Quotes of the Day:
“There's a difference between loving the idea of someone and actually loving who they really are.” ~Unknown
“Maybe you can try again, instead of loving someone you can't be with.” ~Unknown
The Single Woman Says:
For those of you who have been following my blog for some time now, you know the story of my “Mr. Big.” And even if you haven’t been following my blog for awhile, I’m sure you immediately get the reference, as most of us have a “Mr. Big.” Someone who dances in and out of our lives for years on end; pretending to commit, even wanting to commit, but ultimately refusing to commit. And though I haven’t spoken to mine since Christmas Day 2011, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m still not fully over him. Have I moved on with my life? Check! Have I opened my heart to the idea of meeting someone else? Check! Have I dated other people? Check! But have I fully, completely, entirely given up the ghost of Mr. Big? No check.
This morning, though, I read a beautifully written blog about letting go, and it occurred to me, not for the first time, that maybe it’s not Mr. Big I miss or think about or struggle to let go of. No, maybe it’s not him at all. Maybe it’s the IDEA of him. The fanciful, magical, mystical, Hollywood version of him that my heart has rewritten history to create. Why do we do that? Why do we look back on the past and remember only the good and not the bad? Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism. Perhaps it’s our heart’s way of shielding ourselves from the pain of the truth. Or perhaps the great gift of time is that it dulls the memory and tempers the sting of the hurt that someone caused us until all we see or remember is the joy they brought into our lives. It can be a really beautiful thing, this trick of the mind…but it can also be a dangerous thing. It leaves us wanting someone that never really existed. It leaves us remembering something that never really happened (or at least not in the way that we thought.) And it leaves us waiting for someone who left our lives for a reason. Because they didn’t belong there. They no longer fit us. They were holding us back from something, or someone. They didn’t deserve us. Whatever the reason, it’s important in these moments of “rewriting history” to remember that reason…and to realize that the good they brought into our lives could never outweigh the things they took OUT of our lives: our confidence, our hope, our idealism, our belief in love.
There comes a moment in life when all you can do is let go. When you look back just long enough to honestly ask yourself “Am I missing the ACTUAL him, or the IDEA of him?” Because as much magic and mystery and excitement and romance as my Mr. Big brought into my life, he also brought indecision. Confusion. Repeated patterns of inconsistency. I never felt like I was quite “enough” for him to WANT to commit to. I never felt “safe” in the relationship. I always felt like I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. For every tremendous high he brought, he matched that with an equally earth-shattering low. And that’s no way to live. That isn’t love. It’s drama. It’s intensity. It’s a spectacle. But it isn’t love.
Admitting to ourselves that a season of our lives or a person in our lives wasn’t as perfect as our memory likes to recall can be a difficult and even painful thing…but it’s the first step to letting go. Chances are, you released that person from your life and from your heart long ago. Now it’s time for you to release the IDEA of him. To admit to yourself that he really wasn’t that great. Or even if he was, there’s someone or something even GREATER out there for you that he would only serve to hold you back from. It’s time to move on. It’s time to go back and rewrite history once again, only this time with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. After all, the truth hurts but then it works.
And in the end, the truth about him is the thing that will set you free from the IDEA of him.