A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today
A beautiful sentiment, don’t you think? But what if that is not enough?
My mind went back to previous relationships and I did a little checklist of my own to see where I had gone wrong.
OK, so it is not always easy to admit where we had gone wrong, but going through the list, I was able to see where I had made mistakes. My first serious relationship was, judging by the list, completely doomed from the get go. He was a nice guy, but I was just in a really bad space at the time. I did a lot better in my second relationship (which turned into a 12 year marriage), but had my fair share of shortcomings. The third one, which was sort of post-divorce rebound thing, was just a huge mistake on my part. After that is spent two years single, just thinking and learning and searching and doing a lot more thinking. Then came last year…
Questions, questions, way too many questions…
Looking at the list, I can in all honesty say that I am able to tick every single item on that list. So what went wrong? What if it is simply a case of there are no guarantees? What if, despite the fact that you might do everything right, it might still not work out? What if your best efforts are simply just never enough?
While mulling this over today, one of those pesky little demons (which normally reserves it’s haunting for the late hours of night when I’ve got nothing to distract me and it’s only me and the silence and the darkness pressing in) reminded me of a particularly nasty time in my life when a class-act asshole told me that I would never amount to anything, that I would never be good enough for anything other than … OK, let’s not go there.
I was reminded of this while the summer sun-baked down on me and a cold chill gripped my heart. What if there really are no guarantees and no matter how hard I try, it will never be enough? What is the point of even trying then? What is the point of searching and hoping and dreaming?
So it leaves us with a dilemma, torn between two impossibilities: the Ying and Yang of this game that we play.
On the one side you have the craving to love and be loved. A craving so big it consumes all that you are. As a heroin addict craves a fix, so do I crave love: The highs and lows, the butterflies and the arguing over socks or dirty dishes, the moments of raw passion and the moments of lull late at night just before you fall asleep, the silly private jokes and a look that speaks a thousand words in a crowd and you immediately know what the person is trying to tell you, the knowing that you are safe.
On the other side you have the fear that this too is not real, the question of how much to give before you give so much that you become vulnerable, the memory of a fun moment in stark comparison to the question of “how long will this last”, the fear that again it will not be enough and you will be tossed aside, pushed away when someone else comes along. It is a fear that grips your heart with such intensity that it brings you to a stop and squeezes every last bit of breath out of you. It is a fear that constricts your throat and leaves you literally choking while tears stream down your face, because you remember so well how much it hurt the last time.
This battle between good and evil – what we really want vs what we fear most – is something that I am really struggling with at the moment and the sad reality is that I might very well end up paying a very steep price. Only problem is that I don’t know how to do this and I wish I had the answers that evade me.
How do we do this? How do we successfully navigate this thing called life and love if there are no guarantees? How do you open yourself up and let someone in if you have no idea what their intentions are? Words are pretty little things easily thrown about and “I will love you forever and never break your heart. I will never abuse your trust or do anything to hurt you.” sounds really good. It is so easy to say those things and that is really all we ever want to hear, but the sad reality is that forever lasts only until the next bit of excitement comes along or boredom kicks in. “Until we are old and wrinkled” means something different for me that it does for the next person and we never really know what the intentions are behind those words.
I guess in the end there are no guarantees and we can just hope and dream and believe and keep pushing back those fears and fighting those demons with all you’ve got.