I pride myself on being the "non-judgmental" friend. Some times it is easy. Many times its not so easy. Especially when their particular sin hits home a little too closely.
I stumbled across an old friend last night. This is a friend who I looked up to. He had his stuff together. Good looking, smart, a very accomplished musician. He has a beautiful wife and two gorgeous children. His wife could easily be a model or actress. Hes the kind of person you look at and think,"this person is the luckiest man on the planet. He is winning at life! He lacks for nothing." Except he does. He lacks. Badly.
I ran in to him a while back. I saw him with a woman who sort of looked like his wife, but not quite. I looked his wife up on Facebook, just to make sure. Nope, that wasn't her. I saw her posts about how happy their little family was, and I died inside a little. Every time I ran in to this person, I hurt. I hurt for her. I hurt for him and the fact that, in spite of having it all, if you don't appreciate it, you have nothing. I said nothing. We never spoke of it. But he knew that I knew. And I think that was painful for him too.
Without going in to a lot of detail, I've been on the other end of this. Almost exactly the same thing. A person who looks exactly like me. Only not quite. Why did he go to her? I gave him everything I had. My heart. My soul almost. Yet it was never enough. Looking back, I have an enormous personality. Maybe he felt small with me. And big with this person who was kind of like me, only less. I don't know, and Ill never ever get over it. Every day of my life,I think about it. It never stops or goes away. I see photos of them together, and I say, for the thousandth time: damn. She looks like me. And I knew her, and she kind of acts like me. Only less. Apparently that is what he needs, because as far as I know hes still with her. And maybe some couples are almost right, but not quite right.
When I finally ended things with this person, I thought I must be highly flawed, for him to find a substitute me. I could not wrap my head around it. A fairly confident person most of my life, I struggled. I hated looking in the mirror, because I saw her. I couldn't just be myself because I started thinking that my personality was too much.
Enough time has passed that I have come to realize that I am actually a fairly cool, nice, fun person who people tend to like. Apparently Im still attractive too, because there has been no shortage of romantic interest, even now. It wasnt easy getting there. But yes, Im there.
So I ran in to this old friend last night. And I heard his story. I heard it without blame, or judgement. Because that is what I do for a friend. He is in pain. He has guilt. He has shame. His life is a mess. And I knew that what he did in no way made his wife less beautiful, or less of an amazing human. It was about something he needed or wanted. I wont say its a flaw in him. Ill say that maybe the flaw was not appreciating the beauty in what he had/has. He still doesn't appreciate it. If you saw this woman, it would be hard to imagine anyone wanting a substitute. She seems just as beautiful inside as she is outside.
Maybe, though, he is just with the wrong person. Maybe he needs to move on. Nobody wants to be with somebody who tolerates them and wishes that they were elsewhere. I am not a fan of divorce, my own ripped me apart in ways that are still broken. Probably always will be. But why would you stay when you really don't want to be there? For the kids? You are teaching them that marriage is something you tolerate. You are going to have your moments, in the best of situations. But if your heart and soul are not in it, isn't it kinder to move along? Free this beautiful woman to have someone love her with all of their heart? And do the same for yourself?
Or maybe, you will always feel lack. And that made me sad for him. And for the person who did this to me. I felt forgiveness, and sadness for them. I hope that both of these men find true happiness. I am not sure that they ever will. And I learned something. Its not necessarily the women that they find lacking. It is inside of them.
I found a bit of peace. So maybe some people lack. No matter what they have. What a horrible life. And instead of anger I finally felt sadness for them. They have set themselves up for a very disappointing life.
I heard my friend's story and felt forgiveness instead of anger. I wanted to hug him and tell him, either go back and appreciate the (*&) out of this beautiful woman. Or move along and the next person, truly appreciate and love them.Or be single for a while, and sort yourself out. Become capable of truly committing and giving your heart. I think half of why we are not loved well enough comes from not giving our hearts fully. Funny how when we do, everything sorts itself out.
I don't have the answers. But I am pretty sure that I was supposed to run in to this old friend last night. I got some answers, I gave some forgiveness. I got some peace. And hopefully, I gave some. I've already figured out that someone else's mistakes do not make me smaller or "wrong." The right person will find you fantastic. Another step ahead in my journey of life, I suppose.
This page is curated by Michelle E.Trimper
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