Sometimes the hardest part after trust has been broken with someone you care about isn’t trusting them or someone new again, it’s learning to trust yourself again.
I’ve had relationships in the past where things didn’t work out and instead of objectively seeing how that person was not a good fit for me, I decided to blame myself. I should have seen the red flags, I should have listened to myself, I should have known better…I “should” all over myself. I can be ridiculously unreasonable with myself at times.
I know there are some good aspects to being hard on myself, I’m constantly pushing myself to be better, to work through things, to understand. But lately, I am realizing there are some things I might never understand…and that’s okay.
Maybe I don’t always need to understand. Maybe I don’t need to create stories and solutions to justify other people’s behaviors. What if could practice letting go and trusting?
I mean, would I really feel better if that narcissist I dated wrote me a 10-page letter or PowerPoint presentation with infographics explaining their past trauma that led to their hurtful actions? I might feel vindicated for the moment, or have more empathy for them, but people do bone-head, shitty things to each other (and themselves) all the time, and I have no control over any of it. And knowing why someone did something, certainly doesn’t prevent them from doing that thing again.
As much as I try to control everything around me in an attempt to protect myself from imagined pain, the truth is, it’s like setting a table in the wind. I can have the best of intentions, even staple the napkins to the table, but it won’t make a difference. Because what I can’t see is that everyone I’ve set a place for at my table doesn’t always belong there, or at least not for the long term. So maybe the wind (my experience of things falling apart) is just doing its job of clearing out the things not meant for me.
I know it’s scary and I feel vulnerable as hell every time I open myself up again, but learning to listen to my own voice and trust myself might be the most valuable thing those bone-heads have ever helped me to learn.
So what I can do, is keep putting myself out there, keep doing my work, keep setting my table, and trusting that the right friends, the right lovers, the right opportunities will come along exactly when they are supposed to and they’ll take their rightful seat (and the damn napkins won’t blow off the table anymore).