Relationships are complex. I realize large doses of energy are spent considering relationship of some form - with myself - with others - with God. I woke up this morning with these words running through my mind - It is in relationship that we are broken and in relationship we are healed.
There's a theme of abandonment that runs through my personal narrative... So, much of the time I feel as though ended relationships are a failure on my part. If only I'd done something different, perhaps the relationship would have survived. If only I'd been a better friend, mother, daughter, fill-in-the blank, maybe they wouldn't have left. Sound familiar?
And then there are those relationships where I know I was the one who threw down the gauntlet and said, "This isn't working. Something needs to change" and the other party chose not to engage, and the relationship ended. So then what? Who has failed? Perhaps no one. Maybe everyone.
As I awoke this morning, I was greeted with these words, "magically" appearing in the form of "Today's Gift":
"Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can't build on it: it's only good for wallowing in." - Katherine Mansfield
"Sentences beginning with "if only" can go nowhere but straight to regret... At times it's we, ourselves, who do the leaving. We can count it a success, not a failure, when we've had the courage to acknowledge the truth of an ending." -- Joan Larkin
That last sentence is slowly creating a shift in my perspective. Can I claim the bravery in seeing 'the truth of an ending'- the wisdom of letting go - the necessity of saying good-bye?
Are there places where you hang onto regret and find yourself wallowing in "if only's"? Would your perspective change if you saw the ending of a defunct relationship as a success rather than a failure? Can you listen to the truth that lies within your own heart - remembering there are three kinds of relationship - with God - with others - and with yourself?
Will you ponder alongside me?
"friends" photo © lucy