Friday, December 28, 2012

Relationship Changes & Reflections

Where did any of us get the idea that relationships... and more importantly, the people in them...are static in nature?

Maybe that notion comes from fairy tales where the prince and princess meet, marry, and blissfully head off to the castle… only to never be seen or heard from ever again. The End. Or maybe we owe our stilted attitudes to cinematic rom-coms, where relationships start out with a few bumps in the road and any changes that occur are always for the better. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan always smoothed out any rough edges by the final reel, after which the audience simply assumes that their lives...and smiles...are forever frozen in time. The End?

Such pat endings are strictly for the movies. The reality is that changes will occur... such as when a spouse becomes more demanding, turns socially insular, or lets life stress get in the way of keeping the relationship’s passion alive. One or both of you might start letting the positive feedback your partner once craved slide. The super-exciting phase of a romance transforms into a dull rut after a few months. Or, something tragic happens and throws a wrench into the couple-y bliss; that’s life. Whether the changes occurring are actually for the better or worse depends much of the time on our individual choices.

Now a taste of reality: most relationships end...Almost half of marriages end in divorce. Going into marriage believing that won’t happen to me perpetuates the idea that we are somehow different and that it’s going to be easy for us to do what’s clearly extremely difficult for most of the human population. There is nothing special about you and your partner. You are no more immune to breaking up than anyone else. We all need to start seeing ourselves as vulnerable, rather than exceptional. Some may say this is pessimistic or unromantic, but going into a long-term partnership believing in the fantasy that we are special and it’s not going to be difficult may be setting us up for defeat. I believe most couples come to points where they consider separating, whether they do or not. If we are expecting this, we will be more able to weather that storm and grow stronger for the better.

I've had the opportunity to reflect  a lot recently over the past few years...not just the passing of 2012. I have made substantial changes in my life and I am certain that there are more to come. A special thank you to those in my life that stuck by me while I faced many challenges these past couple of years. Only a handful of the original dozen or so remain... I guess that is one way to ascertain who your real friends and supportive family are. And in closing, I have realized that my love for my girlfriend is true. My patience has been tried but has not been broken. It will continue to grow along with the feeling of love. It is tried and true and I have realized that I have unconditionally devoted myself to her happiness...even if at my own expense. While I have made mistakes in the past that have been detrimental to my life and hers, I have spent every moment since then making amends for those wrongs and ensuring that she continues to receive my adoration, support, and unconditional love.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lao Tzu

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength... while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Allow it to flow naturally forward in whatever way it may...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

If only

The Two Loves of my Life
The two loves of my life...

"If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy,
I could have won.
I never meant you any harm,
But your tears feel warm as they fall on my forearm.

I gave you it all.

And you rip it from my hands
And you swear it's all gone
And you rip out all I have.

And my head told my heart,
Let love grow
But my heart told me head,
This time no.

I close my eyes for a while,
And force from the world a patient smile."