From my experience, even the best loves that are most destined for greatness fall apart. Because life isn’t like a fairytale or a romantic comedy, life is messy and people are messy. We get so wrapped up in the stories we tell ourselves about things that we forget other people are human. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know. But we forget that and we relearn it, over and over.
A relationship ends and we go straight into denial and blame. It is his fault, it is her fault, he did this to hurt me, she hates me, she never loved me, etc. It goes on and on and on. Trust me, I know. From this I have learned that what we tell ourselves about what happened is what we believe, whether or not it is entirely based in reality. I have learned the first few days after a break up are crucial because the narrative you construct will most likely stay with you for a very long time.
There is this one break up narrative I have constructed and deconstructed so many times that I started to forget what happened. Then I changed the narrative to the truth which was simple. Things were good when they were good, then they weren’t good anymore and then they were done. The truth worked for a while but I have learned there are many truths. You have to peel back all the layers to get to the truest truth about a situation. The truth I am trying to tell you is something I knew, but now it is something I know – you have to walk your path.
A relationship ends and we choose to forget the other person is human, we choose to not extend grace to them. We choose all the negative emotions and we place all the blame on them. But that person is just walking his path. That person is just being human. He is just doing the next right thing. That is the beautiful thing about being a man, you can just do the next right thing and you don’t have to defend it or explain it to anyone. You can decide something is done and walk away without a second thought. What a world.
Anyways, I held resentment, sometimes I still do, that men can do that and that someone did it to me. But that is the lesson, women can do it to. We can walk our paths. We can do the next right thing. We really don’t have to explain it or defend it to anyone else. We can do the things we want to do without so much angst. We can just do the next right thing, we can just walk our paths, whatever that means for us.
I spent a very long time thinking my ex-boyfriend was an asshole. I couldn’t not understand how he could just leave and not explain himself. Whether he knew it or not, he was teaching me something very important. When you know something is not right, you leave. When something is in the way of what you want, you move it. How much can you really love someone when the relationship is killing your soul? My ex-boyfriend was smart enough to honor and live out what he knew to be true.
I spent a very long time thinking there was nothing to learn from that relationship but there was. There was something very important lurking underneath the surface – walk the path. Do the next right thing and own the next right thing. For women, it is a hard to do. We feel like we have to explain ourselves and defend our choices. But actually, that is not true. If we are honoring and living out our truth, we can do whatever we what without explaining or defending ourselves. It is something hard to understand and to do but it is revolutionary. Walk the path and do the next right thing, like a man.