Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Have Broken My Own Rules!

I have broken my own rules! In previous articles I have suggested we should never part from our loved ones without a hug and “I love you.” I have suggested that our last words to someone or from someone should be positive (His Last Words to Me). Another opportunity may not come about.

I broke these rules recently when circumstances were such between my son and his wife and me that there was no opportunity or willingness to hug. There was no atmosphere in which the warmth of love could be expressed.

Under these circumstances the “I love you” would have sounded hollow and may even have been ridiculed by the person toward whom I would have directed them. It would have probably been seen as hypocritical.

Now I am faced, as many of us sometimes are, with attempting to understand what I could have, should have, done differently. The path of least resistance would dictate blaming the other person in some way. Even if I were able to absolutely know that what someone else did had set in motion the breakdown of the situation, SO WHAT? Is the situation somehow improved now that I have determined who is at fault? I don’t think so!

Let there be no misunderstanding about one thing: in a disagreement between two or more persons there are always at least two sides and those sides are not necessarily right and wrong. Placing blame makes someone appear wrong even if that is not the case. So if I want to move toward reconciliation, I must drop the blame game. I may not at this time be ready to reconcile with the other persons. Still, placing blame puts reconciliation farther from my reach than if I were simply to decide to take a breather. Cool down. Take whatever time I needed—an hour or a year. But I cannot consider it really resolved until peace between us is established. This peace may require that it be defined differently than the usual meaning. Peace, as the absence of turmoil, is not good enough, ultimately. Agreeing to disagree amicably is better, but still leaves a sense of dissatisfaction. Somehow I must love what is and remember that love is only love when it is unconditional. And that is true for all parties. It is only as I can accept another for who he/she is without requiring them to meet my arbitrary standards of behavior that the playing field is level. Hopefully, the other person can look at me in that same way, but whether he/she does or not is none of my business.

I know how difficult this is going to be! I am looking at a disagreement for which my only answer at this time is to get the hell out of the way! This is what I have done. Now I can examine the results of breaking my own rules with some degree of objectivity that can come from distance. Some might say this is a cop out, and that I am not really dealing with the problem, that I am running rather than facing the issues. That may be true. However, as I said, I am not ready to deal with it any other way.

There are two other persons who are part of this issue. On the surface it would appear I cannot reconcile with one without reconciling with the other. I am far from being able to see that happen.

Reaching this apparent impasse in my relationships reveals to me that I need assistance from a third party, an objective counselor, to help bring to light aspects of my behavior I may not have recognized. Walking the road alone can be fraught with pitfalls. Where is the mirror in which I can observe who I am and how well I may be handling the attempt at resolution? While we all have marvelous inner abilities and reserves to meet every challenge, sometimes those abilities are clouded by anger, frustration and blame. Still, within each of us exist the strength to hold on where necessary and the humility to let go of the ego that fears failure. Finally, there is the unbounded love capable of embracing the God-Spirit in others without conditions.

Again, let me repeat: sometimes we are just not ready to take any outer steps toward reconciliation and resolution. At this point, it is difficult for me. I know I have to get there sometime though. Getting there may mean letting go completely of someone I love, or someone for whom I just cannot break through to sufficiently understand. Love is not so much the question here for me as acceptance. When one does not feel accepted or accepting of others there is little basis for communication among “equals.”

Anyone who is in our life at any given time may not always be there. In fact, it is most likely that folks will come and go under a variety of circumstances. We have these “connections” with others because there are things to discover about ourselves and how we can best develop our potential or assist others develop theirs. We are not equally attracted to everyone or for the same reasons. How long a person remains in our circle of relationships is not the determinate of their value or ours nor do the kind of experiences we share make either of us “good” or “bad” persons. It simply recognizes the potential opportunity in our learning process. Share and learn what you can from these relationships and move on, friend!

Moving on with help is what I am going to do now. I am trusting that I will get to that place where my mind and heart can again be open, where I can give full expression to the unconditional love needed in my family relationships. Whether this is the correct course of action for me to take at this moment, only time will tell. I know that as I continue to create my personal reality I must be positive and loving and at the same time seek to express those qualities with increased discrimination, clarity, strength and trust.

You might ask why I share this challenge with you. Every article I have written has come out my personal experience. That is what I know something about. Sometimes I do well and do it quickly and sometimes it takes longer because I don’t do as well. In any case it may be helpful to others to follow along as I learn to process these experiences and come to understand how to bring about healing. Certainly, that is my hope.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Hey, Dan, I don't even know how to do a comment on a blog. This is an idea that I haven't caught up with yet.

For now, let me just say I believe you have written bravely and well,and I personally feel deeply touched by what you have written.

My love and prayers are strongly with you.
Tom