I had a long time friend of mine whom I met through my ex-husband recently revealed to me that my ex-husband cheated on me the entire time of our relationship and marriage.  As he described to me how my ex-husband was able to hide his indiscretions I felt everything that I thought I knew about myself and my life fall blow away like ashes.

I thought I had been loved once, even if it was ever so briefly.  Even if it was just for that moment he lifted my veil to see my face on the mountainside we chose to marry: I loved him in that moment as much as I knew what love was at 20.  I had my misgivings, but I remember feeling joyful and happy and loving him in that moment.

But no.  He didn’t.   Apparently, the one who took the photos claimed to be the one who loved me that day.

I don’t think he loves me either.  I think he loves the idea of me.  He loves the memory of a naive girl who was well-spoken and had read a lot of books.

I confronted my ex, who of course denied it.  I cried fresh, deep, heaving, salty tears over a love that never happened.  In the course of life, things that happen to you become a part of who you are as a person.  For so long now, I thought I had been truly loved once, even if he couldn’t love me the way I needed to be loved.  I thought I had been loved romantically at one time.  Now, at 40 I’m finding out, no, I’ve never been loved by anyone.

It’s so easy to be bitter about that.  It’s so easy to sink into the despair of the hollowness the lack of love an companionship can sometimes bring with it.  Those are very heavy things for me to carry, so I’m going to put those down and forgive him for not being able to give me what I needed: Love and Faithfulness.  As hard as it hurts to now know, I must find gratitude that I am birthed anew.  I have the opportunity to be truly loved for the first time ever and, friends, that’s something to look forward to and be grateful.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the lessons I learn from people I meet in life.  I learn from each experience good and bad, but I realized the other day how self-centered that was for me to only think about what I have to learn from others.  We are here to help each other, but we have to have something worthy to give.  Your pain could be another person’s saving grace.   We each are being molded, and I have often found the ones who have been under the most pressure and fire have the most beauty to give to others.

It’s ok to feel sad, or angry- do not live there.  Feel it, come to terms with what you cannot change and release it.

Release it, my friends.  Release it.

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