Wednesday Morning Thoughts on Relationships
In almost every major relationship I've had there has been that one thing, that one special thing that is unique to that distinctive coupling . Sometimes there are more than one, but there is always one that tugs at my heartstrings the most. It may be a silly joke told over and over, it may be a shared daydream kept secret and sacred between the two of us, it could be a physical gesture or act; for example I have a friend who has been married for 25 years and every morning her husband dries her off after her shower. These inside jokes, those rituals, that’s part of what makes that relationship unique, special, and different from all others. These are the things you can look back on years later and smile, the things to keep warm in your heart as a reminder that the love you shared was real. It is the little things that make me feel that way anyway.
When relationships end it is always painful, whether you are the one leaving or the one being left. Some people keep mementos and photos in a tidy box to haul out and look through when the mood strikes, some keep around old photos and letters they stumble across every now and then while cleaning out a drawer, some just keep cherished memories that pop up in our minds from time to time. Others get rid of everything that reminds them of that person, that time in their life. I've done all of these at one time or another.
What is it about us that needs to think that our past lovers remember us fondly? And why does it burn so deeply when they mock one of the special rituals that were thought to be private?
If someone misleads someone else, many people feel like a fool. At least that is my natural reaction. However, is there another way, a kinder way to frame that? Is there a way to realize that being open and loving and believing people at their word isn't being a fool, but rather being an optimist?
When a relationship is over, should we just cancel that person? Erase them from our hearts and minds; purge everything that reminds us of them? That is how I used to handle breakups and it really works. I guess it just depends on the person. Some people are worth slogging through the awkward and painful parts to get to the friendship on the other side and some are not. Time reveals who is worth it.
After every relationship ends, I learn something which hopefully prepares me to be better in the next, but I also pick up baggage with each relationship. It is normal to have baggage, but I like to keep mine to a small carry on rather than a full luggage set.
Thank God for therapy, good friends, time in nature, time with animals, and meditation. It makes unpacking the baggage a bit easier.