Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Other Side Of The Story

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Perception is everything. Right?

For as long as I can remember I've heard, "There are three sides to a story. Your side. Their side. And the truth." My argument has always been: There's only one side to a story. The truth. Up until lately, that logic held true for me. Clearly, I've had my share of disagreements and fallen out with people. I often muse about my relationship deal breakers and things I will and won't tolerate. Mostly character traits like dishonesty, disloyalty, and disrespect. Pretty much, I can't be dissed. Well, that's not entirely true. I can because people make mistakes, and I understand that. We all do. I don't look for perfection, but I do expect what I would consider the basics. You may ask, well what are the basics?

I'd like to think that some things should go without saying, but recently I've discovered nothing is a given. I've cut people off in the past for violating what I'd call basic stuff like running off at the mouth, talking other people's business, violating trust, betrayal. You know? The biggies. Still basics though in my view. In retrospect, I realize what happened and my perception of what happened are quite possibly two different entities. I never really thought about the other side of the story. I only thought about the truth. Which I am now realizing was my truth. Not necessarily one in the same.

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I don't say this to say I regret the choices I've made. My truth is still my truth, and like I've said in the past, regret gets exhausting. But for me, growth never does. Earlier I found myself reminiscing about a past relationship and how things went down. I do that every now and again. Reflecting helps me sort things out. Sort me out. I don't usually see things in black and white, but when I feel violated it's hard for me to see any gray area. I hear time supposedly heals all wounds but I'm still trying to find out who came up with that one. I'm still nursing a few. Time makes things more bearable. Easier to deal with. But healed? That's debatable.

What time does do is give you some perspective and hindsight. Given those things, I had to ask myself if I even cared about the other side. And the answer is yes. I do. I'm of the mind that intent and outcome are related, but they're by no means mutually exclusive. When situations play out, intentions can easily get sidetracked and the end result is usually what matters.

It's kind of like who's going to the NBA championship in a few weeks. Next year, better yet in a few weeks, no one will remember who played who. They'll only be concerned with who won. Who got that chip? That's what'll matter. Yet behind the chip is the story of the actual players.  Victors and losers alike. They all had a road to the championship. The losers story may not yield as much interest, yet it still exists.

I'm learning to take off the blinders when it comes to how I handle myself in particular instances. There is more than one side to a story. That doesn't make my side any less truthful. It just gives life to someone else's. Seeing things through different lenses will most likely be more helpful than harmful. And in the end, if I still see things my way, at least I acknowledged the other side of the story.

What do you think? Are there three sides to a story? Or is there only the truth?

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