Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finding the Way Out of Unfairness

If you are one of those people who has never used the Internet to peek at people from your past, I commend you. Way to live in the present. If you are like me, curiosity may occasionally get the best of you and send you searching LinkedIn and Facebook for old coworkers and even your cheating ex.

As a life coach, I realize this is not a productive use of my time. And furthermore, I shouldn't be worrying about what other people are doing—I should be focused on making my life the most joyous, awesomest experience it can possibly be. But I'm a human, and therefore I have flaws. Like Facebook stalking.

Last night, for some unknown reason, I looked up my old flame Mr. Redflags on Facebook and found a profile for him that nearly made me gasp. Splashed across his page were pictures of him smiling from ear-to-ear with his wife and sweet, new baby.

My immediate reaction was,"That's NOT fair! He doesn't deserve such happiness after what he did to me!"

The raging victim inside me reared her angry head and started spinning a story that didn't feel good at all.

I stewed in this place for a little while and then that wise, higher person who rents a room in my brain said, "Why shouldn't he get to be happy, too?"

"Because he's a cheater and a liar! I bet his new wife doesn't even know about all the things he did!" my victim replied.

Then something shifted and suddenly I realized that he deserved truckloads of happiness because if it weren't for what he did, I wouldn't be where I am right now. If he hadn't cheated on me, I might be married to him. I might be miserable. I might not have ever met my Mr. W. I might actually owe him MY happiness.

I felt gratitude stretch to the furthest corners of my being. It's funny because I had expressed thanks (ish) toward him before. But this time, the physical feeling that went with it was completely different. I could tell it was true gratitude because it felt peaceful inside me.

We all deserve happiness. Things are only unfair when we choose to view them from the place of the eternal sufferer.

And I am not an eternal sufferer.

I know that even when someone has betrayed me with words or actions or maybe even a smack in the face, there is an opportunity to turn it around and find a reason to be thankful. To find gratitude for the lesson. The lessons are teaching me to own higher standards for my life. They are inviting me to make changes and move on to better things.

Whose life do you look at from time to time and find yourself thinking it's not fair? Can you cultivate a space of gratitude around the relationship and change that painful story?


  1. I had found online an old college ex that had been abusive. He was married and had a successful career. I felt that same anger that he moved on to be successful when I had suffered so long. Eventually, I let it go. The anger only hurt me, not him, and hadn't he done that enough the first time? It felt good to finally close that door. I'm glad you did too!

  2. Hmm I try to have a policy of not holding grudges... I can admit to a little facebook stalking every now and again though, and on occasion i do hope (just a little bit) to find that im winning at being awesome more than they are!