I’ve always been considerate of people’s feelings. In fact, at some point, I was quite the people pleaser. However, I’ve realized that I will always be the bad guy in somebody’s story, and so will you.
When I became more spiritual, I tried to make amends for every wrong thing I’d done. I reached out to old employers to apologize for being rude. Old friends who walked away because of my poor communication skills also received apology messages. In my desperation to do right, I even apologized to my nemesis ex for screaming at him, though he totally deserved it.
Unfortunately, this new habit opened the door to soul-crushing guilt. I found myself constantly apologizing to people who either didn’t deserve it, or wouldn’t forgive me no matter how sorry I was. So despite my apologies, they would spread rumours about me to anyone who cared to listen.
Eventually, I realized that I would always be the bad guy in someone’s story. No matter how hard I try to do right, I’m human and I will fall short. Somebody will send me a message on a day that I’m sad and I’ll ignore them.
Someone will call my name on the street and I won’t hear because I’m preoccupied. Somebody will speak to me when I’m tired and assume that I’m being rude. I cannot help it, and neither can you, we will always be the bad guy in someone’s story.
To some people, I am Jola, the kind and supportive girl who stands by those in need. To others, I am the girl who made them look bad at work, snatched their boyfriends or said something so painful they’ll never forget it.
It used to tear me up inside that I couldn’t be a good person in everybody’s books, but I’ve made my peace with it. I’m doing the best I can to be a good and kind person. I’m making amends where possible, but I will not spend the rest of my life being a prisoner of guilt, and neither should you.
I have forgiven people who have hurt me in the worst ways, so now I extend that forgiveness to myself. I’m forgiving myself for the things I did when I didn’t know any better. I’ve forgiven myself in advance for the mistakes I will make in future because I’m only human and hence a perpetual work in progress.
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I know that I will always be the bad guy in someone’s story, because some people desperately need a bad guy. No matter how much you apologize, they can’t let it go. So it’s up to you to free yourself. It doesn’t matter who calls you a bad guy, as long as you’re doing your best to be the good guy. Day by day, step by step, because all you can really do is your best.
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