Last month I went out to celebrate one of my best friend’s engagement. At her celebratory dinner among multiple conversations, the topic of my ex who was known to most everyone at the table came up. Through this conversation, I learned some information about him that confirmed some of my greatest fears as well as explained some of his behavior. I went home and it kept ruminating on my mind. I kept blaming myself for not seeing this behavior before and for allowing myself to date someone like this. My friend told me not to blame myself, but to move forward. I went home that night and had my devotions and my devotions for this week were about Lot’s Wife. In the bible, she turned into a pillar of salt by looking back at her burning home after an angel told her not to. It was then that in this moment I understood that you cannot move forward and look back at the same time.
Dating is hard. And my dating history has been intense. The last two people that I seriously dated left quite an impression on me and it wasn’t a positive one. It’s taken years of therapy and work to only begin to scratch the surface of the damage that has been done. One of the most painful realizations is that the pain that was caused was partly self-inflicted. I’ve always had a pretty good intuition about people, but also choose to believe that people can be better than what is in front of me. I fall for potential not reality. Potential can be fulfilled or unfilled, but reality is constant. Let’s call my ex, Thomson. Thomson came after a particularly intense situation and because he was sweet I ignored that voice telling me that the relationship was moving too quickly. I had read once that when someone rushes into a relationship it’s to hide their flaws. That turned out to be correct. Trust your gut. If I had taken the time to truly get to know them, we would never have dated because the issues I would have discovered would have been enough for me to know that this was not the person for me.
When our relationship ended, I felt tremendous relief. I also immediately took that relief and freedom and ran back into the arms of the person who had caused me the most pain. At the time I thought it was easier to be alone in the arms of someone than alone without anyone, but in reality, there’s no pain like being with someone and still feeling lonely. In my mind I painted this picture that we would finally end up together and for a while it was everything I wanted. But it wasn’t. It took a very long time for me to finally see that this love also wasn’t for me. There is comfort in being alone. It hasn’t been easy and there have been many occasions when I have wanted to run back to what I knew. Staying in a dysfunctional situation is often easier than stepping out into the unknown. However, the unknown brings with it the beauty of something new. Something better.
When Lot’s wife looked back, I believe that she was scared. She was leaving her home. She was running for her life and she didn’t know what would happen. What would her life look like now? Maybe she blamed herself for the situation she was in. So, she looked back. Just to get a glimpse of what was. While reading this story again, I realized that if God isn’t looking at my past mistakes then why should I? Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. I’ve taken this lesson to heart. I know the mistakes that I’ve made in the past. All I can do moving forward is learn from them. Has it been painful? Yes. Is there damage? Yes. Have I come out better for it? Yes. I don’t believe in regrets. And I don’t regret any of the relationships I’ve been in. I believe that they will make my next and hopefully last relationship that much sweeter. I wish the same for you.