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  • Writer's pictureKris Barling

The next Chapter

When I hit 'publish' on my first book, there were so many mixed emotions. There was excitement for the fact that I had finally finished something that I had been working on for many years, there was nervousness at the question of whether or not people would like it, but possibly the strongest feeling was one of fear, for the backlash that I would possibly receive as a result of some of the things that I wrote in it. My aim of writing the book was not to punish people or to make anyone feel guilty, but unfortunately, this was how it was perceived by some. I deliberately kept many things out of the book as some of the people that were involved were still in my life and I had no desire to cause them hurt and pain or to cause conflict. I also still had hope of improving and working on those relationships in the future, even though past history suggests that it was a very low possibility. Despite this, life has changed once again for me and has led to me removing a couple of people from my life. It has been a difficult decision, and not an easy one but I have decided that for my own mental health and happiness moving forward, it was necessary. Sometimes, the people who are in our lives, that society says should play certain roles, will never live up to the expectations that you have of them. As children, we do not have a choice of the people that are thrown into our lives and we are unable to remove ourselves from situations that we do not like. We are at the mercy of our families and the people that they choose to bring into our lives or to take from them. As adults, we have that choice. To make that choice for yourself and follow through can be extremely difficult, but one of the most empowering and life changing things that you can do. I always say that forgiveness is not about making what happened ok. It is about accepting that the past will never be different. Forgiveness can also be accepting that a relationship that you hoped for, will never happen and deciding that it is time to stop hoping that it will. It doesn't matter what the relationship is. It could be your Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Best Friend from High School or even your Husband or Wife. Based on our perceptions in society or on other people's lives, we conjure up in our heads what we feel would be the perfect form of that relationship. Sometimes it becomes reality. Often it does not. Eventually in that case we need to accept that it is never going to be the way we hoped or expected. We then need to decide if we are ok with the reality of the relationship, or is it time to remove ourselves and move forward?

As difficult as it can be to move forward, often it is the healthiest thing that you can do and the first step to healing yourself and repairing the damage from the relationship. We need to understand that despite the roles that they play in our lives, they are still just people. People that have their own personalities and their own priorities. Regardless of the label that is attached to them, they may not form a healthy component of your life. Despite whether they came into your life as a result of your circumstances or by your own choice, you need to forgive yourself for allowing the pain that they caused you. If they came into your life as a result of your own choices, you need to understand that you also have that choice now to remove yourself from the situation now that you are strong enough to do so. If they were a part of your life because they were family, or your had no other choice, forgive yourself for accepting their behaviour and realise that it is now your power to choose whether or not they remain.

Once you have made that decision and started to take action, you can start to heal from the pain that they have caused you in the past. The most important thing is to understand that you now have the choice to decide who remains in your life and to take that control.

You are strong enough.

Kris xx

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