I recently found myself watching – enjoying – a Say Yes to the Dress marathon.
Three short years ago, I purged my life of everything wedding. My bridal magazine subscription haunted me and I avoided checking the mail for weeks on end. For longer than I’d like to admit, I dreaded attending weddings. Even though I was happy for the couple, I was miserable inside. Whether it was jealousy that it wasn’t me in the white dress, sadness from losing my own special day, or general negativity over the institution of marriage, I never thought I would be OK again.
Then, at a wedding a few weeks ago, after the vows were said and the reception began, I had Chef spot me as I climbed in four inch heels up on a tractor. For a photo opp, of course.
Please note the importance of this picture: This is me having fun at a wedding.
I’m living proof.
Proof that you are going to be OK.
Proof that time does heal your wounds.
I’m not saying this just happened recently. It happened slowly, with big moments of progress and subtle moments of silent change, over the past few years. I got better and then I got worse. And worse. I found myself a changed person, and I wasn’t sure how I would ever trust again. But at the same time, I was getting better, finding ways to make myself happy, trusting and loving and believing while not always knowing it was happening.
This isn’t just about being able to watch wedding shows with reckless abandon again – it’s much bigger than that. There’s no more almost in almost over him.
I receive a lot of emails from readers who are just beginning this journey. The pain is raw right now. They still reach for the phone to call him, only to realize he’s not going to be at the end of the line. They don’t know what to do on Saturday night, because that was always their date night. Maybe they just found out about a deception that they never could have imagined and now they can’t breathe without feeling pain in their stomach, their chest, literally in their heart. Maybe it was a slow, quiet ending – they moved apart until someone finally ripped off the relationship band aid.
No matter how or why it ended, it hurts. More than other people understand. And the pain doesn’t just go away because you want it to. For anyone going through this, I want you to know that it’s going to be OK. I’m living proof.
But it’s going to take time. Everyone says that, but damn it, it’s true.
When my ex got married, it served as a painful closure. After that, I no longer wanted to write about him or what I was going through. And it felt really good, freeing, not to give him my thoughts or energy anymore. My advice? If you are thinking about him, if you are talking about him, stop. Talk about you; think about you; take care of you. That’s the best path to moving on.
Believe that this is part of a bigger plan. Everything happens for a reason. If it’s God for you, or fate, or whatever, just know that you are experiencing this hard time to get you ready for a better time. You are learning lessons now that you’ll need in the future. You are becoming a stronger person. It may not make sense now, but it will, in time.
And then there is forgiveness. Wow, forgiveness is so tough, especially if you’ve been deceived.
The word forgiveness puts so much pressure on the forgiver. The forgiver has the burden to accept the transgressor’s apology, let go of the pain and somehow grant forgiveness to the person who has done them wrong. That’s a lot to ask of someone, especially when they are in pain.
Oprah has a favorite quote that has really stuck with me and helped me along in my journey:
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”
Included at the end of this post is her full explanation of this quote. But here’s a snippet.
“I think for myself and I know many of you, you think forgiving means accepting what has happened to you. Well, it is accepting that it has happened to you. Not accepting that it was OK for it to happen, it is accepting that it has happened, and now, what do I do about it? Forgiving is giving up the hope – not holding on, hoping, wishing – that it could have been any other way than it actually was.”
This quote, this definition of the word forgiveness, has changed my entire perspective the past few years and helped me get here.
Are you living proof? Will you share some of your story in the comments?
Copyright 2013. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.