The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody would be to not be used for anything by anybody. Thank you for using me, even though I didn’t want to be used by anybody.

The fact is that all things come to an end. Sometimes, that end is wonderful; with wedding crowns and babies and happy lives together until the Kingdom returns, and mutual theosis is undertaken, and you die together when you’re old and grey, family and mutual friends by your side, and all that working-to-achieve fairy tale endings stuff.

Other times, it is not so happy an ending; breakups and derailed courtships that seemingly end out of left field, and you end up alone on your mountaintop fastness situated against the deep of the sky once more. Perhaps it’s fallen apart out of left field, like a thunderbolt from heaven. Perhaps it was something mutual, like incompatible careers; she loves the oceans, and you are a man of the desert.

Sometimes, your trust is smashed, too, and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to completely trust someone again, even if that intention was not meant. (You will.) It probably wasn’t your fault, but you find yourself wondering if that’s true.  (It wasn’t.) And you have no clue how it happened, when things seemed to be going so well such a short time before.

The fact is, some ends are harder than others, and more painful. And sometimes, you never understand why things end the way they do. So it goes. Things were not meant to be. And while it’s okay to mourn for a time, it’s also important to remember, as St. John Chrysostom said, “Glory to God for all things.”

Forgive, but don’t forget. “As God Forgives, I forgive also,” as we say to each other during Forgiveness Sunday every year at the start of Lent. You’ve been hurt. Eventually the scabs will fall away. There is a whole life out there. Grasp it. You have friends who will stand by you. Let them do so. To brood constantly breeds sorrow, which breeds bitterness, and while the walls of bitterness may seem a sweet cocoon to you, they are rarely so sweet to others.

Do not forget the lessons you learned during the failed experience. Patterns you observed in your attempt at romance, things you noticed. Apply the lessons to the next time. Don’t make the same mistakes, or do the same things, because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, and expecting different results.

Stand outside, and let the last light of the sun warm your face, and let the majesty of the stars in heavens wash you clean. Let it go. Mourn, but only for a time. Go to confession, and be washed clean with hyssop, and be made whiter than snow. Something better will come. And chances are, it will not be what you expect. Maybe it won’t be the love of your life. But then, maybe with that awesome better thing that’s coming, you won’t even need a relationship, either.

In time, perhaps, if it was an amicable ending, you two can talk again without fear of opening old wounds, but that is for the distant future. For now, go in Peace in the name of the Lord, away from one another. Let the future take care of itself.  The future is a whole other country.

(The opening is one of my favorite quotes from Kurt Vonnegut’s sci-fi classic, The Sirens of Titan; poigniant and especially beautiful, because we are all being used by God, if nothing else. )

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