With clear eyes.

Is it wrong for my view of someone to be colored by the things she has done in the past? To me, that’s a fact of life – things that happened in the past shape how we respond in the present. If someone has hurt me in the past, I’m going to be more cautious around her. If she has hurt me repeatedly and never acknowledged it, even after I tried to approach her about it, I’m probably going to think of her (at least in part) as someone hurtful and insensitive, because that’s how she has behaved to me.

Of course, things are more complicated than that, and I know I haven’t done everything right, but I don’t think I was primarily at fault, and I did try to work things out. And I don’t think I’m holding a grudge like I’ve been accused of doing. A grudge, to me, has a lot more bitterness than I currently feel. It’s slanted and you can’t see the person accurately, like a funhouse mirror. Their faults are exaggerated. I have done that in the past with this relationship, but I currently feel like I see things pretty clearly. I don’t think this person is the embodiment of evil, and I am perfectly willing to admit that she has grown and has some perfectly amiable qualities, but my primary interactions with her have been negative, so my primary view of her is that she’s not someone I would care to have a relationship with.

And so she accuses me of not taking into account the ways that she has changed. To that, I say, “Show, don’t tell. I gave you a fair chance to change. I believed in this relationship at one point, but I need to see that things are different.” But I don’t really say that. I don’t say anything. I don’t know what to say, especially since I don’t see that the fundamentals have changed, and the fundamentals rub me the wrong way.

I do still see things through that same lens of hurt, but I think I am finally starting to see with clear eyes.

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