The difference between being a victim of your life or the hero of it is agency.
The difference between being a victim or the hero of your life is agency.
Agency determines whether you are a victim of your life or the hero.
The difference between being a victim of life or the hero of your own life is agency.
To go from victim to hero, one must grasp agency.
Trying to convince someone to you without putting your best foot forward is tough. Trying to convince someone to love you when you don’t like them is disastrous. Trying to convince someone to love you when you don’t love yourself is impossible.
I try to think of a good match as a checklist. Does this person do this, this, and this? Being vegan is good, although I haven’t been able commit to a vegan diet myself. But you know, I would like to, someday. There’s probably a reason people talk about living your life authentically or living your best life before meeting the person of your dreams. Also people say don’t date someone’s potential for similar reasons. I might never become a vegan.
But let’s move on. So this person has hit enough on the checklist to be interesting: used to be vegan, traveled, highly educated, wanted to live abroad, and liberal. Good so far. And let’s talk some more and talk more often. But here’s something that is a big clash. Oh, that was a big no. Doesn’t believe in monogamy in marriage? Likes pets more than people and finds it hard to connect?
Why not let go? Honestly, I am too desperate alone to let go first. Maybe there is some chance… one of us will change? I don’t want to be that one. I don’t want to have superficial conversations or be silly. I don’t want to sit in the same room just on our phones or computers instead of being together in more than just proximity? I don’t want to spend Fridays alone because friends come first. But if I won’t change, do I really expect the other person to change? To love me unconditionally while I want them to lose all the undesirable parts. Or maybe we can compromise. I can try to live with this and expect slack on this. But I have never had this arrangement last for long. Who breaks first? I can’t remember so that’s a good indicator it was me.
But people say you have to let go of what isn’t working to make room in your life for what will. Compromising won’t work long-term without deep commitment to the belief that this particular compromise is the best compromise to be had or there is too much to lose. But I never feel that assured. I imagine it could be better. I imagine someone more similar to me that doesn’t set off warning bells by telling me things I don’t want to which become accustomed. I imagine someone that is like a best friend, instead of a boxing partner. Or I think, wouldn’t it be great if I smiled just thinking about this person instead of indifferent? Or I think, wouldn’t it be great if this person wanted to talk to me or see me first, instead of me feeling like I alone want to connect? I think, wouldn’t it be great to be with someone else?
But I hang on, waiting for this person to decide. I ruin it. By being my awful self too raw and honest too soon. Or by becoming distant or cold. Or by demanding so much and so often. Maybe it could have worked. Maybe it could have never worked. It definitely did not work.
Because love isn’t love until you love yourself by living authentically and letting go of those that don’t bring joy and goodness (more than grief) into your life.