To Those Who Know Me

To my loved ones and friends,

Those of you who’ve known me – who’ve stood by me all these years – who’ve bit their tongues when my behavior warranted far worse, and whose patience and forebearance I’ve hardly deserved; I owe you a debt of gratitude and my deepest apologies.

Midlife brings the gift of insight. I’ve had the opportunity to view my life from a different perspective; one that is more compassionate, tolerant, and true. One that doesn’t assume intent, but which holds that we all do what we know.

I see my behavior in childhood, adolescence, even early adulthood, and I notice how grasping and confused it was. I see that I was in a kind of pain I couldn’t understand, and because I couldn’t resolve why I hurt, I lashed out at everyone, especially those closest to me.

I was ignorant, immature, short-tempered, suspicious, self-righteous, entitled, and smug. I bought into my own lies. I was the victim of everyone else’s maliciousness. People were the problem…the problem wasn’t with me.

Until I realized… it most certainly was.

I discovered that shit happens to absolutely everyone, and that a lot of bad shit happens to a lot of people when they’re very young. I’m not unique or special in my confusion or my pain. In fact, I’m a lot more like everyone else than I once cared to believe. My belief in the special nature of my suffering enabled me to become bitter over my experiences. I didn’t observe my own negative behavior, or infer that I drew negativity to myself through the dysfunctionl ways I related to others. I couldn’t see that I was experiencing the consequences of being myself.

For all you’ve endured in your relationship with me: my stubbornness, my aggression, my anger, my selfishness and self-pity, I am sorry.

For failing to be a good friend and a good person, for taking far more than I gave, for taking you for granted, for ignoring your hopes, cares, and needs, I am sorry.

For failing to recognize the gift of your continued friendship and love, your perseverance, and the hope you held for my eventual enlightenment, I am sorry.

My hope now is that your faith in me is rewarded. I hope that the person I’ve become; the person I am now, and the person I have yet to be, will be worthy of such love and devotion. I hope the lessons I’ve learned will enable me to be a fully loving, generous, and compassionate person for the rest of my life.

Thank you for the gift of being who you are. It has meant everything to me.

With love,

xoxoxo

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