It’s happened to us all.
That person you once giggled with, bought presents for and told all your secrets to, acts in ways you’d never imagined, and you question yourself, as if somehow you are responsible for another’s misdeeds.
Was I not a good enough friend? Am I an idiot for trusting someone like this? How much of this is my fault? How could any of this be my fault?
‘Friends’ for 15 years, and now this. The worst part is, it’s not the first time, which means I am partially at fault, for allowing it to happen again.
This friend, now a stranger, stole from me. Blatantly. Twice.
The first time, I grabbed my pair of spite scissors, and I cut the jerk out of my life.
Felt pretty good, I remember. Not at first, but later. And then time passed, and I missed my friend who made me laugh and was such a great traveling buddy, and we started speaking again. He told me how right I was to react with ‘tough love,’ and he told me he was sorry and I forgave him, because that’s who I am.
No regrets, that is simply who I am. I forgave, but then I went and forgot. That was the stupid part.
I think life hands us lessons from the day we are born, and if we don’t learn from them, we get them again. How many times do we touch a hot stove before we learn how much it hurts to be burned?
I guess I just wanted to believe in redemption, in the innate goodness of humans.
Is the stove sorry you got burned, though? Will it regret its injury to you, and never burn you again?
NO, YOU SILLY HUMAN, IT’S A STOVE.
I will never have the power to control how another person treats me, but I will forever have the power to control how I treat others, and to control my reaction to mistreatment by others.
I can also control my own vulnerability.
Armor is heavy and uncomfortable, I’ll never get used to wearing it, but until I learn to put it on every day, I am vulnerable.
So I will paint my armor purple, with hot pink polka dots and lime green stripes. I will cushion it with pads made of love by the people whose loyalty I have never had to question. I will add some stickers, maybe a soundtrack by the Ramones and Prince, and I will go on but I will be stronger.
So...thank you, you awful person. May you one day learn the Golden Rule, may you turn all of your inner ugly into beauty, and may you let peace and love into your dark gray locked-up heart.
I forgive you, because I won’t let your darkness invade my light.
Because that is who I am.