Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made.
No one you can save that can’t be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time – It’s easy.
The Beatles, All You Need is Love
I had a thought yesterday. Totally turned things upside down for a moment, but the more I think about it, the more correct it seems.
I am constantly disgusted at the high divorce rate in this country. This whole wild notion of romantic love that we get from Hollywood — this assumption that if one is in love everything else will work itself out – people giving up on relationships too easily. I still feel the same, but I realized something more yesterday. Yes, relationships take effort on the part of both (all?) members of that relationship. However, if it takes serious work, if it is a constant struggle to keep it together, then really that is a sign that it is not the “right” relationship.
I think that is fundamentally why I gave up on and let go of my relationship with my honey. I realized, consciously even, that so long as we were together my life would be a battle of wills, a list of compromises (mostly my own), ongoing emotional drama and stress. Forever. And a big part of that was resultant from the fact that I gave it one more try… every time. I couldn’t let it go when I realized it was over, because when I realized it was over that was the first, and only, time, that my honey paid attention and responded. If he had paid attention before, if he had tried before, perhaps things would have been different. But probably only in that I would have realized sooner that we had no future. Or maybe not – maybe if he had paid attention sooner we would not have built up this huge wall of past anguish that could not be overlooked. I don’t know.
So what did I do when it was finally over between us? I consciously and intentionally put myself in a position to repeat the whole drama over again. I came to Colorado, set my own feelings aside, mostly, suppressed myself in almost every way, in order to take care of, to help straighten out and heal, one of the most important men in my life. I don’t think it was actually the wrong decision. In a lot of ways, this is exactly who I am. But I should have known enough to understand that there was only one way it could end.
Part of me wants to argue that point. So many things could have been different. He could have healed sooner, more effectively, more compassionately. I could have stopped suppressing myself sooner. He could have not crossed lines that were inexcusable. I could have responded definitively the first time he crossed one of those lines instead of letting things slide. We could have both done things differently all along the way. But that is not what happened. And I feel now like nothing could have happened any differently – not in the long run.
So what has all of this taught me? Very simple. I will never let myself put myself second again. That does not mean that I will cease to take care of people, that does not mean that I will never forgive, nor that I will stop caring about people that others deem to be less than worthy. It simply means that I will not hold my tongue if something is unacceptable. I will not let the unforgivable be forgiven. And I will not ever waste my energy working at a relationship that does not make me happy as a matter of course.
All relationships have moments of pain – we will always hurt one another through inattention, selfishness, or misunderstanding. But a relationship that works, in and of itself, is one were the hurts are few, and the repair of those hurts is easy. Because neither party, in a relationship that works, should be inclined to defend their actions once they know they were hurtful. The first response, the natural response, should be somewhere in the realm of remorse. At least that’s the way I see it today.