There’s a saying “You only live once, but if you do it right, then once is enough.” I believe that. I believe that regrets keep you tied down as long as you choose to dwell on them. Regrets stop you from moving forward. A friend of mine was involved in a relationship with someone who proved to be a complete user; we’ll call her Sue, for the sake of privacy. Sue found it very hard to accept that she had allowed herself to be manipulated and used the way she was. She simply couldn’t believe that an intelligent, capable, experienced businesswoman such as herself would fall hook line and sinker for someone in such a way that she over extended her own boundaries in an effort to assist this man. She felt cheapened and hurt by the permission she herself gave him, to keep asking of her, and she was angry at herself for having been so gullible.
Sue needed to take time to understand a few things:
1) that to give one’s trust is not the bad thing, and when that trust is broken it speaks more about the person who broke it than the one who trusted, because trust comes from a place of goodness, help comes from a place of goodness, and she did both trust and help him.
2) that the greater looser (in more ways than one) in the whole situation was this man, he lost someone who might’ve been his saving grace both as a man and as entrepreneur.
3) that sometimes we are the “one” and sometimes we are “the catalyst” for change, and its not always possible to predict which one we’ll be.
I fully understand how Sue felt – the insult of his cheating and turning into a huge jerk was only topped by her own self-judgement and belief that she brought it upon herself. She felt she let it happen, let herself get duped. The mature outlook that we eventually worked towards was an acknowledgement that she had only a tiny small part to play in that she trusted him without perhaps the necessary relationship risk assessment, but that she could not have predicted that an apparent “good guy” would turn out to be a snake.
Sue will live to love another day, perhaps with more caution, perhaps waiting a little before letting her guard down, but she has walked away a winner in this because she has not overlooked the lesson; she has done the hard work of facing her own part in the situation, forgiving herself, and then learning how to set boundaries without becoming a bitter and twisted man-hater.
It’s easy to let situations overcome us and taint the way we see the world to the point that we not only expect only the worst but fail to see any of the good, but Sue’s journey taught me from the outside looking in that even though there may be pain, the lesson is worth the journey.
So maybe its true – if we are comfortable in our own selves and confident with our inner beauty, then that which has brought us to the point of this “becoming” has been worthwhile. And then, looking back on life, one life will have been enough, because it will have well and truly been lived, without bitterness and ugliness taking root. After all, flowers bloom among the weeds but don’t become rotten by the proximity and Sue, like a flower that had almost been choked by that weed, lived lived, to bloom another day…