There is a guy. Let's call him Seth. He's a great guy – I will even go so far as to call him a catch. He's in his early 30s, tall, good looking, personable, funny, creative, successful, wants a family – and the list goes on. Is he perfect? No. He's got his issues (like the rest of us), but he's an all-around great guy.
Why do I bring him up? Well, he and his girlfriend of five years just broke up. Let's call this new ex Julie. A couple of weeks ago, Seth discovered Julie had been sex-texting with a co-worker. Not just cute flirting, but the full-on raunchy deal. The revelation of Julie's cheating crushed his heart and total sense of being.
Just within the past couple of months, the couple had finally started talking seriously about getting married and maybe starting a family. Lately, it seemed Julie had come around to wanting the same things as Seth – to build a solid life together. It was a welcomed change since all along, she had been wavering about whether or not she wanted to get married, have kids, etc... Actually, the one thing that seemed clear about her was that she was never quite sure about anything. She didn't know what she wanted to do with her life, where she wanted to live, what career path to take and whether to ever fully commit to her relationship.
Seth, now five years into this, is heartbroken, jealous, angry and on some level still wanting nothing more than for Julie to realize the err of her ways and see what a great guy he really is. The truth is, it doesn't matter what she sees. He's the one who needs to see his own worth. And when he does, he will no longer try to once again mend a relationship with a woman who will never love him the way he deserves.
So many of us find ourselves in similar situations. Even though the particulars may be different, we can be unable to extract ourselves from unhealthy relationships, unsatisfying jobs, etc., for fear of the unknown alternatives. When we finally come up for air, our time "invested" can feel like time "wasted" and no one wants to feel that way. Sometimes it seems easier to stay in the dark. In the end though, every mistake we make has something to teach us. But we can only see it if we choose to take the risk and make a change. The struggle and pain we endure while making needed change are the essence of growth and the only path to a happier future.
I have no doubt Seth will come out the other side of this better than ever – if he just stays with what his deepest truth tells him and doesn't give in to the fear of the journey.