Return the book to the shelf

I’ve had this bad habit for years.

I get upset when I look back at when others hurt me. They wronged me & I made a note of it. I emotionally jotted down every look, every word, every deed into a book in my heart. Occasionally, I would revisit that chapter to remember how I was the victim. To this day, there are certain people I struggle with forgiving, myself included.

Yes, people are assholes. Yes, they are selfish, inconsiderate, & rude. Like a tornado, some have blown into my life & destroyed everything in their path.  No matter how much I tried to prepare for the disaster, my heart is shattered. They fade away as if nothing has happened & I’m left in the destruction of their wake.

As someone who craves closure, it’s beyond difficult for me to know there are certain chapters in my life that don’t end as complete as I want them. There isn’t always a happy ending. Some endings are hard & painful. Just like in some books, sometimes the hero doesn’t win. Much like that character, I’m left to gather the strength to start a new chapter & to move on with my life.

Some of these books of my life are well-worn from me repeatedly looking back, hoping & wishing things could be different. Going over every detail. Maybe if I said this. Maybe if I did that. Making notes in the margin to protect me from getting hurt again. Keep everyone at arm’s distance. Or maybe bail before they can hurt me. Over & over again, I’ve thumbed through certain chapters & barely glossed over the good ones.

As I’ve recognized this pattern in my life, I’m learning a harsh truth that I honestly don’t want to face – I need to close the book & return it to the shelf.

I can’t keep looking back if I want to move forward. What’s done is done. All I can do is hope for a better today & a stronger tomorrow. And while I’m tempted to grab some books with me, I will strive to let them gather dust on the shelf. One day, I’ll be able to look back at only view the good chapters. But for now, I know me. I know I can’t look back at the good without absorbing the bad.

So as I close the book, I softly return it to the shelf. I longingly gaze at it as it has become oddly comforting & familiar to me. I grab a new book. One where the spine is intact & the paper smells fresh. The blank pages are a canvas I will paint my life on.

It’s time to move on, SC. There’s so much good in the world & in your life.

Never give up & never settle.

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