I’ve blatantly plagiarized this, author unknown. But as you read through this, see if you may recognize some of these as familiar signposts. Several are very hard to read, because the truth is very pointed. For me those would be Nos. 7, 8, & 9…
1. The Pain Stops: when you stop looking at the person you love as the person you love, and you begin to see them, not as a partner, a lover, or a best friend, but as a human being with the strengths and weaknesses and even the core of a child.
2. The Pain Stops: when you begin to accept that what you would do in a circumstance is not what they would do, and that no matter how much you try, they have to learn their own lessons, and they have to touch the stove when it’s hot, just as you did, to learn that it is much better when it is cold.
3. The Pain Stops: when your longing for them gets slowly replaced by a desire to get away, when making love to them no longer makes you feel cherished, when you find yourself tired of waiting for the moments where the good will truly outweigh the bad, and when at the end of the day you can’t count on their arms for comfort.
4. The Pain Stops: when you start to look inward and decide whether their presence is a gift or a curse, and whether when you need them, they cause more heartache than bliss.
5. The Pain Stops: when you realize that you deserve more than they offer and stop blaming them for being less than you wish. When the smile of a stranger seems more inviting and kind, and you remember what it’s like to feel beautiful, and you remember how long it has been since your lover whispered something in your ear that only the two of you would know.
6. The Pain Stops: when you forgive them for their faults and forgive yourself for staying so long. When you know that you tried harder than you ever tried before, and you know in your heart that love should not be so much work.
7. The Pain Stops: when you start to look in the mirror and like who you see, and know that leaving them or losing them is no reflection of your beauty or your worth.
8. The Pain Stops: when the promise of a new tomorrow is just enough to start replacing the emptiness in your heart, and you start dreaming again of who you used to be and who you will become.
9. The Pain Stops: when you say goodbye to what never really was, and accept that somewhere in the fog you may or may not have been loved back. And you promise yourself never again to lay in arms that don’t know how to cherish the kindness in your heart.
10. The Pain Stops: When you are ready.