TIME TO ANSWER FOE THE GEORGE COSTANZA CLASSIC EXCUSE…
Dear Provo Homies,
How many of you have ever heard that people come into your life for a reason?
And then you meet someone, and suddenly, you can’t help thinking…“why did I have to meet YOU?”
Not all the people we meet and/or date influence our lives for good. Which I’m sure you know already. Odds are, you have met someone at some point that you wish, more than anything, that you had never encountered. Someone who treated you so terribly, or wronged you so irreversibly, that you can’t help but blame for your inability to trust, to love, etc.
One girl shared a story, we’ll call her Lola…
Lola was good friends with this guy for a while. They ended up dating, and it was the worst experience she had ever gone through. He was manipulative and mean. Emotionally abusive and prideful. The relationship made Lola question everything about herself.
By the time it was over, she was broken and upset. She feared that she didn’t know how to love or whether or not she could trust someone again, after hers was betrayed by someone she loved so much.
Lola spent years blaming him for failed relationships or lack of love in her life.
Until she was directed by a very dear friend of hers to listen to motivational speaker Tony Robbins.
In one of his conferences, (where he always confronts people and almost forces them to own up to their insecurities and pain) he called out a girl. She was 19. He could tell from talking to her for less than a few minutes that she had daddy issues.
He asked her why she hated her dad so much. She told him it was because she never felt loved by him, so it messed her up.
This girl spent 19 years blaming him for her misbehavior, her “issues.”
Tony used some colorful verbiage to describe her dad. With which she agreed.
But then he asked her something incredibly powerful. Life changing.
He asked this girl with the absent father if she ever thanked him.
Did she ever thank him for being someone that she loved enough to be hurt by him over and over, asking for his love back? Did she thank him for showing her how she never wanted to be treated by a significant other? Had she ever been grateful for the hard lessons that made her stronger?
The girl broke down, sobbing. She ended up calling her dad and saying thank you. Which sparked an apology from him and a promise to make an effort to be a good dad. To make up for lost time.
That struck Lola like nothing ever had before. She knew about repentance and forgiveness, and had been doing everything she could to apply those principles in her life, but there was something she couldn’t get passed.
She just never knew what–until that moment.
Lola spent years blaming this guy for every horrible thing he said to her, and the damage he caused, but he NEVER thought to thank him.
So she did. She thanked him for showing her the kind of relationship she never wanted to have again. For showing her all the ways she didn’t want to treat someone. For being someone that she loved so much that she was able to be hurt so deeply. Emotional, heartbreaking pain stems from real, raw, sincere love. If she hadn’t opened herself up to him, she wouldn’t have ever been able to become stronger.
We can’t control other people.
We will hurt each other, intentionally or not, over and over again. That is human nature.
We all say, “it’s not you, it’s me.” And often we say that as an excuse when we think it really is the other person. Maybe we were right though. It is inevitably always you.
And it may be so that it’s your threshold that’s been met for crap you can take. Or your insecurities. Or your lack of attraction. We need to take responsibility for our own actions if we expect the same.
It is Godly to forgive in a way that you can be grateful, instead of resentful.
Justice is reserved for God alone. It’s not up to us to hold other people responsible of their actions (unless you’re a judge or a cop I guess..). But rather, it is our obligation to extend mercy towards those who hurt us.
Anything less will only continue to hurt you. With all the damage someone may have already inflicted on you, why let them continue to poison your life? To hinder your future. Don’t let another person continue to control who you give your heart to.
This will likely be the hardest thing you will ever do. But think back on the person (or people,) who hurt you. The one who changed you. The one you keep yourself guarded because of.
And just thank them.
Whether you do that face to face, or just in a prayer or a letter that you never actually send them, do it for you. Often times, you are the only one that needs to know that you are grateful to them.
The peace you will feel, either from finally letting go, or from the ability to finally heal that relationship, will be something extraordinary.
That is what it’s like forgive as your Father in Heaven forgives.
Your experiences in life, your relationships, have all shaped you to who you are today. Sometimes we break. Sometimes we shatter.
But that is the perfect opportunity to put the pieces back together again to make something new.
Many of the problems in our lives stem from a lack of love somewhere. Whether that is from a parent, a spouse, or ourselves, it can be detrimental, if you let it.
So long as you know that you are always loved, by an Almighty God, no matter what, it makes it easier to love yourself. And when you have those two factors, you become unstoppable. “Don’t demean your worth or denigrate your contribution.” One who knows that they are unconditionally loved and believes in themselves, is one who can more easily extend that to your fellow man. Romantically, in the home, or just towards people you pass in the streets.
You are who you are, and that is wonderful. Once you learn to accept that, and love you for you, it becomes so much easier for others to love you the same way.
It all begins with YOU.
PS. Don’t forget to share your own stories via email! Or leave them in a comment. Visual aids always help. With your help, I know we can make Provo Dating Great Again!