Sometimes things in life just don’t turn out the way we’ve planned. And, one of the things I find the hardest to do is to say farewell to people I genuinely love. Whether it be because I’ve decided it’s best we don’t progress any further side by side along this journey of life together or because others have told me. Either way it is not any less painful.
I don’t know who the unsung quoter is that coined the adage “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” But, their timeless adage prevented me from having some pretty dark days when having to face an effort to build a rewarding and meaningful healthy friendship, marriage, and/or romantic relationship has failed and miss the mark because either both parties or one of the parties involved.
Nevertheless, thank you thank you thank you Robert Frost because your words “These three words I can sum up everything I learned about life: it goes on.” And, indeed it does. Nature hates a vacuum and sooner or later it will be filled. Sometimes people make decisions from the ego and not their hearts and allow someone to walk out the door and/or push them out the door because they are dead set on being right. A good friend once asked me “do you rather be right or loved?’
Sometimes when faced with decisions as it relates to relationships being right or loved are polar opposites of one another. I don’t quite understand why it is so hard for people to say “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong”. Instead, they either allow people to leave or push them away. For example, I had a good friend and I shared with her for the umpteenth time that I was tired of traveling with her for her to start public arguments. Instead of her hearing what I had to say and stopping to evaluate if my concerns were valid she decided to go on the automatic defense and proved that she was right and was justified with her actions.
Well I had had enough. It is tiring to keep saying the way you are treating me is causing problems for me for it to fall on deaf ears because the person’s self esteem is so compromised that the slightest hint of criticism is interpreted as an all out slight against their beingness. Nevertheless, on that day I decided to permanently part ways. About four months later she re-emerged an attempt to simply press the replay button without offering an apology and/or explanation for her choices.
Apparently, failure was not viewed by her as an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Furthermore, my concerns about her being antagonistic when traveling were also echoed to her by various traveling partners before me who unlike me bailed out after the first onslaught of her nasty attitude. Interestingly enough I find that my sticking points with people typically have a pattern and feedback is similar when it comes to certain things.
And, I know the common denominator so when someone raises that particular concern I know it’s me because I’ve heard it all before. And, I really do adjust my sails and begin again more intelligently first by offering a sincere heartfelt apology for whatever my part was in the communication and/or relationship breakdown. And, being cognizant and making a conscious effort to avoid engaging in the unwanted behavior with them.
But more times than not others don’t seem to know how to say if you have a problem we have a problem because if one of has a problem it is going to disrupt the overall connection between us. Let’s look at this and see how we can fix it. Nope most people go to the automatic defense and risk losing possibly a really good overall friendship and/or relationship so that they can have the privilege of saying I’m right and you’re wrong.
When this happens many people begin again to inevitably experience the same failure because the only time things change is when we admit there is a problem. And, folks can be defensive and/or play victim all day long but I believe they know on some level of their being the reason why they went to the automatic defense is because something rang true for them. But, why should someone on the receiving end stick around for repeated offenses when a person won’t admit there is a problem or discuss them in a receptive manner?
I’ve been there and done that. Too many times I have stayed too long putting up with people who cannot dialogue effectively when I am attempting to express my concerns. Those days are behind me because I know my limitations and I know the longer I put up with it the less ability I have to keep my temper in check. It’s like allergies if I know I don’t have the tolerance for certain foods, it’s just best I avoid them.
I’m learning to begin again more intelligently. Life is too short for the ego trips and blame games. I’m committed to finding the friendships and relationships where open and honest communication are welcomed and that work for me and the other person.