If you are still breathing, you have a second chance.Oprah Winfrey
In the addiction and recovery field we talk a lot about second chances. I have always used this Oprah quote when talking about their importance in the harm reduction field. But this morning, I want to take on a different perspective and talk about what comes after the second chance.
By providing second chances, we create an environment that fosters personal development and offers people the opportunity to learn from their past actions. Second chances demonstrate a belief in the capacity to learn, grow, and make amends. It is an act of grace that can empower individuals to break free from the shackles of their past and strive for a better future.
But sometimes second chances are a learning opportunity for the person who offered them. If you give someone a second chance, give them the room to do something different, but be prepared to act if the same behavior continues. Second chances are about supporting the other person, but don’t lose sight of your own boundaries in the process.
I deal with a lot of manufactured drama over the fact that I am a polyamorous man (meaning: I maintain multiple intimate partner relationships). Polyamory by its very nature is open, loving, and affirming, but some people seem quite intent on stirring up negativity and doubt whenever possible. This recently played out with an old friend who had previously made the grave error of trying to wedge themselves between me and a partner. The individual was offered a second chance and almost immediately proved why they didn’t deserve it.
I believe in being generous with second chances with the understanding that Second Chance Station is either the beginning or the end of the line.
Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.