Today while I was driving I heard the song “Better Than I Used to Be” by Tim McGraw on the radio. I hadn’t heard it before, but it struck me immediately. It’s a great song about a man who is making himself “better.” The tag line is “I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get, but I’m better than I used to be.” The song is very honest and heartfelt about mistakes he has made and issues he’s had, but it is also positive and inspiring. Here’s the video with the lyrics running across the bottom (I don’t think there has been an “official” video released yet).
When I heard the song it made my think of my husband immediately. Even though this blog is from my perspective and things have been hard for me, its been a very intense process for him as well. I think this song is a perfect anthem of achievement and growth. It made me stop and reflect on all of the things my husband is bringing to the table every day and the progress he has made so far. I am so proud of him for the guts it has taken to give himself a good hard look, be proactive, and actually make changes. It is painful to self-examine (I know because I am truly my worst critic). One particular line says, “I’ve pinned a lot of demons to the ground.” That is great imagery because dealing with bad habits and ingrained behaviors that are unhealthy is a real battle – it takes strength and resolve to take on your demons and bring them to the ground.
I see a lot myself in the lyrics, especially the first part. The song mentions, “I’m learning who you’ve been ain’t who you got to be.” That is something that I’ve had to learn through this process. Neither one of us are the same as we used to be. It is hard to change, but it’s definitely possible. The first verse also talks about holding grudges and burning bridges. That has always been more of my style in a hard situation – I have let friendships and relationships go over conflicts and held onto my anger for a long time. At first I thought staying and working on my marriage was a weakness. I thought it meant I didn’t have enough self-respect or that I was a “doormat.” That’s not true, though. It’s actually harder to forgive, let things go, and mend fences. I don’t want to throw away the connection that my husband and I have, even if I was hurt immensely. It is healthier for me to find a way past it. Our relationship will be more resilient and durable because of it.
“Put some faith in me and one day you’ll see there’s a diamond under all this rust.” I know that statement is true for our marriage. It will take some polishing and a whole lot of faith, but there’s definitely something rare and beautiful underneath all the crud from our past.