What do you do when the one person you want forgiveness from refuses to grant it? What do you do when a person forgives you even before you apologise? Which situation is better? Which one is worse? Or is one even better than the other? Is it better when a person still hates you? Maybe, that way, at least you can cope up with it and try to make amends. But what do you do when a person has moved on and is done with you for good?
All of us watch movies or read novels. At one time or another, we all have fantasised and imagined ourselves as the protagonist of a love story or an action movie filled with bomb blasts and car chases. All of us want to be the woman who falls in love with a guy and overcomes all the circumstances to finally be with him or the hero who fights and defeats the ‘bad guys’.
Real life isn’t as simple, is it? All of our movies and novels tell the story of a protagonist who is ‘good’ and fights for the ‘truth’, with a few shades of gray thrown in to make the character more ‘believable’. Even if the protagonist is ‘bad’, he or she has redeeming qualities or a ‘good heart underneath all that evil’.
But what if you aren’t a protagonist in real life? What if you’re the antagonist whose story always remains untold? What should you do, in such a case?
Which love story do you get to be a part of when you’ve lied, cheated and hurt others intentionally? No one, none of us wants to believe that maybe we aren’t good, maybe we’re evil, like those characters that we watch on the telly. Maybe we’re evil without a cause, much like Iago from the play Othello
How do you cope up when this realisation hits you? When everything you’ve ever known about yourself turns out to be a complete and utter lie and you’re in the midst of an identity crisis, what do you hold on to?
Imagine that the person whom you loved like a sister or a brother has told you that you ruined their life and she/he is better off without you and you realise that it’s all true. You aren’t the hero or your story, you’re the villain. You’re a guy whom everyone, even you, hates in the movies and novels. You’re the guy whose story always remains untold. How do you cope up with this mind numbing realisation?
Are you waiting for an answer? Do you think that this is one of those articles where I’ll tell you 10 ways to stop being the bad guy? The truth is I don’t have an answer. I don’t know the 10 steps that will probably make our lives a hell lot easier.
I think all you can do is go down a path of self discovery. Stop lying. Start apologising. Start being yourself, the real you, the good and the bad instead of the person you pretend to be in front of others. Stop trying to be a ‘people pleaser’. You weren’t put on Earth to please everyone. It’s just not worth the effort.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
It isn’t. This is the textbook case of ‘Easier said than done’. None of these things are easy to do, if they were, all of us would have done them ages ago and saved ourselves tonnes of misery.
When the dam breaks and the water comes flooding in, the only thing that you can do is swim. But what if you never really learnt how to swim? What if you have aqua phobia?
The thing is, life is messy. Emotions are messy. No matter how much you try to push them back, they keep trying to fight their way back in.
When you get to a point in your life where you fail to recognise yourself, that is the moment when you need to hold onto everything you’ve ever known. You need to remember all the lies you’ve uttered and all the people you’ve hurt. You need to remember the person you pretended to be. And then, you go about undoing as much damage as you can. You face one day at a time. You try to be better bit by bit.
You try to be less like a villain and more like a hero. You try to win those people back and even if you fail, even if they refuse to let you in, you keep on trying to get your life together, one piece at a time.
So what if you’ve made a million mistakes?
We all do. All of us can’t learn from other’s mistakes. Sometimes, we need to make our own. Sometimes, we need to learn a lesson again and again, in order to truly learn it.
Nobody is born as a villain. It’s the circumstances that shape us and make us who we are. Our stories don’t have to remain untold. Our stories don’t have to be our dirty, little secrets.
We all have the potential to be heroes. All we have to do is keep trying. If we don’t even try, once, twice or as many times as we possibly can, how will we ever know? Because the thing is, no one gets another shot at life, not even the heroes.