At the beginning of each week, I chart out five topics I “think” I’ll want to write about. Sometimes, I write about them all. At other times, I write about an issue that has emerged in my life in “real time.”

Then there are those times – those amazing, wonderful, miraculous times – when I choose a topic and it manifests itself in my life…so it is both planned and unexpected. Like now.

For a few weeks I’ve been receiving inquiries about my current life dilemmas – am I angry, do I blame anyone, would I do it differently if I could do it over?

My response – as best as I can help it – is always one of love, understanding and forgiveness. You see, forgiveness is not about the other person…it’s about you. I know this all too well, which is why I choose to forgive.

I even choose to forgive those (friends, family, etc) who vowed to be in my corner then deserted me in the eleventh hour. Why forgiveness you ask, because my forgiveness is not for them it’s for me.

Now some of you may be thinking, “Fine. Forgive, but don’t forget!”

Well, I can assure you…you haven’t really forgiven if you haven’t forgotten. Now, before you go off and work yourself into a tizzy, let me explain.

Forgetting does not mean pretending that nothing has happened. Something has happened; someone has wronged you, betrayed you, violated you. Someone has taken you for granted or worse, not taken you into consideration at all.

Forgetting these heinous acts is part of the process of forgiveness; however, it doesn’t mean that you should put yourself in a position to be subjected to such treatment again.

When we are betrayed, when our boundaries are compromised and our values are disregarded – we have to restructure our standards.

Restructuring the standard is essentially saying, “OK, I acknowledge that you did that thing. I’m even willing to forgive you and just forget about it. But what YOU have to understand is that I won’t allow you to do that to me again.”

What does that mean? Well here’s an example: If an ex wanted to get back in my good graces, he would likely try to do all the things I asked him to do when we were together. He might switch up his style, ask to meet my friends, or work overtime to create special memories (all while acting like this is who he’s ALWAYS been – deep down – or wanted to be).

Most likely, he is operating from the belief that my standards and expectations are still the same. He is operating under the assumption that I want from him what I wanted before. But…

Restructured standards don’t permit for the SAME treatment, they demand BETTER treatment! Doing for me is no longer enough, now I need to see that these new valuesn beliefs, activities, etc. are part of who he is WITHOUT me. In short, restructured standards are the manifestation of lessons learned.

How can I expect you to take care of me when you have trouble taking care of you? How can I expect you to be kind to me when you aren’t kind to others? Why would I think you want to spend time with my family when you don’t talk to your own? What would give me the impression that you could make mature decisions involving me, when you often involve me to help you make the mature decision? (This applies to friends and family as much as a romantic partner, btw).

You see restructured standards say, “Show me the money.” When you’ve truly restructured your standards, you simply CAN’T bring up old stuff. You can’t because you’re no longer operating from that place. YOU’VE changed so your perspectives have changed. You’re no longer pressed about trying to get someone to fit into a box because the box is now a glass cylinder. You know the squares don’t fit so you disregard them, now the new question is…what fits in the cylinder? And best of all, your new outlook allows you to find those answers much faster.

Rather than interpreting someone against YOUR beliefs about who they are and what they should/could be, you consider them in RELATION to who you are, what you need, and how well they fit.

As you prepare for this long holiday weekend, and you’re meeting new people (perhaps making a love connection or celebrating an existing one) take a moment to restructure your standard and make this the weekend the best it can be.

Forgive the action. Forget the hurt. But never forget your standards. Namaste.