Redemption: Of Course It’s Hard… All Worthwhile Journeys Are.
My darling girl,
He is not going to apologize. He is never going to apologize. He is not coming to take you tenderly by the hand and look you in the eyes and tell you that he is sorry for the part of your heart that he fractured. He is not interested in healing your wounds. He simply took to the infection with a knife and cut you out, covered the scar and moved on.
He is not coming to beg for your forgiveness. He doesn’t want it.
He is not interested in your redemption. They can do that, you know? Move on. Just like that. And it seems so wrong and unfair and it hurts. And no matter how many times you call him, no matter how many times you lay your heart at his feet and open your arms and show him your truest, most tender self, he will never return it in kind.
No matter how much you’ve evolved and learned, he is done with you. And you might think that you need his compassion. And you might think that you need the words I’m sorry more than you need air to breathe.
And perhaps the air would be easier to breathe, it’s true.
But you have to make do with the air that you have. And you will once again have to deal with cool indifference. Publicly. And it will hurt. But he is not here to make it easier for you. As much as you wish you could have one more crack at I’m sorry, you will never be sorry enough. And you must accept the fact that he may never be sorry at all.
You must be your own savior. You must offer yourself your own redemption. You must walk with your head held high. That no matter who you are and what you’ve done, you are worthy of your own love and the love of those around you. The shame you bear is a shadow, and it’s only there as long as you give it power.
Forgive yourself, my darling. Distract, redirect, take a breath. Move forward. Even if you cannot bear the idea of this separation. Even though his sins still sit beneath the surface of your skin, you can love yourself.
We can talk about narcissists and sociopaths until the sun goes down. We can repost quotations about what they do, gather all of the solidarity together in bunches until you have enough for a bouquet of validation. But it will never be enough. Their charm offensives and peaceful protests are designed to make you second-guess yourself and offset your progress, and they know it.
They have legions of adoring fans who have not seen what you have seen. In fact, it’s safe to say that no one has seen what you have seen. He made sure of that. Your scars aren’t on the outside, they’re buried deep within the walls of memory. Dark places that only the two of you can return to. And why would you? Atonement isn’t there.
What you want isn’t there.
No, it’s not fair. You will not get what you want. And even if you do, you cannot trust it. And worse, you cannot trust yourself if you get it. What you need is to not need it. To rise above it.
It’s possible that justice will never be served for the pain in your heart. That no one will know the arrogance and cold-heartedness, the cruelty, the mirroring of your shadows. You cannot control people’s opinions. You cannot control the story he tells about you. The parts he leaves out.
You cannot trust him to speak tenderly of you, to acknowledge that you believed in him so much that you were willing to risk your own ascension to support him.
You put yourself aside for him, and darling, that will not do. And now you are cast out and on your own, and you have two choices. To wander back and lie down at his door, or you can rise. Know that if you have loved a man like this, you loved a teacher, and you need to rise above your pride and take the lesson for what it is.
Rise because you can.
Look at me.
Yes, you can.
Maybe the thought of being such a being of pure light that outshines the hurt seems outlandish and impossible now. Maybe it is a darkness that stays just out of focus. Just as long as you don’t look at it. Don’t look at it. Don’t touch it. Just keep walking.
Of course it’s hard.
All worthwhile journeys are.
Erica Wheadon is a writer and photographer from the eastern coast of Australia. She is an astrologically complicated serial playlist-maker. Her work can be found on her website.