I would like to share with you how lessons on forgiveness allowed me to shine my light for the whole world to see. My lessons weren’t easy and I didn’t want to partake in them, they were painful and, at times, heart wrenching. However, it was the only way I could find the answers I so desperately wanted.
It’s a funny thing about life, it will continue to give the same lessons over and over until you get it. Although my lessons were about forgiveness, I think my even greater lessons were about SELF.
SELF worth, SELF love, and most importantly SELF acceptance. Come along as I share my story with you.
Forgiveness can be hard to give, especially when we feel someone has “done something” to us. I had to learn a lesson on forgiveness and, as I look back, it was the greatest gift I ever gave myself.
It was February, 2009, five months earlier I had just gotten out of a long term, “off again on again” relationship. In December of 2008 I had decided 2009 was going to be my year, I was going to start fresh, take some courses, learn a second language, and find “Mr. Right”!
A lot of people I knew were doing the online dating thing, I wasn’t a fan. However, decided to give it a try, what did I have to lose? I created a profile and within a week I had been on my first date. Very nice guy, attentive, kind, educated, a family man, but after one date I decided he wasn’t “my type”. We often hear people say “he or she is not my type.” Unfortunately, some people, myself included, have made opinions about individuals based on their looks and not on their actions.
Nonetheless, I pressed on and within a few weeks I received a message from another man. He didn’t have much to say in his initial introduction, however, what he did have to say he said it very well. I responded and we went back and forth a few times via email, a week or so later he gave me his phone number and I called.
After our initial phone conversation I remember my first thoughts were “what a great guy!” He made me feel very comfortable, he was so easy to talk to and our conversations flowed, it was like I had known him my entire life. He told me he was divorced with two children under the age of 10, that he owned several coffee shops in the city, and was the founder of a non-profit organization that built children’s hospitals in third world countries. In fact, he said he had a crew in Haiti to set up a makeshift hospital to deal with the fallout from the earthquake that struck in December of 2008. Well, he had me sold. Not only did he have a great voice (I know, so silly), he made me feel comfortable, and he was building hospitals in the poorest countries in the world.
Over the next few days we spent hours talking to each other on the phone. He, too, commented on the ease and comfort of our conversations, telling me he had “never felt like this before.” Two weeks after our initial phone conversation, we made plans to meet for dinner. I wasn’t nervous, it wasn’t a blind date because we had spoken on the phone a number of times and exchanged photos of each other. As far as I was concerned there was going to be no surprises. We made plans to meet at 4:00 pm at a local restaurant. I got there 20 minutes before 4:00. He arrived 60 minutes after 4:00.
Hold up, wait a minute, red flag number one! As far as no surprises, I was very surprised. “Mr. Right” had used an older picture of himself to post on the dating site. That was red flag number two. Guess what I did? No… I didn’t say thank you, but no thank you. I stayed and had dinner with him. I remember wanting to leave, but not knowing how to get myself out of the situation. I was pleasant during dinner, but very uncomfortable. And when the bill came, “Mr. Right” allowed me to pay for my half, red flag number three!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problems paying for my dinner. However, when your date arrives 60 minutes late with no explanation, lies about his appearance, and allows you to pay for half of a meal that you never ate should be an indication of what kind of person you are dealing with. The date ended with “Mr. Right” walking me to my car and promising to call me the following day.
The next day he did call, several times, but I refused to answer any of his calls. I wasn’t interested based on his actions from the previous night, but once again didn’t know how to say “no thanks”. Through the course of the night he must have called me about 8 times and I remember saying to myself “just pick up the phone and tell him you are not interested”. As much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t gather up the courage.
Since I wouldn’t answer his calls “Mr. Right” decided to send me an email outlining how disappointed he was in my actions and how I was just like all the other women he had ever dated. He also mentioned in his email his weight gain was due to medication he had taken for a tumor in his eye which no one, including his children, was aware of.
As I crazy as it sounds, when I turned into bed I began to convince myself that the date wasn’t awful and he wasn’t such a bad guy. I ignored my intuition which was screaming “run”. The calls kept coming in and I I agreed to see “Mr. Right” again at the end of our conversation.
That was one of the biggest lessons the Universe ever dealt me. Over the next few months the relationship was filled with deceit, pain, anger and acceptance.
As you would well expect, the relationship ended a few months after it started. I learned everything “Mr. Right” had ever told me over the course of our time together, other than being divorced and having two children, was a lie.
“Mr. Right” never had cancer, never owned coffee shops, nor did he build hospitals in third world countries. He didn’t even have a job. He did not own a car or a home. I’m not sure where he lived, but it wasn’t where he had taken me. The friends he claimed to have didn’t exist and he was not taking care of his children emotionally or financially. When things began to unravel, I learned he never loved me and was a con artist who had hustled me. Even more devastating, or so I thought at the time, I was pregnant with his child.
“Mr. Right” turned out to be one of the greatest gifts “God” has ever given me. “Mr. Right” had always been “Mr. Wrong,” but I chose not to see it. There were many signs during the course of the relationship that I chose to ignore. Purposely? Possibly, but I would say it was more of my unwillingness to trust myself and accept what he was. He wasn’t good for me, however, I thought like many women do, that I felt I did not deserve better. My friends were all married and I wanted that, even if it meant loosing part of me in the process.
You see during the course of dating “Mr. Right,” and even prior to him, I was always looking for someone or something to make me happy. It’s sad to hear a woman say, “I need a man” or “ I’m looking for the one to make me whole” or in my case, “I can’t wait to find Mr. Right”. What I came to learn was it was not “Mr. Right’s” responsibility to fill me and make me whole, that was my responsibility. Once I was able to fill myself up, then I could start thinking about a relationship, but until then there was no point. I had to be “okay” in a relationship, but even more so had to be “okay” without one. I wasn’t okay being alone when I met “Mr. Right” and that is why I stayed.
When the relationship ended, my life was completely turned upside down and shattered and I was left holding all the pieces. I remember asking God why he was allowing this to happen? I was angry at God, angry at myself, and even angrier at “Mr. Right”. It was during the course of my pregnancy, which “Mr. Right” was completely absent, and almost two years after the birth of my son when I finally started to get the answers I so desperately wanted from God. Looking back, I have no doubt the experience happened for me (notice I didn’t say to me), so I could be that person I was intended to be. I had to be torn down to be built up again. It’s like weight training you tear your muscles apart so they can build back up to be stronger and better than before.
I made the choice to forgive “Mr. Right”, and most importantly, to forgive myself for choosing to ignore the signs. I fell in love with me and started to look inwards for love and happiness. I accepted “Mr. Right” was not in my son’s life for a reason. If “Mr. Right” couldn’t love himself, how could I expect him to love my son?
All the anger and resentment I had towards him I replaced with love for myself, acceptance of the situation, and understanding towards “Mr. Right”. Often when I shared my story I would get the same anger filled response. My response to these individuals was one filled not with more anger or hate, but with forgiveness and understanding. I think “Mr. Right” gave my son the greatest gift when he walked away from the relationship. I have compassion towards him because he believed he had to make up stories about who he was and what he had in order for people to love him.
He didn’t understand nor did I at the time know there is nothing you have to say or do or be to get love. You’re mere existence on the earth is your birthright to love. I now understand I have, I am and I will always be enough.
“Mr. Right” has made a choice to not see my son and this is something I will have to explain to him when he gets older. What will I say? I am not sure but I do know when that time comes I will be guided and directed. I will remind my son of what a blessing and a gift he has been to me, his brother, and so many other people. During my pregnancy I remember telling my friends (who were my rocks), that this baby was special. I didn’t know what that exactly meant, but my pregnancy just felt different this time.
Looking back at it now I know he was my angel sent here to save me. It was no longer okay for me to go through life existing and playing small. His existence was going to force me to shine my light for the entire world to see. My son has forced me to stand tall and recognize my self-worth.
People often tell me I have a crazy schedule. I am a single mom of two boys, work full time as a police officer, teach boot camp, train 4 to 5 times a week, and three years ago started a children’s apparel line. When I hear people tell me I’m “crazy” it’s music to my ears because I know I am alive!
I now know forgiving “Mr. Right” and forgiving myself were the greatest gifts I ever gave to myself. It led me to SELF LOVE, SELF WORTH and most importantly SELF ACCEPTANCE.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story.
Peace and Blessings,
Julie Thompson is the single mother of two boys, ages fifteen and five. She resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she works full time as a police officer. She also owns a children’s apparel business called Skights.
When she isn’t working, Julie teaches boot camps, enjoys hot yoga, strength training, and running. She recently obtained her Level 1 Reiki cerification and loves everything that has to do with juicing and eating green.
Connect with Julie at www.skights.com!