By Jontae Grace
I swear, this life can make you feel a hundred years old sometimes. And love itself can add another twenty, with its euphoric highs and desolate lows. You try to balance being cautious with being open, but it often leaves you in tragic situations – like being killed by the airbag. You want everyone around you to be OK, you want them all to lack nothing, and you would do anything to make that happen. Above all, you care so damn much for their well-being that you often sacrifice your own to look out for theirs. And for all of that giving, stretching and straining, you’ve been dragged through the mud by lovers with commitment issues, messy tendencies, selfish ambitions and all kinds of drama.
But you still have love for them.
Regardless of the hurt and pain, you wouldn’t hesitate to open your heart, your door or even your legs if they ever came knocking. It’s utterly insane and goes against the best advice of those who’ve known you longest, but you just don’t have it in you to extinguish the flame – even if it means getting burnt. We all have someone in our past that we can never fully resist, either physically, emotionally or otherwise. Some people just have a hold over us, and no amount of time will ever make them strangers in our hearts. But they can be dangerous, especially if they do not have the same regard for your life as you do theirs. They can ruin your current relationship and everything you have built since they departed. It is no use denying what you feel – to do so is an insult to your heart and unhealthy to your spirit. What you must do is learn how to love them from a distance, so that you can accept the past without regret, smile on the good memories as equally as the bad, and move forward with no hangups.
You are blessed with a loyal spirit – you would be surprised at how many people in this world lack what, to you, is instinct. Once a person comes under your protection and affection, they are in for good, and your compassion will not allow you to turn cold on them. It is a double-edged sword that allows you to fight hard for your loved ones, but also leaves you exposed and vulnerable to cuts and bruises. When it happens, you must accept that some battles are not yours to fight and you cannot save everyone, no matter how much you wish to. Ultimately, people must live their own lives and make their own decisions. So wish them well, but focus on your own plate – which has more than enough to keep you occupied.
Exes can ruin your current relationship if you are not careful to keep a tight rein on potential threats. You are still hoping he fixes that one flaw that broke your union. You haven’t found a woman who knows you, or sucks you like she did. You two still keep in touch from time to time. All of these situations leave the back door open for all sorts of unintended situations to enter your current reality and undo it all. And many a relationship has been destroyed by it, because we were unable, or unwilling to express our love from a distance.
If you are single, survival should always be your foremost instinct. You can only afford to think “we” in a relationship; if you are solo, your cup should always be full before you can consider pouring into others’. Your energy is not infinite, and the world will not even notice – let alone help – should you find yourself on empty. You can’t give everyone what they want and still have enough to function properly. Maturity is achieved when you can care for someone without draining yourself emotionally for them, and the goal is to maintain your compassion while keeping a healthy distance.
We tend to hold onto positive memories of people much longer than negative ones. But always remember that life takes people in different directions, and the person you have warm memories of may be unrecognizable due to the circumstances they’ve gone through on their path. There is a giant question mark surrounding their past, and you cannot be quick to accept them as the same person you knew, because they’re not. While the goodness you once loved may still be in there somewhere, we all collect thorns on our journey through the briar of life, and you will get stuck if you aren’t careful.
To that end, former lovers must be viewed as individuals who came into our lives and gave us lessons which we will carry with us for the rest of our days. The good times were amazing, the bad times were educational, but above all else, it is done. And trust me, they’ve moved onto the next – life doesn’t stop once the relationship does. You have no way of knowing what he or she has been doing in your absence, but everyone needs attention and affection, so assume that you were replaced. I don’t believe in “The One,” I believe that humans have the capacity to fall in love more than one person. Yes, there will always be that one who felt like our other half, but they aren’t the only people out there who will love you the way you desire. You cannot stay attached to a memory; it will not hold you at night, rub your feet or bend you over the way you like. That skeleton-slore in your closet will not roll your blunts for you, draw your bath after a long day or stand in line to cop the new Retro Jordans for you. We live life going forward, and sometimes you just have to give your ex a blessing, and wash your hands of them. It isn’t always easy, but it is necessary to preserve your sanity, and even your life.