Like many, it took me a while to grasp the fact that healing is not linear.
Therefore, after so many ups and downs, even after getting our closure and letting go, we fall a few times before being able to truly move on.
Moving on is the last phase of a breakup, and just like in video games, the final stage after passing all the levels is the hardest one. We tend to linger on even after we know fully well that whatever we had was over.
To be quite honest, I started checking out Najwa Zebian’s writing because, as a Lebanese woman myself, I have always been curious, proud, and supportive when Middle Eastern women make it. I know how hard it is for Arab women to break the stereotype and shine, especially when they are writers and activists, not influencers. However, I did not expect to find soul remedy and so much wisdom in her words. What also came as a surprise was finding the lost key to the final stage among her letters.
It was time for me to swallow a hard truth that I was not ready for. I kept denying that no matter how hard I tried, loved, cared, and gave, I could never make someone truly love me. I couldn’t accept the fact that had that someone loved me, he wouldn’t have left in the first place.
During those moments, I kept thinking of the things that I could do to make him love me. I’d pray, beg, cry, and shamelessly google tips and ways to make a man fall in love with you. Had I not been a God-fearing woman, I would have probably used a voodoo doll and gone to an enchanter.
On one of those frantic searches, I came across the following words from Najwa Zebian. They hit me so hard when I first read them that I vowed to never love someone who doesn’t love me, doesn’t find me worthy, and most importantly, does not show it to me.
Her words were so timely, and I hope they heal someone struggling with moving on.
“Here is a hard truth to accept: you cannot make someone love you. Here is a hard truth to accept: the best decision that you will ever make is to stop wanting the love of someone who doesn’t love you.”
Finally, I will leave you with more of her cathartic words to complete the puzzle. I have always believed that forgiveness is a part of the key that opens the door to the pathway of “moving on.”
Some of us will not be able to forgive, which is normal and fair sometimes, but I find forgiveness selfish and a form of self-love and self-care for me; hence, the below quote resonated with me when it reminded me that what I was doing spoke of me, not them—unlike their behavior.
It reminded me that the best revenge would be to live a healthy, happy life worth of a movie where they can no longer be part of the cast. Forgiving him and myself was the missing piece of the puzzle all along, and let me tell you…it looks beautiful!
“Forgive them not because they asked for your forgiveness or because they deserve it or because the pain they caused you is not worth it but because you cannot truly move on without forgiving. It shows your levels of maturity and your ability to understand that life is not always fair and that someone’s behavior speaks of them, not you. Your forgiveness speaks of you, not them. I thought that I needed your apology to move on. I really needed to forgive myself first.”