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Monday, 10 August 2015

Mistakes versus Lessons Learned

My ex girlfriend recently said that she made a big mistake and that she is about to make the same mistake again. I could have been hurtful to her by acknowledging her mistakes. And - to be honest - a part of me is actually thinking she did. However, if she made a mistake by leaving me then I made a mistake by letting her leave me. I could have stopped her. I could still ask her to stay. But I will not.

She did not make a mistake. She took a decision. A decision which may actually have been long, long overdue. I cannot bring her everything that she needs. But to be fair, perhaps no one can. She meets the 4 criteria for a viable relationship: communication, intimacy, respect and trust. However, one essential element is missing: mutual love. Love doesn't grow. It's either there or it isn't.

Her decision to leave was the final step in my transformation. I could not have become the person who I am today while still being together. I have never considered that our break-up was a mistake as mistakes can be fixed. And neither she nor me was genuinely interested in fixing it. I have been angry with her for a while but realised that this decision was key in my recovery and transformation.

In response to her alleged "big mistake", I wrote: "you need to do this and start repairing yourself. You can't do that with me. You may make the same mistake again but you're welcome back once you have learned from your mistakes and repaired yourself. It's a high price but I paid that one too".

Last Friday we exchanged some remaining items which still were with the other person. This brief encounter was terrible, for both of us. I expected to see a happy person who is about to emigrate to her new love but saw an angry person instead. We exchanged some bitter words afterwards. Then I remembered the question that had already been raised by some people: does she still love you??

That lingering question in the back of my mind, made me write to her that "our break-up was the final step in my transformation. I was and am not able to save you as I'm not strong enough to do that. You can only save yourself by first have the will to change. Only then others may be able to help you. The best person to help you will always be you / yourself. I know. That's my farewell song / blog to you: I wish you peace. Read the lyrics carefully, especially the last line."

We did not make a mistake in breaking-up. Else we would have corrected it by now. Mistakes allow us to learn, correct and improve. Being angry over our mistakes is normal but this angriness should not prevent us from learning why we made that mistake. Accumulating anger and not dealing with it is indeed the perfect recipe for making a new mistake. In that sense, my ex girlfriend is indeed right in expecting to make another mistake.

The only reason for this expected new mistake is that she is not learning from her previous mistakes. She does not deal with her dark side. She just accumulates anger and blames others. Nevertheless, she is the best friend I have ever had and could ever wish for. Life can be unfair at times.

"If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit." William J. Clinton, 42nd American President