too much.
THE QUESTIONS NO ONE WANTS TO ASK
Perhaps they lied to you too many times even though you have given them countless chances to change? What about if they ignored you for months because they have made new friends but they refuse to admit it?
What about if you have been the only one mostly initiating contact? What about if the other person refuses to acknowledge any wrong doing on their part and instead tries to blame you?
What about if the person has been mean to you? What about if you have been sick and they never bothered to call you to ask how you were feeling?
What about if they knew you were sad/depressed and never contacted you?
Doesn’t all of this sound like the person no longer wants you in their life and they don’t care about you?
How is it possible that someone you cared about and loved has been acting this way towards you?
WHEN YOU BECOME AN OPTION, NOT A PRIORITY
Sounds perhaps ungrateful, isn’t? After all, you forgave them more times than you are prepare to admit, you never lied to them, you were there for them when no one was around, etc.
And now that they met new people and they have changed (without them realizing it), they discarded you like an old shoe without any consideration whatsoever.
You see, you have been their safety net for way too long. The person they can keep on the side just in case something else doesn’t work out.
You have been an option rather than a priority. You have become the unconditional friend/lover willing to do whatever it takes to keep them in your life. And trust me, they know it.
When someone stops showing that they care about you, believe them. Caring for another human’s well-being regardless of how you feel about them, is what makes us…well… human and if someone is incapable to show this very basic human trait, do you believe they are worth keeping?
YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO FIGHT FOR ANYONE
Relationships shouldn’t be like war where you have to “fight” for the other person to love you and care for you. When someone truly loves you and cares about you they don’t necessarily say it but they show it.
No amount of excuses, reasons, rationalizations can change the fact that if someone truly cares about you they will make the time, they will put the effort and will do ANYTHING in their power to be there for you.
I’m pretty sure after reading all these scenarios and questions, you think I am going to say the other person is guilty (and rant about it). But the truth of the matter is that they aren’t guilty. People treat us the way WE let them.
LOVE HAS LIMITS
Loving someone means there are limits to that relationship. It includes giving someone way too many chances to change. Why? Because at the end, since they know you will keep forgiving them no matter what they do, they lose all respect for you.
Communication is key in all types of relationships but if you have to constantly tell a person how you feel and they do not change it, you need to understand that they do not respect you. This is one of the “side effects” of giving someone way too many opportunities. And when respect is lost, the relationship is over.
Sometimes loving someone means to say NO, I am not going to do this anymore. I am not going to allow you to take me for granted any longer; I am not going to allow you to ignore me, I am not going to contact you unless you truly show you care.
ACTIONS NOT WORDS
You need to judge situations by actions not by words. The person might tell you they care and yet show you all the opposite. They might have told you in the past how sorry they were for their actions but now they are saying it wasn’t so bad after all (and they rationalize it this way in order not to feel crappy about what they have done to you).
They might even try to pin it to you: “if you haven’t done X, we wouldn’t be here”. The truth is that they know exactly what they have done and this is simply a defense mechanism. By blaming the other person, they get to feel better about themselves and how they have treated you. Deep inside though, they know.
THE REAL TEST
Just the other day, someone asked me “How do you know if someone loves you?” I simply said: “They will show it to you”. Full stop. No excuses, no reasons, nothing but actions. If someone suddenly is so busy that they cannot check the messages you send, call you back etc., you need to read between the lines and analyze if they are truly busy or they are simply busy for YOU. There is a big difference.
You are obviously not a priority. Often times, the busy is hanging out with friends, partying or traveling with people they want to hang out with. Busy means in this scenario “I am busy just for YOU”. And you need to read the message quickly. Love is a verb, not a noun.
THE REAL REASON BEHIND FORGIVENESS
After someone is deeply hurt, it is difficult to conceive the notion of forgiveness. It is only natural to feel angry, sad, annoyed. The bigger picture though is that forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it is for US.
Without forgiveness, we will not be able to move on and enjoy the wonderful things life has to offer. We will be wasting time on emotions, energy, thinking and analyzing what exactly went wrong.
Sometimes, you don’t need those answers. All you need is to find peace within yourself knowing you did everything you could to make the other person happy.
IT ISN’T ABOUT THEM, IT IS ABOUT YOU
Think about it this way, you don’t have to live with the thought that you hurt the only person who truly loved and cared for you, or that you lied to them or treated them poorly, etc. And even though the other person may no longer want to admit how they have treated you (or they might rationalize it and try to find all sort of excuses or reasons), it is important to understand that all of this isn’t about them. It is about you.
Perhaps the person isn’t affected at all by this and they are moving on with their lives like they only crushed an ant. The truth is that sometimes, difficult times unmask people and you get to see them thoroughly. You should be grateful for that. But you can only control your life, your emotions and you need to learn to let the Universe handle the rest.
WHEN FORGIVENESS MEANS TO WALK AWAY
Forgiveness sometimes means you can get back to the person and try to mend the relationship if both parties are willing. But forgiveness sometimes means to walk away for good. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. It means that you wish the person well despite all the hurt they put you through.
It means that because respect/care has been lost in such a massive scale, you choose not to be part of that person’s life anymore.
Sometimes you are still so hurt and angry that you need to walk away because you do not want to end up hating the other person. Hating someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You are above that despite the pain you feel right now.
Walking away means you are protecting yourself and the other person, even though you might think they don’t deserve to be protected.
DO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR SELF-WORTH FOR ANYONE
Even in love/friendships there are limits. How much more can you possibly give? Your limit should always be your self-worth and self-respect. If anyone messes up with these two, they aren’t worth keeping. Sometimes, they might not want to recognize any wrong doing or try to project the issues to you (like it is your fault). What do you do?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It might be hard to accept but one has to understand that sometimes the BEST thing to do is NOTHING at all.
What the other person thinks, feels and acts is irrelevant to us forgiving them. We forgive them because they have been an important part of our lives. We forgive them because we need to move on in life with people who will appreciate our love and care.
Forgiveness is about us realizing that sometimes you just cannot be in someone’s life. And due to respect for yourself, you have to walk away and let the person be.
WE MODEL WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT
Take a hard look at the people around you. I am quite sure there are individuals who have shown you how much they care about you. Those are the people you need surround yourself with and share your love and heart. If you don’t have any friends like that, then it is only a matter of time until you find them. Until then, continue healing and let your heart be filled with love and peace.
Sometimes, people just don’t realize what they have done to you. Perhaps their lack of consideration/care/love comes because they have not been shown the same by others.
We model what we have been taught. But trust me, once you let someone know repeatedly what they have been doing but they make no attempt to change it or make excuses, it means they don’t care enough. It should be your cue to walk away out of respect and love for yourself.
Life will provide countless opportunities to meet new people. The greatest thing is that you will become someone’s best friend, someone’s confident and be there for the person when they need you (just like you have been doing).
The other person also will meet new people but with time perhaps they will realize your friendship/relationship was one of a kind and they will never meet anyone who cares about them the way you did.
Sometimes, they will never realize this because they accept the love they think they deserve. But it is their journey to discover, not yours.
And even if your love for them vanishes little by little like leaves on an autumn tree because of all the things they put you through, it doesn’t mean you stop caring for them as individuals.
You do, but from a distance.
HEALING YOUR HEART
Whatever you do, always remember from the start to measure someone’s heart by their actions.
Heal your heart by seeking caring souls that need their burdens to be lighter, become hope in someone’s despair. Be the type of person that doesn’t hurt others.
Be kind to unkind people, they need it the most. You can become the reason someone believes in the goodness of others.
Forgiveness it’s not because they deserve it, it’s because you do.
And sometimes forgiveness is about loving yourself enough to realize it is time to move on.