I think it’s pretty safe to say I’m done focusing my energy on my ex. But I will say this: through I freely admit my wrongdoings against her, she was definitely wrong and inconsiderate for what she did to me. I tried to fix things between the two of us. However, she met my attempts at reconciliation with an unfortunate display of callousness and heartlessness. The end. Open and shut case. Nothing more to see here. So I promise this will be the last time I use any of my precious blog space on anything related to her. Frankly, the whole situation isn’t worth any more of my time, words, or sanity. It just isn’t.

But the introspective part of me considers it very important to examine a situation, muddle through the sordidness, and find an important lesson to extract. So what exactly can I learn from all of this?

I think if anything, I’ve learned both the difficulty and importance of restoring trust in people even after being let down. Over the past week or so, I’ve had great conversations with two of my closest friends; friends with whom I have ironically had broken/restored relationships at one point or another in my past (see here and here). In my candid but very insightful discussions with both of them, I was provided with much needed clarity and perspective about the dynamics of restoring/building relationships with anothers. This post is motivated by those conversations.

As much as I hate writing posts inundated with bullet points, I guess it’s pertinent in this case as I list a few important lessons I’ve learned:

(1) Actions are only specific to an individual, NOT to an entire collection of people: Admittedly, I have a very strong tendency to lose sight of this fact. It’s in those misguided moments where I would’ve taken the actions of my ex and formed general beliefs about everybody. “I loved her and treated her well. Yet she did me wrong. So I should probably expect this treatment over and over again” is how I typically found myself thinking. But labeling the entire world because of the antics of one person is disingenuous, damaging, and unfair to the other 6.8 billion people currently on this planet.

(2) People are…well…people: We’re all humans. As such, none of us are exempt from the frailties and limitations of being humans. Simply put, we ALL have the capacity to hurt and betray. I mean, if Jesus could be betrayed by some of the very same men He hand-picked to be His followers, why shouldn’t we expect people to betray our trust from time to time? Facing this pretty certain reality, does that mean we should stop trusting people? Of course not. In fact, I would argue just the opposite: we should do our best to extend ourselves to others even if/when they miss the mark. That’s the true indication of our character.

(3) Pick up the mirror every now and then: As much as I’ve been hurt and betrayed in my life, I’m really no better when it comes to how I treat other people. I’ve hurt people in the past and I’ve betrayed people’s trust (including my ex). It stands to reason that I’ll do so again in the future.  It’s about as certain of a thing to bet on as the Lions missing the playoffs (sorry Lions fans). But one of the things that I – scratch that we – can do is realize that our ability to forgive others for the wrongs they’ve committed against us is deeply rooted in being forgiven ourselves. You can’t expect forgiveness unless you’re willing to forgive. This was the hardest, yet most important lesson for me to learn.

As dear and VERY appreciated readers, my challenge to you is identify a situation you may be dealing with in your life requiring you to fix broken relationships. Try to reach out to the person/people involved in a spirit of humility and submission. Recognize your own faults while forgiving them for theirs. Make no mistake: I won’t guarantee success. Some people just can’t be reached, or are often too stubborn and unmovable in their jaded and selfish thinking. But in the end, peace will STILL be yours.

Holla at me!

– ACL

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