Last night, my husband and I snuggled together to watch Crazy Sexy Cool, the movie depicting the lives of the members of the popular 90’s group, TLC. In the movie, each of them had issues with their men. Each one of them were cheated on and many of the things that we heard about in the news were their reactions to the pain caused by these men. (Example, Left Eye burning down her boyfriends home). As i reflected on the movie, i thought back to my college life and the man that consistently hurt me. I remembered a specific moment where I was sitting in my bathtub, crying because I had just found out (via a tacky Myspace message) that he had cheated on me with his ex girlfriend. I remember the feeling of despair and betrayal that was sitting in the right ventricle of my heart. I cried harder than I had cried since the age of 5. I was hurt; for lack of a better word. Let me say it again, I. WAS. HURT. And as hurt and angry as I was with him, in that very moment, i longed for his touch. I wanted him to hold me. To lay with me and let me put my head on his chest. I wanted him to say that he was sorry and that he would never hurt me like that again. I wanted him, despite the fact that he was the reason that I was in so much pain.
As i reflect on the movie, i realize that I can relate so much to those women, and so can half of the world; because for some reason or another, faithfulness in a relationship has become an exception and not the standard. After pain like that, women go years wishing that they could have a love like that again, feeling abandoned or unworthy of love. Thinking that there aren’t any faithful men in existence and that settling for someone that is “good enough” is the only option.
And just like TLC, i kept going back to him every time he hurt me. Unfortunately, most of the time I wouldn’t even wait an entire 24 hours before calling him and requesting his presence. Over the years, I’ve gone over and over in my head; wondering why i went back. Wondering why I accepted it. I know that I didn’t find myself worthy of love and the fact that i had a man giving me a relationship, whether it was piss poor or not, gave me a reassurance that it could be real. He was my “good enough”. He wasn’t perfect for me or the best thing for me, he was just good enough. Good enough to call boyfriend and walk around with. Good enough even to introduce to my parents; and the only reason that I accepted good enough was because I never believed that I could have better.
Why is it that so many of us don’t believe that we can have better? Sadly, I’ve recognized other areas in my life where I’ve settled for mediocre and it becomes a routine cycle and a dedicated leech in my life. The mentality that I have to keep going back to mediocre, because mediocre was the only one that loved me. The mindset that I have to have “good enough” because better is just too far away for me to conceptualize. Cycles, lies, thoughts that lead to stagnation and demise. Such a scarce way of life.
And now, here I am, five years later, i’m married to Better. A man that i KNOW I’m not worthy of but i’m more grateful for him than i can conceptualize at times. Back in that bathtub, i couldn’t imagine a future with a man that would vow to remain faithful and love me forever. A man willing to change his course of life with just the slightest indication that I’m unhappy. I still ask myself how I got out of that cycle. I still wonder what I could have been thinking sitting in that bathtub. what could have possessed me to desire him so much that I was willing to walk through pain as sharp as burning fire just to be in his presence. Why did i continue to plunge myself in a deep ocean with no one there willing to save me?
My reason: we shared a sexual connection. We experienced each other in a powerful way that wasn’t meant for us. Two lost souls searching for a substance to fill the void sitting within us. That connection made it harder to walk away from him. Easier to turn my back on his infamy. Sped up the process to sweeping his dirt under the rug and slowed my progress towards new beginnings. But finally, when I was sick and tired of being mistreated and humiliated, i walked away. It was a slow and painful walk. It was a walk with several regressions, and i looked back several times but I just couldn’t go. For once, i needed to know that I could have better and i couldn’t do that while hanging on to “good enough”.
What is your good enough? What do you keep holding onto that you should have let go of several tears ago? What do you keep going back to because you are afraid of better? Find it, and then find the power to walk away from it. Better is available. And good enough…
is NOT good enough.