Surround yourself with good people.

For too long I got bogged down in relationships which were inherently negative. I allowed other people’s hang ups, issues and problems to impact upon my own well being and peace of mind. When it’s all you know it’s tough to identify. We are never very good at analysing ourselves and seeing the impact of another’s negativity upon the psyche.

My last two relationships were like that. People who sucked the fun out of Al. People who chipped away at a positive mental attitude and transformed me into mirror images of their negative personalities. People who drained kindness, forgiveness and happiness.

I note this was sometimes through no fault of their own, but frequently as a result of their circumstances, their career (or lack of), their relationship with family (or lack of), their relationship with their own children (or lack of).

To be beset by negatives is to have your own positives crushed. To have someone struggle to see the good in themselves (it was there!) and to highlight their flaws and troubles and problems was to cast into shadow the things you liked about them in the first place. You cannot suffer someone saying they’re fat or ugly or bored (boring) persistently without starting to see them as they see them.

The world is a cruel and ugly place. Many people will call you fat and ugly and boring; don’t join them.

I’ve stepped away from toxic relationships and into the light of a beautiful positive lover. She isn’t an egoist or self-centred. She isn’t arrogant. She might even say she lacks confidence in herself. But when she smiles the world smiles with her, and when she laughs it’s as angels singing and you can’t help but laugh along. She’s understanding, caring, kind, loving and generous with her time and compassion. She sees the world through positive eyes and loves everyone and everything in it. To be with her is to feel love and happiness. To be with her to to have found contentment.

She makes me a better person by letting me see the good in this cruel and ugly world. She doesn’t know how truly marvellous she is – and that there is the beauty of her. Unassuming, never selfish. She’s good for my soul. Surrounded by her warmth and generosity I can’t help but feel my mental health flourish.

She fixed me.

Forgiveness

“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”

Sometimes words are easy to say but the message, the advice, behind them is difficult to take. I saw these words and they were immediately relevant, instantly important. I have a lot to move on from. I have a lot to move on for. There is a future out there waiting for me to step into but I am anchored in the very recent past.

Try as I might I have yet to be able to shrug off the awful things which people did to me and to others. But it’s necessary for me to be able to move on. Because, you see, hate is baggage, and carrying around hate for people – well hate is a strong word, but carrying around this negativity isn’t good for the soul.

So here goes, forgiveness.

I forgive you for the terrible way you treated her at the end. You meddled and you plotted and you schemed and you made her desperately unhappy. Then you climbed on the grief-train and wallowed. Despite your incredible selfishness, I know you feel guilt, and I know that in your own way you are sorry for what you did. I forgive you.

I forgive you too, for the way you treated her. All she wanted was to be free to live her life without your spiteful jealousy. She never, ever, would, but I forgive you.

I forgive you for the way you treated me and my brother. I asked you what you would do differently and you said you would do exactly the same. Despite your arrogance, I forgive you.

I forgive you for your efforts to deny a son his father. You realised your mistake. You realised the fight you faced. You never apologised. But I forgive you.

And I forgive you, oh brother of mine. On behalf of your child who cannot forgive you himself, and who doesn’t even recall who you are and what you look like, I forgive you.

It’s time for me to move on. I cannot dwell on the past. I cannot allow the petty behaviour of people to keep me down. I’m going to make an effort to allow transgressions against me and against the people I care about to be forgiven. Because, unless you can do something about them, you just gotta forgive them.

Who are you going to forgive?