[on relationships & happy]
“Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself.” ― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Again, others’ words often lead to reflection.
Trying to understand or rather simply be okay with people disappearing is the part that I have found difficult. Not even disappearing. simply changing. like witnessing metamorphose that wasn’t expected. or wanted. Maybe because, like so wonderfully stated above, the arrival of relationships seems so accidental and contingent, dependent on time and space and the serendipitous nature life seems to hold.
I was recently humbled tremendously, made aware of my standings in various relationships. Friends, once strangers, revealed their honest love. Strangers, once friends, revealed their intentions. I had been going through various periods lately of questioning intentionality of action. quite unhelpful the past few nights as perception (kindly) punched me in the face, aided by insight’s gentle blows to the gut. quite vivid & poetic, if I do say so myself. but the point is this: questioning intentionality is obviously not a strong suit of mine. I began to lose myself as I thought I lost him/her/them/friends/relationships. I think this is because maybe it is easier to blame others for
broken changed relationships and flee to superficiality and judgment than reflect on your own shortfalls. [reaction as i read the former statement aloud in a self-directed fashion? “ouch. but homie, you make quite a point.”]
This leads me to my next point (still related friends, so stick with me):
“He was not my boyfriend. On the other hand, he wasn’t just a friend either. Instead, our relationship was elastic, stretching between those two extremes depending on who else was around, how much either of us had to drink, and other varying factors. This was exactly what I wanted, as commitments had never really been my thing. And it wasn’t like it was hard, either. The only trick was never giving more than you were willing to lose.” ― Sarah Dessen, Lock and Key
While I have found myself in the above situation more than I’d like to admit, and while every single part of that quote has held true with a certain stranger once friend, I think I found the main idea. The thought of relationships as elastic is very fitting considering my recent experiences. In any relationship (be it romantic, superficial, or somewhere in between) there is some negotiation that takes place regarding how much you’re willing to give. and lose. sometimes that negotiation is more like resolution after the fact, but it’s eventual. I personally like to think that I am in control of not giving more than I’m willing to lose but seriously-actually-obviously, I’m not fooling anyone given the wasted tears on the above issues. The trick is never giving more than you’re willing to lose. note the emphasis on ‘trick,’ meaning, it ain’t possible friends.
Conclusions? I don’t think I have it figured out just yet. and probably never will. What I have learned is that everyone has a different way of demonstrating love. and compassion. and intentions. I think I’ve been looking in the wrong places or looking the wrong way. Better idea: I need to stop looking. Intuition and experience and a sprinkle of common sense might (and have) yield(ed) better results. No guarantees whether it’ll yield less heartache but I doubt it, and-plus-too-also I think that’s part of the beauty behind it all. Sometimes the hurt tells us more about our beloved, our friends, our selves.
Who would have thought heartache and happiness went along so well..