After the end of a relationship, it can be easy to think that our exes didn’t deserve our love. It’s a proclamation I’ve heard uttered more times than I can count- and one I’ve said frequently over the years. But I had a new thought, waking this morning more tired than when I lay down to sleep.
Everyone deserves love.
That’s it. We all deserve love. Even our exes. It’s not that they didn’t deserve to be loved. They simply squandered it. Instead of honoring the love we bestowed upon them, they instead did whatever thing it was that led to the end of the relationship. Did they waste what we offered? Sure. But everyone in the whole of the world deserves to feel loved.
When we’ve felt incredible amounts of love for people who didn’t appreciate or honor that love with their own, it can feel like we wasted our time and energy. We may even wish that we’d never loved them, or try to deny that we ever did. It’s easy to allow that disappointment and anger to turn to bitterness and to speak quickly to dismiss their worthiness.
But. Everyone. Deserves. Love.
Maybe they didn’t deserve for us to stay in their lives because of imbalances in the relationship. Maybe they cheated or lied in some way that makes it impossible to continue to trust them. Maybe they didn’t even love us back. But that doesn’t mean that they weren’t deserving of the feeling that has long inspired poetry and love songs. Perhaps they threw that love back in our faces, but even then, it’s not our love that was undeserving. Nor is it that they do not deserve to be loved.
No, we weren’t able to stay in those relationships, but maybe it’s a mistake to think for even a second that there are people who don’t deserve to be loved. Sometimes we simply have to choose to love them from afar, to leave their lives because their love wasn’t enough for our courageous hearts. We can accept that our love wasn’t wasted. We can even continue to feel the love that’s in our hearts. They don’t have us in their lives, not because they were essentially unworthy of being loved, but because they had a gift that they did not -or could not- appreciate. Or simply because the relationship was never meant to be a forever one.
Did they deserve to have us remain in their lives? Probably not. And that’s okay. We can only decide what we are and aren’t willing to live with. We’ve made choices because of that. It doesn’t mean our love was wasted though. Love is never wasted. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t deserve to be loved. It only means that it’s over.