What was your most surprising revelation in 2012?
I may come across as niave or lacking common sense by not having figured this out until I was in my twenties, but here it is: just because a collective demographic tells you how to do something, or that you should feel a certain way, doesn't mean that it's sound or rational advice. Just because it's the "norm" among a particular generation at this time, doesn't mean that it will work for you. That being said, the two categories that this applies to the most are as follows:
When built on a strong and firm foundation, I don't believe that love ever truly dies. Some relationships will fade into the background, maybe for a certain period of time, or perhaps that their purpose in your life has been fulfilled. If nothing else, it changes a different shape. You can't always put a finger on it and recognize exactly what it is, or even why. All you know for sure is that you will always care for them on some level, regardless of the paths you take or the amount of times one/both of you mess up.
You shouldn't have to have reasons why you feel the way you do or how you treat another person. You do it because of who that person is, and not necessarily what they do for you.
On the other hand, it's essential to know how to give and take; to know how to love well. You may feel like your heart is completely filled to where you would do anything for someone; but if either one or both don't know how to demonstrate that, being in each other's lives is more stress than it's worth. Sometimes you're both in different stages or seasons of life. Sometimes you have your own issues and insecurities that you need to deal with separately. But it's not good to risk losing yourself when you're grasping at straws.
I have no doubt that I want to be pursued, to be fought for, and to be wanted.
If there's one piece of advice that I never want to forsake, it's to allow God to put the pieces of the puzzle together in His timing, rather than try to force them on my own. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, never try to mold yourself into a type that fits into someone else's ideals, or force something to happen when at the moment it might not be a good time.
I was once asked why I don't hate anybody. It's rather simple, actually: I don't see the purpose in putting that much energy into a person that does help me to grow or make my life better. Oh yeah, I've proclaimed it in the heat of the moment. There are people that drive me absolutely up the wall at times. But it doesn't mean that I would try to make their lives miserable every chance I got.
I just don't understand why some have such disdain toward people they don't know; they claim it's because of one or a group's religious beliefs, sexual orientation, political association, career/profession, etc. But if you don't know them and who they are or what they do doesn't directly affect you, then why go all out?
Personally, I think hatred is what's driving this country into the ground. Worse is when one puts hatred into action. It's not about whether you should like a person and/or agree with what they do, say, and believe. It's about being respectful, regardless of the situation, and knowing when to walk away when you can't handle it anymore.
Avoiding them isn't going to do it. The only way life will ever get any better is learning how to coexist with what you don't necessarily like.
I can understand anger and heartbreak toward one that has wronged/hurt/completely broken another. It's a natural reaction to fight back, because it's the one immediate way to do it. And it takes a lot of time to work through; weeks, months, or even years. It's how healing takes place.
But the biggest step of healing is forgiveness. In my eyes, there are two kinds of such: one is where you're willing to give whoever caused you pain a second chance and allow them back into your life. The other is when you have no contact whatsoever, but you forgive if only for the sake of giving yourself permission to move forward. I speak from experience when I say that holding grudges will do nothing but destroy you in the long run.
That doesn't mean you have to forgive right away, or only forgive once. Depending on the level on pain, it can take a very long time. Don't rush yourself. But don't actively try to hold on to what you can't control, either.
On a final note, this is not an instructional manual on how to navigate love and hatred; I just feel that this is what's best for me, and how I want to live.
May 2013 be a year of love and joy, not a year of pain and hate.