Be careful with your words and actions

You can be forgiven for your words or actions, but chances are they won't be forgotten.

I have forgiven people -- friends, ex-girlfriends, and the like -- who have done me wrong. In fact, I have stayed in close contact with most of them to this day.

However, their hurtful words and actions remain firmly etched in memory, ready to be brought to bear should these individuals insist they've never let me down before.

I try not to pull the plug on relationships I've invested a great deal of time and energy into. We all know that making new friends, especially as we get older, is no easy task.

However, I become much more guarded thereafter, ensuring that they never again exploit my kind and giving nature for personal gain.

I try to choose my words very carefully -- and act accordingly-- so that I won't later have to issue an apology. However, if I were to say or do something that results in hurt feelings, I most certainly would expect them to look at me with a cautious eye moving forward. It's only fair.

Far too many people don't think through their words and actions, landing them in hot water.

Perhaps the most devastating blow is when someone is caught lying -- a form of deception that can very often spell the end of a relationship. It becomes increasingly difficult to trust someone once they've proven to be dishonest.

If someone you care about has trampled on the trust you've placed in them, it's up to you to decide whether that relationship should go on.

Don't ever feel pressured to keep the relationship alive because of longevity or for fear of loneliness.

Indeed, other people's company isn't necessarily good company. If they let you down once, they're bound to do it again.

That's the worst-case scenario, however. Hopefully, they gain a newfound appreciation for the relationship after seeing it come close to collapsing. Some people do learn from their mistakes and change for the better.

The Bible says that "to error is human, but to forgive is divine."

Again, I would encourage everyone to forgive people, but I would never persuade anyone to simply forget what happened.

A relationship is like a book. Once the pages are written, they cannot be erased. You can, however, come to accept what's written on them -- however unpleasant -- and hope that things will get better as the story progresses.

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