We all know the saying; “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” It is so programed into our world that second chances are for the weak. Second chances are for the gullible, and the naive children of the world. I don’t know when we all became so cynical about each other, but somewhere down the line, we stopped believing that there is good to be found in all of us. I’m not saying I haven’t ever been burned after playing with fire, I have gotten my heart broken after giving people a second chance to walk into my world. All I am saying is I wouldn’t take any of it back. I’m saying that sometimes it is okay to let the person who hurt you try to help you pick up the pieces, no matter if anyone thinks you’re foolish. Sometimes it is the only way to heal.
If I still carried a grudge from every person who had ever wounded me, every person who made me feel insignificant, every person who ever made me feel less than the person I am, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. There are always going to be people who were in my life who I will never be able to walk away from completely. It is so rare to find people who understand us completely, and somehow I have been lucky enough to cross paths with so many people who have gotten me to where I need to be. Regardless of if they burned me at one point or another, I would still pick up the phone if they called me at two am.
I think it is pretty common that when someone hurts us, we suddenly disregard every positive action they have ever committed. One mistake cannot be overpowered by a million acts of love. Despite my best efforts, I have done plenty of wounding in my nineteen years. I have talked poorly about people whom I love when they weren’t around to defend themselves. I have said more than what needed to be said. I have held my tongue when I should’ve raised my voice. I am sure I have inflicted the same amount of pain as I have endured. Somehow though, I have been blessed more than once to prove myself worthy of redemption.
I am thankful for the people in my life who has blessed me with the gift of a second chance. Even if it didn’t end the way I thought it would, I was grateful for the chance at a new ending to the story. Life doesn’t always offer us a fairytale, but sometimes we are lucky enough to get the chance to write a better ending, and to mend the hearts we have broken the best way we know how. It might be as simple as a giving someone the explanation they were looking for, the answers to the big unknowns that lurk around every corner. It might be just letting someone know how you feel; that you love them, that you miss them, that you wish things could be different. It might be a clean slate and the freedom from the fallout of a broken heart. It might be as simple as saying "I'm sorry," and walking away for good.
I dislike having my heart hurt just as much as anyone else. I hate feeling like I am walking around with my heart in my hands as I scramble to put it back together. I hate trying to figure out what went wrong. I hate trying to rationalize with my heart because my heart knows nothing of rationality. I hate that my heart latches onto people without apology, but I also kind of love it.
I don't think I will ever stop giving people second chances. Sure, there are times when once is more than enough for me, I know when I have had enough. I know the times when my heart is waving the white flag, and when my heart needs to throw in the towel. I am not a masochist, just an optimist. I am never going to stop believing the best in people. I have seen too many relationships restored. I have seen stories of tragedy turn into something far less devastating to stop believing that sometimes, people are worth it. I have been shown grace far too many times to choose to not give it to others.
If you feel a nagging in your heart and an ache in your being to seek out a second chance, or to give someone a second chance, you're not weak. If you find yourself in the mix of a story in need of redemption, it is okay to see where it goes. Sometimes it takes more than one take to get things right.