So you’ve had an ending. Now you are in the midst of a quagmire of emotions. Know this: Mistakes are experiences. What did you learn about you?
Too often we use our mistakes to shame us. The voices in our heads that we are not pretty enough,
good enough grow very loud when we shame ourselves.
Shame is a story stealer of your story. The story of you finding your love for a lifetime. Shame exhausts. Shame is a liar. Shame changes truth into lies.
This mistake is not worthy of you shaming you. Of you believing some lies about you. It is an experience. What did you learn about you?
Sometimes we have people in our lives who also like to use our mistakes to shame us. Keep your boundaries with these people. They are probably toxic. Sometimes you are stuck with them in your life. You can still have boundaries with them so that their shame of you does not have to be a truth you tell yourself. It is not a truth. This mistake is an experience.
Mistakes are experiences for you to learn about you. What would you do differently next time? What did you compromise your soul for? Which boundaries do you wish you asserted earlier? Which new boundaries do you want to create for your next relationship? When do you want to assert those boundaries in your next relationship? What is the truth about you that this previous relationship taught you? What lies did you believe about yourself in the previous relationship? What is the truth to those lies? Is there a characteristic from the person in your previous relationship that is now a forever red light? How can you involve your team better next time? Do you now decide to put a team together? Where did you place your relationship with God during this relationship? How can you date in your next relationship and not compromise your relationship with God? What did you learn about God’s faithfulness in this previous relationship? That last one may be worth journaling (or you can submit it as a blog here).
Look at how much you have learned! This is what brave dating is all about—it is you learning about you to prepare you for your love for a lifetime. Yes, this last relationship was a mistake. Maybe a mistake of epic proportions. But now it is an experience. It is a part of your story. Maybe it is the hinge point of your story where your life story permanently changed to the right direction.
Learn from this experience. Do not shame yourself. Make your Plan B–because deep down you know you are worthy of having something good happen to you. This takes some bravery. Think about that—this next person who dates you is dating a braver version of you. That is attractive!
(Photo credit: https://www.gardenia.net/guides/plant-family/camellias)