I believe in second chances, but I also believe that not everyone deserves it.
When we’ve been wronged, when we’ve been betrayed, when the trust was broken, whoever wronged us must earn back our trust. And we mustn’t give back our trust prematurely.
We can forgive, but we must also ensure that we do not forget and take to heart what we learned from the experience. We must take precautions against being taken advantage of. We must be vigilant that we are not the recipient — again — of another’s thoughtlessness, lack of consideration or respect, or any offensive or abusive behavior — in whatever shape and form.
When the offending party hasn’t shown any sign of remorse or repentance, when there is no genuine desire to reform, when there is no intention and commitment to mend their ways, when we are not convinced that they are willing or capable of making necessary changes, I’m not of the belief that they deserve a second chance.
Wisdom also tells us that their words of repentance aren’t enough. It is their actions — not their words — that must prove, substantiate and convince us of the genuineness of their intention to change and make amends. Words aren’t enough; they mustn’t be. It takes more than the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” to prove that they have, in fact, learned their lesson and realized their mistake.
And when we are not convinced, we can still learn to forgive and move on. Our forgiveness, though, does not necessarily mean reconciliation. It cannot and must not automatically lead to reconciliation. We mustn’t allow ourselves to be pressured by such a misleading belief. We can forgive even as we choose to sever the relationship. Sometimes, it is healthier and to the best interest of the parties concerned to part ways.
First and foremost, we must look after and take care of ourselves — and more than and even above everyone else. That’s not being selfish; that’s not being self-centered. Society, though, is poised to convince us otherwise — quite understandably, I must add.
When we look after ourselves, when we think of ourselves more than or instead of the other, it doesn’t mean that we are wallowing in the pain that the other’s harmful behavior inflicted upon us. It doesn’t mean that we refuse to let go of our resentments. It doesn’t mean we are holding on to grudges and choosing to be unforgiving.
We are simply choosing to be loving towards ourselves.
We love ourselves enough to let the other person go. In doing so, we are giving ourselves the permission and the chance to experience other relationships that are more deserving and more worthy of our love and respect. Those that can give to us what we give to them. Those that offer a balanced exchange of energies — not one where the other is only taking from us.
When we choose to love ourselves and deem it necessary and healthier to discontinue the relationship, it doesn’t mean that we are withholding our love for the other. It doesn’t mean that we are depriving them of our love.
On the contrary, we love them —still. We are practicing tough love towards the other — loving them enough not to be their enabler.
By not making ourselves available to them, we are giving them the opportunity to learn their lesson and realize their mistakes — on their own. We are giving them the opportunity to work on themselves and change a destructive habit or unloving behavior — but we do not have to be their training ground.
And as they work on themselves, we, too, can work towards our healing and forgiveness while holding the space for them to learn. We are giving them a chance and the time to truly and fully realize their wrongdoings so that they can come to their senses and be convinced that they mustn’t repeat and do to others what they did to us.
We may no longer give the other a second (or third or nth) chance. We may not be convinced that they are deserving of another chance. Doing so doesn’t mean we are depriving them of our love. It doesn’t mean we’ve stopped loving them.
The love may still be there. We may love each other — still.
We’re just not loving each other together.
😀 ❤ ⭐ ❤ 😀