Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I fell with you when you fell into me

To be alone, truly alone and keep your heart to yourself can be the most difficult, yet most rewarding thing you can ever do. Being alone and being lonely aren't equivalent, nor are they mutually exclusive. Sometimes the heart races faster and the brain lags behind struggling to catch up. When a relationship ends the healthiest thing to do is to take the time to heal and reflect. To jump into another is a pitfall. You cannot move on if you carry along any part of the unresolved past. No matter if you are aware or not, you always do carry something with you. The heart can heal quickly but the mind has a longer memory.

Sometimes working on a relationship is too difficult and starting a new one seems easier. Even if you choose the latter every relationship takes work. The beginning of every new relationship is always exciting and euphoric but to have the ability to love does not mean you should easily share it. People should earn your love along with respect. It usually feels perfect at first, like it is just 'meant to be'. That is usually when the heart falls as the brain freezes. You must set healthy boundaries to keep the relationship on a healthy course and at a healthy pace.

We all just want to be loved, yet eventually you must deal with reality and this can take longer for some than others. From the start it is easy to see only good and we can be blinded to red flags. When we do see these flags we often think the person will change or that we can change them. This is an illusion. People rarely change the way you want them to or in the time you wish. Compromise is when two people make mutual decisions not when one wants the other to change. When one wants change and the other does not abide, this causes wounded feelings.

When someone has moved on before the relationship is over, which most often occurs, both people become unhappy trying to make something fit, or they are simply scared to be alone or hurt the other’s feelings. When one party finally breeches the subject the other can feel everything from shock, disappointment, regret, hurt, sadness, anger, and so on. No one wants to be rejected and the initial letdown can send your emotions into a tailspin. It is an emotional situation and even in the end communication is key. Pain comes from not getting what you want. Take it slow so the mind can steer the heart and the pain in a rational manner. If you give everything and the other does not meet you half way then it is not worth it; if they won't or they can't meet your desires then you cannot make someone do so. When we were young we had less experience so we threw our heart with reckless abandon and no concept of reactions or consequences. That first heartbreak can feel like the end of the world. That feeling of disappointment never gets easier emotionally, however, our brain learns how to better deal with the results of our efforts.

Don’t let someone else set the pace of your relationship. If you are always there for them it sets a precedent. It is okay if you have a busy job, kids or social life and are not always available. This way you can weed out the ones that do not have the patience. On the other hand, there are times you do not respond quickly then it can make someone feel neglected or pushed away. There is something appealing about wanting. If you always get what you want, when you want, you can take it for granted. The deeper you get into a relationship the more taxing it can become to get out. The slower you go the easier it is to more clearly see things. It is like driving somewhere then going back and walking it. You see more details than when you were speeding by with your eyes focused on the road ahead.

You would think that dating and love become easier but it does not. There are even more variables as we get older as well as we are stubborn and set in our ways. People grown along side each other or they apart. 'The Missing Piece Meets the Big O' by Shell Silverstein, states we must be whole to be in a healthy relationship. You can neither fill your hole with what is missing nor give yourself away leaving a hole. The idea is to be whole and find someone that is also whole. Relationships are built on friendship and maintained by communication.

If you are the type of person that does not communicate well, it is difficult to have a healthy relationship. If you bottle your thoughts and emotions you might blow up when overwhelmed. If you are the type to keep things inside your head and write a letter because that is easier than talking directly to them, then don't expect an immediate response. It took you awhile to get your thoughts down on paper and it also takes someone time to digest and respond when hit with so much at once.

Relationships end in many different ways. When one moves on right away, they often try to soften the blow by telling you how ‘wonderful’ you and that you ‘deserve’ better and that ‘you will find someone’, and usually it is sincere. Of course, it hurts to hear that because it can make you feel like you were not good enough. It is also very difficult to remain close friends right away because you need someone to talk to about how you are dealing with the change. Remaining friends is not always easy to do because it can cause sadness, regret and guilt. You tend to run through all the things in your mind you wish you could have done differently. Life is full of could have, should have and would haves.

We all have our purpose in each other's lives. The hard part is accepting that role even if it is not the role we want.

by Trey Mitchell

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