Black and White and Gray All Over

People are nothing but a giant gray area.

A few years back, when things ended with the guy I was supposed to marry, I was the “victim”. He broke my heart, I was left to pick up the pieces – to me, it was a black and white situation. He was a bad person.  I was a good person. He hurt me and so he was bad, I tried to save the relationship and so I was good.

It doesn’t really work that way, kids.

At this point in our lives, most all of us have broken at least one heart, and most all of us have had our hearts broken at least once. If hurting someone else makes you a bad person, then the majority of the world’s population is pretty terrible. Causing others pain is unavoidable in life -the only real difference is whether you cause it intentionally or unintentionally (and I sincerely hope it’s the latter).

Whether or not you’re a good person isn’t defined by one event in your life. When we’re broken up with, it’s easier to label the other person as evil. It’s part of the process of moving on, and sometimes you need things to be black and white so you can deal with your hurt and reassure yourself that you’re still wonderful – which you are – even if someone you still want doesn’t want you anymore. It sucks, and it hurts, but it gets better.

The truth is that things aren’t easier one way or the other. It’s not easier to be the dumper than the dumpee, and vice versa. Both roles come with their own set of issues. I’ve broken up with a few men who told me I was a worthless, terrible person as a result of it. And I believed them, because I was a teenager, and I felt bad for hurting them, and I know that they wanted me to hurt on some level, too. Those feelings make sense, even if they’re not healthy. But at a certain point you’ve got to realize where they’re coming from – a place of pain and anger, not necessarily a place of truth – otherwise you’ll find yourself sucked down a rabbit hole of self doubt. If you made the decision that was best for you, you shouldn’t be ashamed.

Breaking up with someone doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person. Being broken up with doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person. How you act every day, how you respect others, how you treat the world, how you love yourself – that is what makes the difference.

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2 thoughts on “Black and White and Gray All Over

  1. Your last sentence is the whole story. After my divorce I realized it takes two to make it and two to break it . When I met your uncle! I told him I first had to learn to love myself again before I could love anyone else. He helped me do that.

    1. That’s amazing! When I left my ex (it was a very unhealthy relationship), I pretty much jumped into another one and now I’m rethinking that jump. I’m not rethinking my boyfriend or our relationship, just the part where I didn’t take the time to be me, rediscover who I was, and plant my feet firmly back on the ground. And I want to tell him this, but I’m not sure how.

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