Rule #3 – Thou shalt not repeat mistakes of the past.
Theme: 5 Lessons I Have Learned About Love Over the Years
Rule #3 – Thou shalt not repeat the mistakes of the past.
1. You cannot fix the past.
I know, we all have that one we let get away, or someone who loved us in a way that we weren’t prepared to accept, but trust me—it didn’t work out for a reason. Trying to go back and fix an old love affair will only bring up old feelings and prevent, at best delay, the healing process. Sometimes it feels safer to go back and pursue something old rather than to take a chance on something new, but life is about moving forward and taking risks. As the genius Hov once said, “life is for living, not living uptight.” Trust that you have grown, that you have learned the gift of discernment, and that you are capable of making better choices today. Whether you were the ill-doer, or on the receiving end, or simply made a decision that hurt someone else, know that the future can, and will, be brighter than your past. You alone are capable of making it so.
2. You are not responsible for other people’s feelings.
Seriously, you’re not. This is a lesson that I have to remind myself of frequently. If you make a decision for the betterment of you, or that you feel is the best choice for all parties involved in the situation, it is not your burden to carry if the other party is hurt by that decision. This is not to say go out and screw over the world and take no accountability, but you cannot make life decisions based on how it will make someone else feel. You cannot stay in a broken relationship, or harmful situation, to avoid hurting someone else. Would they do the same for you? Even if they would, it’s unhealthy. Sometimes the best decision really is the most difficult one.
3. There is a relationship type.
You know that person who you thought was really cute, but something in your gut told you that they would break your heart—and then they did? Yeah, there’s someone out there who won’t make you feel that way. If you pay attention, you can spot the type you’re seeking and save yourself the heartache. Now, I know that not everyone is as tuned into their intuition as they would like to be, but intuition really is just about paying close attention to the details. Sometimes it isn’t in what a person says or does, but what they don’t. There is no simple equation to figure out, or clear signs to look for, in fact, most of the time it’s in the energy. Where are they currently in their life? What are they searching for? How do they interact with you? What is their time investment? Now, I know that people think that you can change another person, but that really isn’t the case. Sometimes you may meet a relationship person who has been tainted. Or sometimes you may meet someone who believes in polyamory and is trying something new, the key factor is to know where a person is in their journey currently, and how you fit into that equation.
4. You won’t always know if you made the right decision.
Sometimes you make a choice and you feel 100% confident that it was the right choice. In your mind, there was no other option, all signs pointed to X. However, there are other times when you make decisions and the feeling of certainty doesn’t occur. Maybe you made the wrong decision? Maybe so and so was the one? How will this one decision play out in the long run? You have no possible way of knowing this, so the best course of action is to determine if it was the best decision. Yes, there is a difference between right and best. Ask yourself this, is the choice you made in the best interest of all parties involved? If the answer is yes, then that was the best decision. Do not focus on whether or not it is the right or wrong choice, but is it the best decision? Sometimes a simple shift in perspective makes all the difference in your take on the situation.
5. Be patient and productive.
Often, people look for love for the wrong reason—mainly to fill voids, but if you fill those voids yourself, then when the right love comes along you will know it because they won’t be filling a void, but adding to your life. For instance, I love community organizing, I love working with the youth, I love writing, and I have a great support system in my friends and roommate. I invest my time in cultivating these types of relationships. How will you be able to sustain a romantic relationship, if you can’t even maintain platonic ones in your current life? I know it’s cliché, but work on yourself and leave the universe to bring the rest together. Looking for love often leads you to the wrong path, not the right one. My favorite example of this is Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. They were both pursuing their passions when they met someone else who shared their same passions and goals. Another part of the piece is location. How do you ever plan to meet a like-minded individual if you are not actively pursuing your heart’s passions? It’s hard work, but it’s easier to embrace real love if you have already filled your life with the love you desire. It always starts with self.
These are lessons I’ve learned about dating over the years. I know that there are more to come, but I hope that these lessons may help and enlighten you on your journey.
Until next time…
‘Love and hug more’
-Ms. Malcolm Hughes