Betraying a person who trusts you requires a total lack of self-awareness..."total" because becoming self-aware usually means remembering childhood abuse. Toxicity. Trauma. And, no one wants to do that. But a responsible person is an ethical person. A person with honor. Character. Integrity. That person at least recognizes the nature of his or her disconnects, avoiding social pitfalls like abandonment. You still make plenty of mistakes, but when you do, you don't just disappear--because you know the consequences of your actions effects others. And, that's just not fair--to ask more from a person who loved and cared for you than you ask of yourself.
The term "unethical amnesia" never applies to the self-possessed. When you are self-aware, you're generally not the offending party in love relationships. You do your best to continue to support a person you care for, even if the romance has fizzled. You're kind and compassionate. Which also means you're often in the unenviable position of cleaning up other people's messes.
I almost called this post "The Broken Hearts Club." We who have been abandoned and betrayed feel that loss deeply, and for a very long time. But I'm here today to tell you that, wherever you are in your journey toward healing, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. And, it is a tunnel. But you only gain entry if you know how to love. That's actually good news. Those who can't (or won't) feel love are not much more than the walking dead--not the good kind either. You may feel like you want to die when you have a broken heart, but it's only because you know how to live. The person who abandoned real love? They don't. And, never will. So, instead of clinging to a broken heart (and, person...), let's remember that our hearts are not so much broken as they are beating. Big difference.
Your beating heart loves unconditionally. YOU love unconditionally. Remember that. Because, even when you feel lonely, unloved, unlovable...it's just not true. One day, that unconditional love your beating heart puts out will reflect back to you. Not because someone else loves you, or even likes you. Because YOU love you.
It may take time for you to fully realize the lesson of unconditional love. Perhaps you make a mistake or two in between here and there. You let yourself get bullied or pushed into something you don't want. Maybe you wait too long to end a situation you know isn't right. Or perhaps, both. But, the positive to take away from those interim mistakes is that, you actually recognized there was a problem. When your heart was initially broken, you simply refused to see the issues that foretold the heart-break ahead. Love is blind, but if you were honest with yourself, you weren't. You just ignored or excused red flags because you weren't ready to let go of a person you wanted, needed, and felt tremendous love for.
You are either in love with someone or you're not. When you're not, you eventually find reasons (or excuses) to leave. So, whoever left you holding the proverbial bag in your relationship was not truly in love with you. That's it. End of story. And, you should feel a modicum of relief, too. You were just an option. A place holder. And, if you can give unconditional love, you deserve so much more.
With real real love, leaving is unthinkable. When you're in love, you never want to be apart. It kills you to even think of it. You can't comprehend a day where the person your heart beats for is suddenly gone. You also can't imagine that there will ever be a problem so large, the two of you cannot overcome it together. You even look for ways to stay together longer. You make bargains with God, the devil, or whoever is listening to survive decades just to be with the person you are utterly and madly in love with. Maybe life gets in the way once in a while. Maybe you get angry. But nothing can ever really tear apart two hearts that are in love. That's just the truth. And, the sooner you recognize it, the sooner your beautiful beating heart can heal.
That's the day, the hour, the minute, the second you realize how lucky you are that whoever broke your heart is gone. Hopefully, that individual stays gone, too; he or she wasted enough of your time, energy, efforts, and resources. People who betray and/or abandon real love often have what is referred to as "dumper's remorse"--which means, before they even left, they questioned if leaving you meant leaving the best thing to ever happen to them. In fact, you were the best thing because, if you weren't, the dumper would have stayed. Being a victim was more important to the dumper than anything else. Self-sabotage is like quick-sand. You're suffocating beneath the weight of your own decisions...buried alive, as it were. Like I said, deep pity for those folks. Life will never evolve or change for them. They live the same day and the same scenarios over and over and over again. Before they know it, six years, ten years, maybe twenty have passed but the emptiness never does.
Life does though....
At some point, we all reach our own event horizon--an age where, we are unable to go backwards, or, forwards. There can be no second chance for the life we have always wanted. Unless you have a beating heart. Then, there are infinite chances at a second chance. Infinite because that is the nature of how we love. The nature of us.
When was the moment I realized my broken heart was actually a beating heart? In the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, eating a fun-size Kit-Kat. I was hiding from my dog, who stares at me relentlessly when I eat something she can't have. Maybe I was hiding from myself, too. Eating my feelings like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, or Eric McCormack in the new season of "Will and Grace." And, that's when it clicked. Like the old flash-cube cameras. You're stunned for a few seconds before you realize you can see again.
Full disclosure: I'm too young to remember flash-cubes or how it felt for someone to snap a pic with one. But I have been watching the newest season of #StrangerThings on #Netflix and there was a few scenes involving moms, #Ghostbusters and flash-cubes. Everything always goes back to pop culture with me. But, I am the #PopCultureProfessor after all...what did you expect???
"Now voyager, sail forth to seek and find"...because, if you don't, no one else will do it for you.
PS: The above quote is paraphrased from a poem by Walt Whitman. The full quote gives more context, and perhaps, more gravity, too:
"The untold want, by life and land ne'er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find."