Sweet Sixteen.

I look at my life as a series of cuts and additions that are either sewn together or repaired when seams fell apart.

The cuts were so, so significant. Coming up to Valentine’s Day, and coming up to Random Acts of Kindness week, important dates for my relationship and also my career, I am reflecting on both love, and kindness. Not just romantic love, not just random kindness.

Love to me today, means to respect someone with your whole heart. To not stab someone in the back, to hear them out, to show them how much you care about them. To respect memories and laughter and happiness that once was, to really internalize how important it is to have allies who feel so strongly about you, one way or the other. Do I always respect and acknowledge and recognize the love I had or have? No. I don’t. It’s something I continue to work on because I know my weaknesses and limitations and to be the best possible human being I could ever be, I need to really and truly appreciate the love that surrounds me, and even respect the love that’s not anymore.

I cut people who didn’t love me anymore. But when I cut them, the truth is that I still loved them.

I maintain that you can only hate someone you  love. Once you fall out of love, you fall out of hate. It’s a continuum of strong, heated impassioned emotions that prove one can’t exist without the other.

When I was double-crossed, when I was betrayed, abandoned, dumped, back-stabbed, I felt those things as deeply as I did because of love that I felt so strongly for those in my life who are no longer there. Everyone who’s gone now, is gone not because I stopped loving them ever. It’s because they stopped loving me.

To those who don’t love me anymore: I’m sorry that I lack perfection that you need. I’m sorry I don’t have what you need. I’m sorry that I continued on a life path that you didn’t want to be a part of anymore. I’m sorry I followed my dreams or spoke about my feelings too much or that my vulnerability made you uncomfortable. Maybe this makes me sound like a martyr but it’s true. I am sorry for those things. Sorry? Yes. But can I change them? No. It is what it is. I’m sorry for it, but this is how it is and maybe even how it was meant to be. Do I believe in BFFs or love at first sight anymore? No. These were lessons I had to learn when I was old enough to uncover these taxing lessons.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve really made peace with the idea that these things are gone, that the people I once loved did and said what they did and said, that I didn’t act my best and there’s more I could have done to show my love or at least, contain it so much that I wouldn’t get angry about it.

I’m good. It’s good. There are other people to love and new ways to try and be authentically kinder, better, more observant, more on track. My success in doing these things more and being more cognizant of them is key to who I am going to be and how I am going to get past these difficult pills to swallow.

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