There are many external factors in love relationships, most not directly involving our partners, but many with the potential to influence the quality of that relationship. Some of these factors come in the form of baggage from the distant past, but perhaps even more are from more recent mistakes in judgment. Some of these mistakes hardly matter at all; we shake them off and keep on moving. Others though, reverberate throughout our lives and we live under the cloud of these poor decisions. It is seldom we can change what others have done to us, but it is our recovery from self-inflicted wounds that measure who we are and what we can become.
Some wounds come because we talk too much, revealing things about ourselves and others that had we taken a moment to consider before opening our mouths, we would’ve exercised our internal veto. Words, once spoken, can’t be brought back and we’ll have cast ourselves and others in a poor light because of our incontinence. Secrets divulged can be a source of perpetual pain, the gift no one wants yet it keeps on giving. Yet others of us are liars, incessantly attempting to avoid the consequences of mistakes or to portray ourselves in more flattering ways. Others of us were at one time or another too free in sexual expression and those decisions haunt us to this day in the form of rumors, a tarnished reputation or worse yet, permanent conditions such as STD’s that influence our daily living.
If we could live our entire lives without ever making a mistake, without ever having a lapse in judgment then no one would ever have to say, “I’m sorry”. And while the merits of such a state of being are clearly understood, what is equally clear is that no such thing exists in your life or mine. We’re going to make mistakes, plenty of them, and the impact of the offense is usually weighed not only in accordance with the crime, but the extent to which others or we ourselves feel we should have known better. But once it’s done, whatever it might be, it’s done. How do we move forward from drama we’ve brought on ourselves? How do we minimize the effect it has on our relationships? The answers to these questions and much more I hope we’ll uncover in the next few articles.