I’m an imperfect person, and nothing in my life really showcases that fact like me being hurt. I get wrathful, vengeful, and calculating. To what level these traits rise to the surface can really be a measuring rod to how much pain I’m feeling. When my husband cheated on me and wrecked our marriage, it took me months to get the rage and vengefulness under control; and another several years to stop feeling the pain altogether. In a word, it was brutal.
I know myself, so the minute I get wounded, I start to run a mental PR campaign in my head to keep the emotions from spinning me, and my life, completely out of control. I go over and over the angles, trying to gage where I went wrong in trusting them, and what I can learn to make sure it never happens again. Every doubt I’ve ever had about them is revisited; every moment of instinct that could have been a warning is re-examined. I become almost eidetic in my ability to remember every single thing I ever did for that person. My brain will do this ad nauseum until a complete picture formulates in my head of what just happened to me and a plan is established to make sure it never can again.
Seriously. It’s exhausting.
Also, turns out, it’s kind of useless too.
The truth is, people show up in our lives, and the stars align to make them fit at that moment. We have no guarantee how long they will be there, whether they will be a sentence, a paragraph or a whole chapter in the story of your life, or what their exit will look and feel like. So, for even a cautious, wary person like me, no wall is ever going to truly keep out the danger of loving someone.
C.S. Lewis once wrote “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.” Unlike so many times before in my life, I don’t feel like I failed in this friendship. The goal in life is not to die with the least amount of emotional scars; it’s to have lived, loved, and been loved in return over and over again. I allowed myself to love and to be vulnerable, and it doesn’t say anything bad about me that I got hurt. It gave me an opportunity to see those around me who do love me close in, comfort, encourage, and help me move past the hurt. That’s actually not a bad ending to any chapter in a life.