“I deserve much better than this.” How many times have you heard someone say that; or worse, how often have you said it? There is something profoundly unhealthy about staying with a person because you have to make a point or prove that you are worth it. “But I am a good person! Why can’t he see that.” Or how about “once I am gone he is really going to realize that he lost the best thing that’s ever happened to him.”
I hate to break it to people, because I also hated breaking it to myself: NO, he is NOT going to realize that! Maybe he misses pieces of you, maybe he hates being alone, but no, he is not in some magic slumber that will suddenly end when you choose to leave. Chances are, he is going to move on, the way he always has before you came around. Maybe there is relief in knowing that he no longer has to work so hard or pretend or fight, or whatever. Maybe there isn’t. But what most of us don’t want to admit is that it doesn’t matter what the other one thinks, feels, wants, needs or doesn’t. What matters is what you feel, think, want and need. If you cannot believe that you are worth it or “deserve better” you won’t convince anyone else of it. It’s as easy as that.
Running around the world and telling everyone how beautiful, deserving, smart, ambitious, amazing and loving you are is not going to make you so. If you cannot believe in yourself, no one else will. If you don’t set boundaries, no one else will. If you don’t decide what and when it is enough, well, I’m sorry to say then you have it coming. All I can say is, “brace yourself and get ready for the next round of crap.”
Love…what a wonderful notion – and yet I think a lot of us have it wrong. Love isn’t pain and it isn’t hard work. Love isn’t misery, fighting, struggling and proving your self-worth. Love is not about power, control, dominance, fear, anger and selfish whims. Love is not an addiction you have to fuel like an addict. And no, it’s not about fear and adrenaline rush (often mistaken as the initial “in love” experience). Love is about deep appreciation, respect and admiration for the other person. It’s about the joy you experience when spending time and space with them. It’s about mutual interests, but most importantly same values! If your core values do not match, you won’t either. This is not about compromise. A compromise is about taste in food and music, not in areas like being monogamous or loyal, for example.
While we are talking about the foundation for love; let’s also discuss friendship for a moment. We often use the reason that the other is our best friend. And again, I come in with the brutal truth: Wow! Your bar when it comes to friendships must be set, not just super low, but probably be buried underground; unless it is OK for your friends to be dishonest, disloyal, selfish and mean to you. I often see people put up with stuff for the sake of friendship and honestly, it amazes me what they consider a best friend. Truth? A person who consistently puts their needs ahead of yours, does not treat you with kindness, respect, care and consideration is not only a lousy partner, but definitely not a friend either. I wouldn’t even acknowledge them as an acquaintance. Don’t mistake the few good times you have and the few times he/she actually listens and attempts to care or do the right thing as being a friend. Friends don’t hurt you consistently and/or worse, deliberately!
It is sad, maddening and hard to stand up for yourself when you don’t know how to. It is difficult to understand that no one but you is responsible for your happiness. You can roll over and stay in denial, blaming the other(s) for your misery, but in the end, it’s all on you. Your quality of life is on you. Happiness, success and health – yep, also almost 100% on you. Even when life deals you crap cards, it’s still on you. There is power in this! Trust me. I view these trials and crap times of my life as badges of maturity and wisdom. There were times when I kept sticking my finger in the electrical outlet, electrocuting myself over and over, wondering why I was in so much pain; until I learned to stop doing that.
So the question remains: Are you done yet, or are you ready for the next round of pain! The choice is 100% yours.