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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Lesson on Compassion


I recently ran into my ex, if you could call him that, at a club in Ann Arbor. It was a bit strange as this is not the type of club he would usually attend, and from what I have heard, he really didn’t go out that much anymore because his girlfriend isn’t twenty-one yet and he didn’t want to leave her. I had seen a girl with him at the club, and I feared that it was his girlfriend. Soon to find out, it was his roommate, NOT his girlfriend. Well, that made the  situation a little less awkward.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him, and a long time since I felt any remote pain or feeling about it. I had decided that even though he broke my heart worse than it’s ever been broken before, I was happy that his was finally with the girl of his dreams. But this night was altogether weird. I went up and talked to him and was genuinely happy for him. We talked about his new job and how things were going, everything seemed as if it was going really well for him.
We went to dance and it was even more flirtatious than it had ever been when we were “together”. I was very confused by this because I decided long ago that we weren’t meant for each other, and that he wasn’t the type of guy I wanted to be with. And I know how he feels about his girlfriend -- head over heels in love with her and would never do anything to hurt her. 
I came home and checked facebook. I was looking at a post on my page when I noticed that his profile picture was no longer of him and the girlfriend. So I clicked on his profile. It no longer showed pictures of him and her as the profile photo or the cover photo. Scanning his profile, they were no longer in a relationship. Okay, check her profile . . . same thing, no profile picture, no relationship status. Well, that explains the flirtatious behavior. 
Anyways, him and I got together to just hang out the other night. I wanted to ask, not out of vindication, but to make sure he was okay. I didn’t go the usual direct route that I would normally take, but eventually got him to tell me that she broke up with him. I asked if he was ok and he said he was “fine”. Putting up a tough front is always his specialty. Always acting like everything is okay and not really showing any emotion. He spoke a little about what had led to the break up and my heart literally broke for him.
Now this is the guy that was in love with my friend the entire time we were “together”, then ended up dating her, and rather than either of them telling me, I found out via facebook. So why the hell would I feel bad for this guy?!
I was angry for a long time, bitter, downright pissed off. Then I decided that I was upset because he chose her and he used me as a second choice the whole time. One day, it just hit me: I could choose to be happy for him, to forgive. So I did. 
And after thinking about this all a little bit more, and why I would still care after all this time, I had a moment of clarity, of peace, serenity even. I somehow turned what I felt as pain, bitterness, heartbreak, and anger to a place of compassion, an open heart, an opportunity to care. It was this sense of transformation and renewal. Rather than be angry or feel vindicated that someone broke his heart like he broke mine, I was sad for him. I worry about how he is doing, despite the words that he is “fine”.
I can’t even begin to explain why it is that I continue to care. But I can explain that having an open heart and being compassionate, even to those who have hurt you so badly before, leads you to a better place. Leads you to a moment of clarity. Peace. Serenity. 
Yeah, he broke my heart and I was burned badly, but there was a lesson learned. This guy taught me how to let loose and live life, and I can’t thank him enough for that. Every person you meet is there to serve a purpose, big or small. And even if you get burned by that person, there’s always a place in your heart to hold for them. You never know when they might need it. 
Inspiring soul, kind mind, compassionate heart . . . 

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