To the men I have loved before,
This includes the good, bad, young, old, brief, long, and true loves. I have spent too much time crying into my pillow and collecting regrets in a jar that I stored deep inside my heart and soul. Each time a relationship “failed” I dropped another ounce of regret and pain in this jar until it got too heavy and I had no choice but to empty it. I now drop love for myself into that jar, but I never could have done that without you.
When our relationship ended it felt like another failure, another reason to beat myself up and wonder what I could have done differently. It felt like there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and that was all there was to it. I didn’t reflect on the journey and I certainly never opened my eyes and heart to the blessings I also collected along the way. Before the pain of loss there was joy, laughter, travel, adventure, kisses, smiles, and everything in between. And when the end came there was a lesson to be learned and taken with me. Even those who hurt me intentionally and robbed me blind taught me something. They may think they won because they fucked me over, but I am the real winner. Because I learned I can survive the loneliest and darkest places. That the longest nights ALWAYS turn into morning and the sunshine returns whether you think it will or not.
Not a single relationship was a failure. Every moment I had with every lover I was blessed to receive. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t love myself. Thank you for the memories, the lessons, and the jar of regrets. For if I had not been given that jar, I would have nothing to fill with all the love I have for myself.