Like the old song says, everybody plays the fool. It’s one of the worst consequences of opening your heart and having it not work out. So how can you not just recover but triumph over that terrible state?
You probably know that awful feeling. Where you realize you’ve made a bad choice in love. Where your inner voice snickers “I told you so!“.
You feel like a complete and utter fool.
And it’s tempting to crawl back into your shell and nurse your wounds, put up some walls, and possibly never be fully willing to lay your heart on the line again.
I get it.
I have risked it all for love. Sometimes it’s worked out. Hey, who gets engaged on date #2 and actually makes a marriage out of it? This girl.
Other times, that risk has come crashing down in a fantastic ball of flames. Like falling head over heels and proclaiming my love, only to discover he was doing the horizontal mambo with my friend behind my back.
Needless to say, she is no longer my friend.
I’ve received countless stories of people who have been fools in love.
Like the married man who reconnected with his (married) high school sweetheart online. They embarked on an intense emotional affair and he considered leaving his loving wife. At the 11th hour, as he was preparing to tell his wife it was over, he found out she was playing this game with a few other former classmates. He was devastated.
Or the woman who ran off to Reno and married a guy she’d only known for weeks. Years later (and after raising two kids), upon his death, it was revealed their marriage wasn’t valid as he was still married to his first wife. Talk about having the rug pulled out from underneath you!
And there was also the woman who got involved with a man who showed clear signs that he had a serious substance abuse problem. Yet she justified his strange behavior and played the denial game with herself. Funneling him money, even taking on a side job, to keep him happy. All the while ignoring her inner voice screaming at her to get away from him.
When I’m asked for advice in these situations, I like to teach the lesson. Give tools to better equip themselves as they venture back into the love game.
Because every heartache provides an opportunity to grow and learn.
So here is what I tell them…
Feeling Like a Fool Strengthens Your Intuition
For most people dealing with being made a fool, they all agree that they ignored their inner voice along the way.
Your intuition is a powerful guide. Sure, sometimes it gets things wrong. But the better you get at listening to it, the more often you will find it’s right on the money, honey.
So think back to one of your painful relationships.
Can you recall when your intuition might have been trying to get your attention?
Did you ignore it or make excuses in order to not rock the boat?
Remember what it felt like when your inner voice was speaking to you. Some people say it shows up like a knot of heat in their belly. Others literally feel the hair stand up on the back of their necks. Others get messages via their dreams. However it shows up for you, take heed. And notice the next time it happens.
Feeling Like a Fool Makes You Vulnerable
Feeling vulnerable is not comfortable. In fact, it’s downright scary at times.
You have to set your ego aside and just sit with your pain and admit defeat. That can feel like the last thing on earth you want to do.
So why is being vulnerable so valuable?
It connects you with your humanness.
Feeling vulnerable gives you the strengths of compassion and empathy. When you allow yourself to recognize your pain, it helps you see the same in others.
Author Pema Chodron talks about the “tenderness of genuine sadness.” Allowing yourself to feel this way is humbling and it softens you. Which are two important ___ against building up walls.
How Someone I Know Triumphed Over Foolish Choices
A friend of mine shared a deeply personal story of back to back abusive relationships. And not just run of the mill abusive relationships, these were Lifetime movie scenarios complete with violence, torture, emotional manipulation, and control.
On top of it all, she had a chorus of people in her life saying “told you so!” after each awful episode. She felt like the biggest fool in town.
Heartbreaking and difficult to listen to.
After the second relationship ended, she had a choice. Continue on the same path of loving bad men. Or take the time to mend her broken self-worth. She chose the latter.
She could have decided to build up walls and never trust another man again. Given what she went through, that would be understandable. Yet she didn’t. Today she is in a loving and healthy relationship. And quite happy.
THAT is the ultimate triumph over feeling like a fool!
Do you have a question for me? Head on over to my Facebook page and shoot me a message!