|Photo by me|
What did I gain? As I sat there, that question began answering itself. I realized that although the outcome was a painful one, there were valuable lessons to be learned from it.
- The utmost importance of communication in any kind of relationship. Many relationships break down because of a lack of effective communication. Communication is a two way street, and consists of both talking and listening. If there is a problem, speak up. Not talking about an issue doesn't make it go away; it just builds resentment until someone explodes, at which point it's difficult to take back the damage. Likewise, if someone raises an issue concerning the relationship, listen without judgement, and let go of the need to defend yourself. If you are afraid of speaking up for fear of what the other person may say or do, this may be a sign that the relationship is not a healthy one, and it may be time to consider stepping away from the person.
- The importance of open-mindedness and honesty. This is an extension of the point above. Relationships thrive on trust and honesty. It helps to be honest with the other person, especially concerning the way their behaviour may be affecting you. Open-mindedness in this context refers to the ability to accept what the other person says as their truth, and being able to accept feedback from them, for example, if they were hurt by something you did, don't discount their feelings by saying they shouldn't feel that way. Be humble, take responsibility for your actions, and move on.
- A relationship is a two-way street and there needs to be giving and taking by both parties. If you find yourself doing all or most of the work, then it's time to reconsider your role in this person's life.
- My worth, and how I ought to be treated. Sometimes it takes being treated unfairly to truly realize your worth. Sometimes you need to experience what you don't want in a relationship, before you know what you do want, and what you cannot compromise on.
- It's important to think twice about who you give of yourself to. It should be someone who would appreciate and cherish every bit of you, even your less-than-perfect parts.
- Sometimes it takes a long while to really get to know someone, and most times it's worth the wait, before you decide whether or not you want a future with them.
- You can't control what people think or understand by what you've said. And that's no reflection of who you are. You have nothing to prove to anyone, as long as your conscience is clear and your intentions are pure. If someone doesn't believe what you say when you are telling the truth, it's a reflection of who they are and the way they see the world, which is something we cannot change. And it's your decision whether you keep those people around or not. If someone is constantly "misunderstanding" you, misinterpreting you, twisting your words and manipulating you, you are better off letting them go.
- If someone truly cared about you, and wants to be a part of your life, they would make the effort to keep friendship alive. Real friends know the value of the word 'sorry'. I've learned that talk is cheap; if you want to know how someone really feels about you, pay attention to their actions. When words and actions contradict, believe the actions. They speak truer and more loudly and clearly than any words.
- If someone loves you, they would show it. I've learned to appreciate when people do show gestures of love, and I've learned to wait for the one who is not afraid to show me that he loves me. If you are confused by his behaviours, then he doesn't love you.
- Love knows no reason, no logic, but that doesn't mean it's meant to be. It's easy to romanticize your feelings for someone. For a long time I battled with my feelings, convinced that the way I felt showed that we were "meant to be" despite the (many) odds. I hid behind my delusions until it became so painful that I had no choice but to face reality. It is a difficult and painful task, but you owe it to yourself to be honest with yourself about your situation. It will hurt immensely at first, but in the long run awaits real joy and happiness, and your true destiny.
Read Part II here!