Truth moment: I have a tendency to see what I believe is the good in people. For the longest time I thought I was simply compassionate. I knew too well what it was to exist alone in life and felt the need to be the go-to person for society’s misfits.
Who among us is not a misfit? The family black sheep? The odd man out? I am, I am, I am. Such is life.
In recent years I decided it was in my best interest to see people for who they are. One of my favorite life quotes comes from the late Dr. Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” It is a mantra that has been applicable to many of my relationships, but about twenty minutes ago, I applied it to myself for the first time.
To make a ridiculously long story short, I have had my share of unsavory romantic relationships that left me single and angry. I have had more of those relationships that cause me to sing that tired song “I gave him my time, all my love…” blah blah blah. When my last relationship crashed like the stock market I decided to become positively selfish. Some may think the phrase translates to “heartless”, but what it means is one puts their emotional needs before the needs of others. It is a concept that was (and still is) foreign to me. Once I started adopting positive selfishness, I became the relational dumper and not the dumpee.
All this time I thought the dumpers had it easy…
I have reached a paradox in a current relationship where I have to become positively selfish. I realized that I have been lying to myself about how I give men a pass to validate me. It is the proverbial dark cloud that has followed me through life like a shadow.
Daddy issues? Perhaps… go figure.
I have participated in dead end relationships hoping for validation I would never get. The wounded girl within demanded attention: look at me; tell me what you think of me. Do you have time for me? ANSWER ME! End the broken relationship scene in the same manner every time: dimmed lights on the woman balled up in a dark corner, existing in devalued bitterness, while The Man moves on to live happily ever after.
That shit is for the birds.
I accept that I validate Me. Who I believe I am will always outshine what someone else thinks. Positive selfishness permits understanding but does not blind me to my own needs and emotions. It helps me embrace living life instead of merely existing in it. It also helps me appreciate my reflection instead of allowing rejection to break me.
Relationships (in any form) that do not work out always make room for something better.