Anyone who has ever been through a tough break up knows what it is like to sit around and wallow in your circumstance. It is a pretty natural thing to do. You are feeling all sorts of emotions that can send you into either a terrible spiral or an epic rebirth. It all depends on what you decide is going to be your fate. But the trouble that many people have is that they are not Deciders. They are Receivers. Just recipients of whatever the world has in store for them. And they only become deciders when the decisions are either extremely obvious or convenient. And being a receiver has one major benefit that being a decider does not have. It absolves you of any level of accountability and control over your circumstance.
When people part ways with someone they inevitably let their mind wander into a a space where they start to think of all that they have contributed to the positive aspects of the relationships and all of the things that they have “put up with”. I believe this is the natural reflex of the ego that drives you to hold on with a vice grip the image of yourself that you want to believes exists within you. So your mind starts to highlight all the positive things that you have brought to the table, while simultaneously ignoring the contributions that you have made to the demise of the relationship. “I picked her up from work every single day! I paid her cell phone bill for a whole year! I took her little brother to T-Ball practice” Or how about, “I cooked for him and washed his clothes, and this is what I get from him in return” No one is perfect. And none of us are without our shortcomings that someone else is “putting up with”. But the truth is that when you are putting up with these things in relationships it is because you chose to. Not because your arm has been twisted. It is because you feel like the the things that you put up with or do for someone are not that bad in comparison to the benefits that you are receiving in other ways that are off shoots from the general companionship. And ultimately to complain about those things after the fact as though someone else was wrong is pretty lame and very immature. If you do not want to cook, clean, or play big brother then do not do it. Do not do nice things for the person that you are dating in a begrudging manner. And more importantly do not claim that these were stressful and overwhelming things for you to do after you split with someone. That sort of sentiment reeks of pity-seeking, vindictiveness and internal personal dishonesty.
But why do people stay in that space? Why do you carry on that tone of bitterness months after it is over? Why do we repeatedly ask people, “How can he/she do this to me?” Because we are being receivers and not deciders. It makes some people feel better to take little to no responsibility over the end result that has taken place. For me to chase around a woman who only shows marginal interest in me, that I have tried to woo with expressions of attention that essentially equate to me showing a willingness to spend my money in exchange for her time is silly. It is flat out ridiculous. And at some point during the process of me begging her out to dinner and offering to loan her money to fix her car and tolerating the fact that she never calls me despite me always calling her, that singular thought of hesitation comes across all men’s minds. The thought that this is stupid and that I should not be doing this. But in some foolish sense of ambition I persist. Almost in some sick attempt to guilt her into being what I want her to be in my life. And when she does not comply and ends our communication, I brand myself as a mistreated victim. Receiver. In this moment you are making yourself a receiver. A person that can experience nothing good in this world that is not delivered by blind luck or the benevolence of someone who is willing to give you something. Someone who is a less powerful and in control person than a Decider.
While being less powerful and in control than a Decider is easier to do it is far less rewarding. As a decider you make up your mind that you are going to admit that you did something that was not in your best interest and that you have a wielded a hand in the current circumstance that you have in your life. And at the same time you can wield that hand of power in the effort to change, improve and control your own circumstance. What people are really doing when they cry and bemoan what someone else has done to them all the time in relationships is the idea that there is absolutely nothing that “I can personally do to be happy or better. I just have to contritely and patiently wait on someone to make me happy and whole.” Is that really how any grown person should live? No one should live without feeling s sense of personal power and authority over their life. But in order to do that we have to accept the responsibility that comes with the bad decisions and not just the praise and success that comes with the good ones. Frame your circumstance in a way that puts you at the helm. The captain of your own vessel. The Starship Destiny! And navigate your own course with power through all the experiences that await.