It’s been about 7 months now since the epic break-up drama I had over the summer, I have had a lot of time to reflect and think about things that happened, how I felt and currently working through how I feel.
It still feels very much like it was all a movie and I still ask myself how on earth that happened to me but it did happen and now I need to truly stay on the path of forgiveness and moving on. I occasionally find myself thinking back to the “good times” and I certainly find that sometimes I get emotional, I suppose it means I’m still working through the pain and maybe I am still holding on to some of the feelings. I have however had some time to reflect and actually think about it all and I think that now, I can express how I felt and how I now feel.
People who know the story or read my blog about the events have asked me how I now feel, and thinking back, at the time, I was hurting but I put on a front. I pushed it all to the back of my mind so I told people that I was OK and glad that everything came out when it did and gave positive answers because I thought, if I think positively and look to the future for what is to come and just stay strong, then that would help ease the pain. I wanted to work through my feelings and in my head and heart, I thought the first step would be speak positively and speak into the future, pray and everything else will follow. It turns out instead that I put up my defence walls, closed off my heart and tried to move on. I tried to forgive and forget but instead I was working more on forgetting but forgetting in the wrong way. What do you mean?! I hear you ask: I was trying to forget by keeping myself constantly busy, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop – they say. Externally, this allowed me to remain strong, especially when I was out or with people. It meant that I did not fall apart every time someone asked me what happened. Internally and when I was home alone, most times I was fine but sometimes, I was in an emotional battle with myself. I went from feeling that I hated my ex to thinking maybe I shouldn’t have found out to thinking I wish I never got into a relationship with him and so on it went.
We all have different ways of dealing with our emotions; some people cry and isolate themselves, some just want to talk about things and some crack jokes and laugh it off… (I’m the make “jokes and try to laugh it off” person in front of the general population but I also like to talk about things as it helps me understand and work through my emotions), some hit the gym or the bottle or the ice-cream, whatever the case, we all deal with emotions in different ways. I don’t like to get emotional in public so my default was to laugh it off or say something that could come off as being blasé. Don’t get me wrong, I cried and even recently, I was reading something that reminded me of my ex and then I remembered the hurt and I welled-up but I didn’t really let the tears flow. It’s what worked for me. A quick tear, wipe, blink the rest back and I’m done. Crying is a chore, runny nose, sore eyes, headaches, that crying face… LOL … oh and the swollen eyes after…. eurgh….not something I want to do outside of the comfort of my home where I have things I need to deal with the aftermath of crying. Yes, I am a control freak of sorts!
Anyway, we are not here about the emotions I have been working through. This blog is more about working through Forgiveness and learning to trust again.
Colossians 3: 14 – Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
I have learnt that forgiving someone doesn’t stop at saying “I forgive you” or forgiving the things were done to you and praying about the forgiving the person. It’s more about learning to forgive from within and letting go of everything that was done to hurt you. Forgiveness is a matter of the heart, the more you hold onto the past and things that hurt you, the longer you hold on to un-forgiveness. I know, it sounds super complicated but I am trying to figure it out for myself. When you truly forgive from within, you fully let go of all the residual feelings, you work through letting go of the hate and the pain. It’s easy to say the right things and think about doing the right thing but what it comes down to is your heart. How do you really feel when you think about the person that wronged you.
Here’s the thing, the break-up happened, all very sudden and so dramatic and my initial reaction was to prove I was strong but I went about it the wrong way. Why? I decided to jump straight back in the dating game. Wrong move and I realised as soon as I started, that I was making a mistake, I was creating more of an avenue to get hurt and possibly hurt someone. Each person I spoke to or went on a date with, I thought, ‘this isn’t going to work, don’t think I can trust this guy’. My thought process, guys were all crap, all the same and I wasn’t going to put myself through this nonsense again. Another mistake… and as I mentioned my defensive walls were up, my heart was guarded and on lock down mode, and that was a very big mistake because once the walls go up and you lock up your heart, coming back from that is a long and arduous road. Also, I found that whenever I thought of my ex it wasn’t very nice thoughts, I stopped watching certain things because it was something we did together, seeing or doing somethings were odd because it linked back to him and I mean, that is not living and certainly not moving on.
Here’s what I am learning, the above reactions are all part of un-forgiveness because I was clearly still holding onto the hurt. I thought I was working through forgiving him, I had listened to the story about the poisonous snake and knew I needed to let the snake go and the poison out but perhaps I didn’t let go of the proverbial snake quick enough. The poison was in my bloodstream and working its way through my being and clogging up my heart.
“God made our hearts for love, joy, peace and wholeness but un-forgiveness can make us forget what we were made for “ (Quote from Bruce Wilkinson – The Prayer of Jabez). Our hearts are meant to be an open door but hurt, pain and heartbreak cause that door to become a prison. Locked up to the extent that we remain closed off to the good things God has in store for us.
Finding the key to my heart
Realisation hit me recently and I clearly still have a lot of work to do. Was there a specific thing that happened? No, I don’t think so. I got home one night, I had been watching a TV series, Keeping Faith on my way home from work and at the end of the show, one of the sound tracks came on – Pain by Amy Wedge. The lyrics got to me, I welled up and kept trying to blink it back, tried the various “tricks” I learnt to stop the tears coming but just couldn’t (thankfully, I was walking home so I just needed to get in doors). I just about got in the door when I broke down. I let it all out, if I lived in a house in the middle of nowhere I would have screamed. Instead, I sat down and had a good and proper cry. It was like a bulb had been turned on or something had been ignited and I needed to let go, I did and it felt good. I sat there for a long time, thinking about everything and this time around, I wasn’t thinking about the betrayal and all the drama that happened, no, I was thinking about how I had been holding everything in and holding myself back and I thought about how desperately I needed to move on and make myself free and available to love again and how much work was needed. Another thing that may have helped me come to this realisation is a devotional about Forgiveness, so on my hallway floor I penned an email to my ex. I was going to share it but I’ve decided against it :).
To summarise, I expressed my hurt and how I wanted to hate him but I couldn’t, how much I wish I could understand why he did the things he did and how he took my trust and crushed it and on and on. Sending that email was mostly for myself and sort of an outlet and I felt he should know how I felt. I got up, prayed for the healing of my little heart and I went to bed.
Since that night, I can honestly say that I feel like a weight has been lifted. I don’t feel as closed off as I did before and hopefully with time. I can be free of it all.
Let me share a little secret, I have a little crush on someone and to be honest, I doubt anything will come of it but should it happen, I need to be in the right frame of mind for the future and if it doesn’t happen (currently I think, it’s more than likely not to happen) then I don’t want to feel like that was the last straw. Even if it was to happen, whether it’s the “crush” or someone else. It would be hard when I have closed off all avenues to allow myself to freely live so I am taking another step, learning to trust again and this time, I am really letting go.
Psalm 55: 22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Isaiah 43:18 – Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.