August 28, 2019

In praise of overthinking

The man I'd been seeing since late June has been ghosting me for over a week. I know that something bad happened in his life but no more. After we'd started spending time together I was very happy. Many people commented on it. I asked myself, will I be as unhappy if/when this ends? But told myself not to overthink it and just enjoy. I had a reason to look forward to each week and had hope for the future.

Big mistake. I should have listened to that voice and backed away. I should have guarded my heart instead of trusting that the lessons I'd learned from past relationships would help this time. I hadn't factored that I don't get to have the things that everyone else does. No health, no job or career, no partner. None of that is for me.

I'm sure my broken heart will heal eventually; it always has. But for right now I hate almost everything about my life. I am very thankful for good friends, and my mom has been very supportive, but this still feels like too much to bear.

June 6, 2019

The simplicity of hard choices

I've been thinking about hard decisions. We often frame them as choices between right vs wrong or good vs bad. Even simpler than that is the question I ask myself: will I like who I am more or less based on what I decide?

My ex-husband was an abusive narcissist. I watched him make choice after choice to become that person. At first they were very small decisions, not even perceptible as good vs bad. At the end of two years, however, he was no longer recognizable as himself. I learned that every choice to sacrifice your ethics for convenience or selfishness compounds. A tiny compromise now becomes difficult or impossible to recover from when repeated enough times.

Today I had the opportunity to believe a friend or not. Faced with an uncomfortable fact, what do I do? I chose to set aside the ego I had in my own judgement and trust someone else's experience. I didn't need to know both sides of the issue because only one side mattered: my friend's. I know the power of being believed and having my experiences valued. Being able to do that for others is a gift.
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