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Months have passed and the experience with Aaron is both a distant memory and constant reminder of the lessons learned when we get into relationships without first knowing ourselves. We can not drift from one relationship to the next without unloading the baggage that we carry along with us. This baggage expands each and every time we decide not to face the person who is most responsible for that baggage: YOU.
We drag along every romantic and traumatic experience, from one relationship into the next, all in an effort to look to the other person to heal or help us resolve our issues. We want them to somehow make us feel better about ourselves, to grant us our happiness and freedom or to assist us in dragging that baggage along never realizing that they are also dragging their own. This is where the problem arises. We ignore all the telltale signs simply because we want to forget about the hurt from the past.
I am going to tell you something that you have heard time and time again. My only hope is that after reading about my experience, it has a larger meaning to you: YOU CAN NOT LOOK OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF TO FIND HAPPINESS. It is most certainly something that is cultivated within.
Allow me to tell you something else that I've learned: there's no Prince or Princess coming to rescue you from the tower. You must scale down that wall, cross that moat, and traverse the forest all by yourself in order to find what you are truly looking for. If you want successful relationships, you have to have a successful relationship with yourself first. There's no way around it. How can put an expectation of love on the shoulders of someone else if you do not first love yourself?
Without this, we WILL go through trials and tribulations in our romantic relationships and we can not point the finger at the other person because they are just as fucked up as you are, so, they can't help you. Don't blame them for not bringing you to your happiness because you have never defined for yourself what your happiness is. Don't blame them for not helping you find freedom because they are bound by the same chains as you are.
Now, this is NOT to say that every person that hurts us or breaks our heart isn't to be held accountable; they are at fault. For SOME things. Each of us must own up to our level of "fucked up." Did I notice Aaron playing the disappearing game every so often? Indeed I did, but I chalked it up to him needing alone time. Did I notice there were many times he didn't answer his cell phone when I called? Indeed I did and I chalked it up to him falling asleep or being busy or working or the phone was on the charger. I took whatever excuse he gave even though my intuition flared like the sun being on fire. I didn't say anything because I wanted him to help me find happiness. I wanted him to BE my happiness. I wanted him to be my answer to EVERYTHING because the last thing I wanted to do was search within myself to find them.
Eventually, I had no choice but to do just that and you know what? It was the BEST thing I could've ever done. I do wish I would've taken the journey sooner but, I have also come to realize that all things happen in the time that they should. You just need to be willing to take that journey when the time comes.
For some, the time has come and you're still standing on the platform waiting for the next train to come along. That train will always arrive at the same destination unless you decide to step off and take a different route.
It is true that the hardest lessons learned are the ones that stick with us and what I have learned throughout this journey are three very important things:
- YOU MUST LEARN TO BE OKAY WITH NOT RECEIVING AN EXPLANATION OR AN APOLOGY. (Most of the time, it isn't sincere and the behavior is often repeated.)
- YOU MUST LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF SO FIERCELY THAT NO ONE CAN COME ALONG AND COMPROMISE IT. (This is where I lacked because I wasn't loving myself as I should and it left the door open for others to come along and treat me any type of way they wanted to.)
- YOU ARE NOT UNDER ANY PRESSURE TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP OR TO GET MARRIED. IT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR HAPPINESS. (Our relationship status does not validate our existence or our value as an individual.)
I am thankful for this experience. I would not know myself as well as I do now without it. I would've continued to drift from one situation to the next, still waiting on the same train to head to the same destination.
I have also forgiven Aaron because you're not truly free until you release the burden of anger, hurt, and sadness completely.
Even though my freedom and happiness came packaged in heartbreak, at the end of it all, I was able to find my PEACE among the PIECES.