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Forgiveness can be a Gradual Thing

Have you ever experienced being hurt so much? I know most of you have this person(s) in your life that had cut you open; maybe the cut is still fresh or maybe it’s been healed but left a big scar in your being. I know how hard it is to forgive when we are hurt that much. I know, I understand. I’ve been there.

I’ve never told this story before, not even to my best friend. I’ve always tried to ‘look’ strong. To ‘seem’ OK, to ‘act’ happy when I am with the people I love, because if I had anything to share, it wouldn’t be about how much I am hurting.

About two years ago, it was an April day. I met this person who would shortly turn my world upside down. Girls, have you ever had that ‘man in your dreams’ thing? Yes, that one. I found him. Yep, I did. It was wonderful. All of the characteristics I wanted in a guy, I found in him. I guess most girls look for the same thing, so let’s not mention them. Men might be reading.. let them wonder. 😉

My excitement even increased when he told me he likes me. Weeeee! Another wonderful thing happened! I had the butterflies, the big smile, the blushing cheeks… It was amazing, of course. After some time of teasing each other exchanging viewpoints and realizing we have so many things in common, we dove into the ‘more serious’ stuffs. Long story short, we started a relationship.

I’d have to warn you this time that this is not a fairy tale story. Just so I won’t disappoint you in the end.

Now going back… At first, the relationship was great. Like all new and fresh couples, exploring the world together, sharing whatever we could share with each other. But then, like most fires, they burn out. It’s a good thing if you knew why it is burning out, though. At least you understand why it is happening. But I didn’t. I got confused with how he acted and each time I try to talk about it, he would find an excuse. And if you’re a guy reading this, I hope you know how much that hurts for a girl…to not tell her what’s wrong, and when you do that, she knows everything is wrong. 😛

So the blaming started, the fights, the crash. It’s when you’re trying to get closer to someone and you realize you’re just drifting farther apart. So again, long story short, we broke up. It was a really intense, painful and tearful breakup that I won’t detail here. I don’t want to drag you all in there. lol, I love you too much.

It took me some time to recover from that. We tried to talk again because he wanted to keep the friendship, but each time, I only get anxiety attacks, (yes, I’d shake, lose my breath and nearly faint when I talked to him, even on the phone) so I told him I needed time to heal and I cannot do it while he’s around. SO he said ok.

I found out later on that he got married. And I found out the same day my grandfather died. So ten, hundred..maybe a thousand times double the pain. I didn’t know that time if I was crying because my grandpa died, or if I was crying because my ex got married a week after we broke up. Sleepless nights, lots of it.. Tears? Yeah, a whole lots of it. Tears that I never showed, never told anyone. And mind you, trying to fake a smile is the hardest thing on earth when you know you want to cry inside.

I didn’t know how I got through it. Maybe it’s good that I don’t remember, but somehow I managed.. for about a year. That’s when I met my teacher. I call him teacher because he’s a meditation teacher, a yoga instructor and my own spiritual teacher, though not a guru. I told him everything. He’s those kind of people you don’t hesitate telling your deepest secrets to. Finally, I had the opportunity to release whatever is killing me inside. He told me to learn how to forgive. Forgive the man I once loved and now is married to someone else. And more to that, to learn how to forgive myself for ever letting that person hurt me. Forgive and let go, he said.

I knew it was difficult. I didn’t even know how I could do it, but still I said OK. Months passed, I seem to have forgotten my anger, I was doing well. There are times when I still remember him and how he hurt me and how angry I suddenly become, but then I just sigh and say ‘whatever’.

A few months passed again, I got an email from him. He said he hope I’m doing alright, that he is ready to talk to me whenever I’m ready. And that he is thinking of starting a project with me (we worked together). I said OK. We talked. He said sorry. And told me he wanted to tell me about his marriage thing, but he DIDN’T WANT TO HURT ME. Seriously, this is the most stupid thing I ever heard someone say to me. He didn’t want to hurt me. lol. I told him, as always.. I said OK.

We started working together, we were OK. I was OK working with him. One time he even mentioned how well his new family is doing. In my mind I’m like ‘whoa, f— you.’ But then I just said OK.

When I started doing meditations and practicing some spiritual teachings, it dawned to me the importance of forgiveness and HOW to really do it. I thought I had forgiven my ex, but then I realized I haven’t yet. Then I meditated on forgiveness and I used my ex as my subject. After that, I let go. He noticed that I am starting to be nice with him and feel fine around him. And I told him, “I have forgiven you now.” So far, that is the most sincere forgiveness I have ever given to anyone. I felt great. I felt such relief.

I emailed my teacher. This is what I said (straight from my sent mails):

“Remember the ex bf I told you about, the one who’s married now.. we’re friends again. We started talking again about a month ago. I guess I’ve already forgiven him now. i don’t have any anger towards him anymore. Just the friendship remains.
This is a good thing, right? We’re also working together again.

Thank you for making me realize how to forgive my past and myself.”

And you know, even as I already forgave him, he still keeps saying sorry to me, whenever he remembers it until now, even though it’s been more than a year. He apologized for a hundred times, I forgave him a hundred times.

I think that’s the thing about forgiveness. You cannot just do it in a snap. It takes time, sometimes a lot  of time. And we do it little by little. Forgiving them each time we remember how they hurt us, and forgiving ourselves as well each time we realize why we let them hurt us even now. And maybe we may apologize and forgive each other many times more, but it helps wash that pain away somehow. And honestly, right now, the cut is gone..and the scar is almost invisible. Now I can say I am free.

Yes, forgiveness.. It is a gradual thing after all.

And guess what, he is one of my best friends now. 🙂 The friendship was really worth keeping. Our work is great. All is well.

 

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