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It doesn't matter how long it has been. Sometimes you will see, hear or think something and it will bring you back to that grief like it is day 1 again. This will never change. Being a supportive friend or family member means accepting this, and being supportive of it.
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. —Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
True that . . . . I used to work with a night shift manager decades ago who thought he was 'God's gift to Womanhood' so, of course, I HAD to be interested in him, right? Oh how wrong he was....so I learned I had to have comebacks for those jerks who were like him.
Sometimes "real" is our desire for a particular and preferred frame of reference to materialize. Our expectations may cause us to spend years believing the frame will be realized only because we once had it and want it again. Real is when we cease to wait for something to frame up. Waiting =/= Living. ~Zest of Life
Forgiveness is a decision. We decide to cut off the bitter root and plant a seed of love. We cannot blame ourselves if it does not grow; sometimes the other party has poisoned the soil too much. But we must keep the bitter roots cut and plant more and more seeds of love. Forgiveness begins when we make that choice; long before we see the results.