I’m curious about how people (friends, couples, colleagues, lovers, siblings or other relationships) deal with being with each other when they decide to be not in touch anymore. How do you choose to be with a relationship that was once, in some form or other, positive, live-giving, inspiring, supporting, fun, nurturing or loving. There must have been something nourishing in that relationship, or something that was learnt out of the experience of that relationship that was worth remembering or cherishing.
Do disagreements and differences in points of view, matter so much that we walk away from relationships by hardening our hearts. I am sure there would have been many circumstances that caused these relationships to be where they are, and there are many justifications for the actions we take. And yet, I question the way we go about doing it.
I’ve seen and been in some situations where we as people deal with such circumstances. A couple I know, when their relationship went sour, the wife returned all the gifts that her husband had given her, not just gifts, every single thing that he had bought for her. Another time, a friend unfriended another from Facebook because they couldn’t see eye to eye anymore, and sometimes common friends were stuck, not knowing whose side to pick, who to invite to a party event, with the fear of offending the other. There are couples who are in constant conflict even after their divorce or separation that it has a negative impact on each other and their children( if they have any), some children who haven’t spoken to their parents for years, siblings who don’t speak to each other for years and that tradition being carried forward by their children.
Is it possible to undo all the good that’s already been done?
It deeply saddens me to see how relationships can disintegrate to nothing. And how we come to make make these choices. Are we trying to claim ourselves back, claim our hearts back, so that we get some form of closure? So that we will stop hurting? And is that the only way to go about it? Do we really stop hurting when we do that?
I’ve been divorced once, many years ago, and now when I look back, I’m very thankful for the dignity and respect with which it was handled. My father taught us to hold on to peace and compassion in even when it got messy. Mind you, my father is not a saint, and nor is he perfect, he’s had some messy relationships his life too, but how he made sure we maintained respect towards each other, each other’s families through out this difficult time, had a huge and lasting impact on me and my children.
There were times, when we are children, my father and his brothers would not not talking to each other. He would remind us that, what was between him and them, was just that – it was between them and we had nothing to do with it. We still did the house visits, spent time with our cousins, had our stay – overs.. Many a times, these visits were initiated by my father or his brothers even though they still dint meet eye to eye.
I’m forever grateful to him that it has left a lasting impression on me. I’ve learnt to not take conflicts to heart, to not write people off my life. If I can justify my acts and feel sorry for myself then I should be able to do the same for the other person too, for he/she has a heart just like mine, and feels pain just the way I do.
It’s easy to be loving, compassionate, respectful and caring when all is going well. Can we do the same while we are wounded and hurting too?
And, on a bigger scale when we read and get impacted by war, conflicts and violence around the world, what makes us think that it is any different from the ones we have in our own little worlds? It’s only a much bigger version of our little wars. If we cant keep our hearts open in our own little worlds, how can we even dream of peace for the world.
It is not easy, and I’m sure it will not be. I will be hurt, sad, mad, scared, angry or enraged by my different experiences of life. I might want to shut off and harden myself too.
Call me naive or foolish if you must, I am not perfect , BUT I choose to keep my heart open. I choose love ! I choose compassion! I choose Peace ! And I will keep making that choice.