For me, 2018 was difficult because someone I love hurt me profoundly by not attending a milestone event in my life. Not because she couldn’t, but because she didn’t feel like it. If it had been the first time, I probably would have let it go. But since it’s happened before, it felt like a slap in my face. And I had to accept that I don’t matter to her. At least not enough.

I made a couple of attempts to make it easier for her to attend. I offered to pay her trip and hotel. I moved the event closer to her, geographically. But in the end, she called me to say she just didn’t want to come.

My heart broke.  

I know very well that my pain only hurts me. I know I’m holding on to the hurt and I’m dwelling in the pain and acting like a victim. “If you love someone, set them, free,” they say. “If he (in this case she) come back, he’s yours. If he doesn’t he never was.”

I projected my expectations onto this person.

I expected her to be a generous, considering person. In hindsight, I can see she never was who I wanted her to be. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a nice person. She’s not unkind, rude, or mean. But she is the kind of person who always puts herself first, no matter what. She will never walk the extra mile for someone else if it inconveniences her. And that’s probably OK.

I just have to learn to love her for who she really is. And I will.

Because I simply can’t take the easy road and walk away. I’ve learned that when my issues rise to the surface at the same time as someone else’s issues rise to the surface, a learning opportunity has arrived.

While I’m thinking, “Oh no!” the Universe is clapping its hands, musing, “Oh yes! This is perfect.”

Because the most important lesson we can learn in life is to forgive. We anger when we project our own issues onto someone else. We view ourselves as separate, we the righteous vs. them, the sinners. And when we realize we are all one, that the one who hurt us is showing us what we don’t love about ourselves, then perhaps we can begin to heal.

Forgiving doesn’t mean you’re pardoning or excusing the other person’s actions. It doesn’t mean that you have to forget what happened. It means you’re letting go of the blame and the pain you’re causing yourself.

Her actions have shown me that I don’t prioritize myself enough. As the youngest of three sisters, I’m so used to following the lead of others. Making sure everyone else is happy. Keeping the peace.

This is what the universe wanted to tell me: to nurture myself.

And I’m working on forgiving her . I visualize her every night before going to sleep, I see her surrounded by love and happiness. Because she deserves it.

And in time, I will love her again.

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