We all have them. We cherish some of them, we avoid others. We seek them, we seek to end them.
I’ve been thinking, especially upon my return from Afghanistan about relationships. Here’s where I’m at.
We are inherently consumers. We are wired to survive, we are wired to ensure we have what we need: emotionally, spiritually, physically, intellectually and we work hard to keep those at acceptable levels for our personalities, where we are in our lives and countless other factors.
What is the protocol when relationships shift from high priority to a lesser priority? Still a priority, but less of one. What happens when you date someone, you make plans, you talk about everything and cocooned in your love pod; everything is perfect. Then reality happens. Reality has a way of being that shovel to the face or falling down some stairs you didn’t see. If you are in a relationship and reality hits; it takes a very astute partner to realize reality is lurking at the bottom of those stairs or winding that shovel up to clock you in the face. Their reflexes could be the difference between them having to get smelling salts to wake you up after you get thwacked or catching the shovel or pushing you out of the way so you don’t get hit. It’s a survival game.
I’ve said it here before and have engaged in discussions about relationships at various stages with tons of people. I see relationships as a way to have companionship and have two people reacting and experiencing life together. Building love, growing together and truly becoming ‘one’. (In the Biblical sense.)
Because I’ve already covered this in subsequent posts, I won’t dwell on it.
Instead, what happens to two people when one couldn’t prevent the other from getting smacked with the reality shovel? They part ways and their friendship is broken. The amount of care hasn’t changed. All of the initial reasons for a strong friendship are still present and some might argue due to the time spent cultivating the friendship, it’s ceased from being raw ore or a collection of similar elements and is now an alloy. I light, agile, strong compound able to withstand some pretty acute forces of reality. But, due to disagreements on how to temper the alloys; it’s been left in the vice. Files and tongs hang smartly on their hooks; no move to hone this alloy or shape it into anything more than it is. It’s a mass. A conglomeration of experiences, conversations, dreams and aspirations.
When friendships dissolve they don’t really go anywhere, depending on the strength of the relationship. Ignoring the friendship doesn’t destroy the experiences. It doesn’t put the tears, long since wiped away, back on a streaked face. It doesn’t punch the teeth out of smiles, created through shared experiences. It doesn’t go back in time and erase shared glances, handshakes, hugs or kisses. It doesn’t somehow misplace the elation that comes from reunions after long periods of absence. It doesn’t make the warmest hugs, given in comfort, cold. All of those things happened. It will affect trust and I understand that. I’m not talking about infidelity in a relationship. I’m talking about someone who feels abandoned, who feels like they don’t have access to that person anymore. Trust is fixable if the life shared was truly shared.
I would offer, casting aside an insurmountable investment into a friendship/relationship is waste. Reality has a harshness that changes things. A harshness that puts an edge on things. Based on reality people, places, things shift in their priority. Somethings will be the most important things in the universe…then reality happens, jobs happen, moves happen and the shift happens and reality hits you with a shovel.
It doesn’t mean you aren’t important. It doesn’t mean there is any regret. It means; life.
There are many ways to respond to this: Work harder! You’re always saying discipline is the answer to everything. Just work it out.
True. Discipline is paramount to success in everything. In this case…both parties would need to be disciplined. To offer solutions. Actual solutions, instead of dropping an armful of maps onto the drafting table and walking out; ‘You’ll figure it out! I believe in you!’
Nope. Not the answer.
This will likely be a series as I navigate through thoughts.