Written awhile ago, but such an important issue…here it is.
Just like most things in life, in the area of love we often think that our perceptions of others and their relationships are spot on, inarguable and just plain “the truth”. It’s our ego gone wild! And yet, we do it all the time.
In the past few days I have seen and felt this all-knowing”ness” in myself and in some of those nearest and dearest to my heart. Part of me understands why we hold on to our beliefs…they keep us feeling safe, create a false sense that we are in control, and most of all, that we are righteously RIGHT. And, you know what? It only serves to keep us stuck, unable to look at ourselves as creatures who not only are capable of change, but are changing every day that we live. It’s unavoidable, not only because we have new awareness but also because life itself changes us and anyone who isn’t changing is dying.
Not that long ago, I was in a relationship with a man I really adored. Romantic, aesthetic, brilliant, creative and deeply sweet and carrying his boxcar of baggage. Me? Pretty much the same description would apply. And our baggage felt incompatible, so we said “goodbye”, intending to move on. The goodbye didn’t feel so good so we kept circling overhead like a hawk, feeling each other even in the absence of words.
Time passed, but the memories of how much fun we had together didn’t. I was “dug in” on my issue until one day, I wasn’t any more. One day as I was walking around my favorite open space, I heard a hawk overhead, easily seen against that bright blue sky and I felt my heart soften. It was as if I could breathe more deeply as tears ran down my cheeks. Something had shifted. I knew that I had let go of my relentless grip on him and on my need to have it my way. I realized that the issue truly wasn’t a deal breaker, and that indeed, I really didn’t need to hold onto it any longer. What mattered was that there was a man with whom I shared so many wonderful things and had always enjoyed spending time. And, I remembered that life is short, promising us only a second at the time of immortality. All I wanted was to share some more of it with him.
My sweet friends held my hand through the roller-coaster ride. There when I cried, yelled and did a “designer version” of this man that would make anyone say, “Good-riddance!”, they passed the Kleenex box and stopped short of sticking pins into him or burning the poor man in effigy. They were there for me and I couldn’t have done it without them.
Then, I told them I wanted to be with him again and that something had changed in me and this was what I wanted to do, not as the same woman that said “goodbye’ but as a different woman now who was ready to just show up and live day to day because my life was both full and perhaps, shorter than any of us knows. And, before me appeared a fire-breathing dragon! “ARE YOU FU—ING KIDDING? That can’t be true. You are just compromising yourself. Can’t you see you are making a big mistake? ” And, my heart sank. Not because I thought they were right, but because what I needed from my friends was trust. Trust that I was one smart cookie. That I might know what I felt and wanted. And, most of all, that if I was making a big mistake, it would be OK and they’d love me right through it. I wanted to share the joy I felt in my “shift” to opening up to love again. And, most of all, I wanted to know that it was OK if this was one royal screw-up.
I’m a believer that every couple has their “gig” and that nobody but the two of them can understand what their agreement is. From the outside, it may look like a match made in hell. We may wonder what on Earth they see in each other, why they stay together or tolerate that kind of behavior. I’m here to tell you that only they can know that. Our job is to be there to listen and to trust that there is something there that we can never truly understand. So, instead of standing in judgement, stand by those friends while they work out what relationship means to them.
Still looking for that special someone with whom you can share this next amazing chapter of your life?
Done with traveling alone, sleeping with your cats and wish you could share the next sunset with someone special?
Why not call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session that might just lead you right to their door!
Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”
Donna’s Big Red Chair