I heard a line in a TV show just recently that hit me right between the eyes. The character said, “I may be the villain in your story, but I’m not a bad man.” It got me thinking about people and perspective and reality and feelings and problems and jerks and good people and bad decisions and… oh my.
I started thinking about the villains in my story and the concept of forgiveness. I took a little time to look at each of these people from a more well-rounded perspective and tried to see them for who they are outside of my little world. I thought it would be an interesting exercise if nothing else. To my surprise, I actually let go of some stuff I didn’t even realize I was still holding on to. I’m doing my best to choose happiness each and every day, and it turns out that low-grade, residual, sneaky resentment just doesn’t fit into that plan.
I realized that:
The ex-boyfriend is an incredible artist, photographer, and writer. He has already contributed a ton to the world of fashion and commerce, and he is beginning to make his mark in the comedy/entertainment industry. He knows how to make people feel comfortable and important, and I know he will be extremely successful both professionally and personally. I mean, he already is.
The former boss who tried to sabotage my career is an absolutely amazing mother. She has three children and manages to balance her own high-powered career with being involved in every stage of their lives. I am so impressed with how she handles herself in the midst of being so busy and overextended. She was difficult to trust as a boss, but her children are extremely fortunate.
The former boss who made me feel like a worthless pile of crap who was no good at my job actually helped me find the courge within myself to find a new path. She had a really bizarre supervisory style that I would never want to replicate, but she is a genius with clients and people should be so lucky to be gifted in that area the way she is. I hated working for her, but I am grateful for the freedom I have now that I no longer see her daily.
The record producer who cease-and-desisted me and then threatened to sue me, thereby forcing me to shut down the charity that I started that helped a lot of people… well, she’s good at her job. A big part of her job is surely to protect her clients from people who may inadvertently (or not so inadvertently) affect their public image. My charity was helping people in need, but someone else may have had something to lose by being publicly (albeit loosely) connected to it. I get it. It initially seemed like a very heartless action on her part, but I get it. Her clients are lucky to have her.
I also realized that I am the villain in some people’s stories. I have done things that have directly and obviously hurt people. I know that I never set out to hurt anyone, and I know that those bad decisions don’t define me. I, alone, know the whole story of me, and I have to be comfortable enough with that. People have the right to perceive me however they perceive me.
I think I’m a little late to the party in learning all of this. It seems as though most people seem to understand that it’s silly to hold onto grudges and that it doesn’t really matter what people think of you. In case you are more like me and struggle sometimes with these things, I invite you take a look at the real-life villains you have (especially if you’re one of them) and see what you find.