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The other week, I forgave you. Not that you will ever read this or even know who you are, but I did and it felt…good.

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I read the quote above today and it made me smile, because it is so true. How many apologies are you waiting around for? How much are you holding on to while you wait on a sorry that is most likely never coming, a closure phone call that will never be made or a clarification text that will never be sent. Chances are, for most of us at least one, and that, my friend, is one too many.

Hurt is remembered. It’s difficult to forget feeling like you were made a fool of, ignored, lied to or disrespected. It sticks with you because you know you never want to feel that way again, especially not at the hands of someone who was supposed to care about you or maybe even love you. Understanding that you can’t forget the hurt, then allows us to assess what will make us feel better. If we can’t get the apology we’re longing for, the explanation that we think we need to move on or we just hope they respect us enough to give, then what? How do you get over them, how do you heal?

Search yourself. Yep, all of this has to do with you and how you react when things don’t go exactly as you thought they would. Ask yourself why you need the apology. Will an apology really fix everything? Or will it just open old wounds and create new questions? I’m here to tell you, whether you can understand it right now or not, you don’t need that apology. You can do great things without “closure.” You can move on without all of the answers.

Anger, whether you speak on it or not, is noticeable. Have you ever met someone and by the second date could tell that they had some serious past relationship issues? That anger that they are holding onto, even if it’s subconscious, shows. Let’s face it, no one wants to be with someone who continues to pick at scabs of their past instead of allowing them to heal fully. When you hold on to anger you can close yourself off for the next person, a person who could be more than the last, a person who could be better than any other.

Forgiveness is relevant. It is rare that anyone is ever as careful with your heart as you would want them to be. We think that just because we give it away that someone won’t return it broken. We believe that just because we ask them to be gentle that they won’t leave it by the wayside. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. People will take your love for granted, they will test the boundaries of your heart’s devotion and they will dismiss your requests of how to treat your heart, the only one you have, for their own benefits. They do this because they expect to be forgiven. They think you’ll “recover.” Truth is, you will, but forgiveness doesn’t come easy or quickly when dealing with matters of the heart. The key is not to close yourself off to that forgiveness.

Don’t dwell, learn. If you use all the space in your heart to dwell on the past and hold on to pain you’re gonna run out of room. Learning from past relationships is much easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. What did you learn from that relationship? How did you change or grow? What will you take with you? Ask yourself, write it down and commit to it.

People usually say sorry to make themselves feel better, more than for the benefit of the other person. Sorry won’t get you out of bed in the morning, sorry won’t bring you dinner after a long day and sorry surely won’t kiss you goodnight. So don’t wait on an apology. Don’t convince yourself that closure is coming, tell yourself you’re better off without them, because you are, and move on.

And as for you, I’ve learned to smile any time I see someone wearing canvas shoes in the rain…that’s what my forgiveness looks like. Thanks for that.