If it’s true that we come from nothing when conceived and return to nothing when we die, then the time spent in between is all we have or will ever have. Doesn’t that make the time we spend and how we choose to spend it all the more important? I think so, and some stories might help to make sense of it – Consider it Blogotherapy to understand myself and others this way.

Some years ago I had a girlfriend, R, who had a best friend, S, and for many years they had enjoyed the kind of friendship one would expect to last a lifetime. So good was the friendship that S moved in with R one day and they were bosom buddies. My girlfriend R and I had relationship problems and she asked S to act as intermediary to smooth things out. I would have conversations with S about R and she was always supportive of R, but occasionally would comment on R’s bad mood. This was not something I was unaware of either. Sometimes I would ask, “Is R in a bad mood today?” Long story short, and S went the beach with a friend one weekend but did not sign out on her mail. Well, R did snoop (and this was a wrong thing to do), but the deed was done. R did not see all the loving things her friend said about her and only saw the comments about a bad mood. I was caught in the middle and tried to tell R & S that their friendship was more important than a misunderstanding. Nevertheless, R confronted S about it, and they fought. I don’t know what really happened because I wasn’t there, but they stopped speaking to each other as a result. Some time later S moved out and as far as I know they have never spoken to each other again. The reasons seemed so silly to me, and to throw away a long standing friendship like that was without good reason, as I saw it, and seemed such a waste. For pride, righteousness, feeling injured? As H.G. Wells said, “Self-righteous morality is jealousy with a halo.” Both R and S seemed to tell a different story of what transpired between them and I gathered there was some issue of betrayal involved, but I never could fully put the pieces together from the stories they told.

I had a disagreement with a friend once  (a very serious one, much more so than R and S had). We didn’t speak for several months. I thought about it a good deal and the conflict had been due to faults on both sides. I called my friend one day and explained to him how I felt and told him I missed our friendship. He agreed with me and expressed the same. That was many years ago now and we have been the best of friends ever since, perhaps even better friends because we saw something in ourselves and each other the was meaningful. But that is part of me, who I am in my life, and the friendships I care for in life that I don’t want to lose. I am never too proud to admit when I have been wrong and make amends for that. Some people just cannot do it for what ever the reason. They will insist they are right, while victimizing themselves and demonizing others, all the while continuing a pattern of behavior that will never bring any happiness to their lives. There is a greater good in this life if only you open yourself up to it, own your own faults, allow others theirs, and seek some peace of mind in between. Good intentions like these sometimes backfires and is met with more animosity. Such personalities can not be helped. They are the origin of malcontent, creator of conflict and ultimately the source of unhappiness. Self realization should never be underestimated as a power for change.

Brian Walsh & John Ransom (then & now with ~ 20 years of friendship in between)

Returning to my story of R and S, about year or two after they dissolved their friendship,  R stopped speaking to me too. It did not end on a good note, which is unfortunate, but I suppose that it was inevitable. I have discussed some of the circumstances from my point of view in a previous blog entitled Relationship Reflections.  I have come to believe that it is not only important how you begin things, but how you end them in relationships as well. It says something about a persons character. Walking away in anger or ignoring the other person not only dishonors them, but yourself as well. The majority of disputes, disagreements and misunderstandings can be resolved if each party is willing to admit faults on their side, and not ‘lord it over’ each other. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone; but not everyone is willing to admit it. R was never a person I knew to admit faults, and only rarely in the years I knew her made attempts to apologize to me or give in on some issue for the benefit of the doubt to promote greater harmony. She found more things to complain about than anyone I’ve ever known. I do not regret the years I spent with R, and in fact I learned some important lessons from our relationship. Of what she learned from it I cannot say. She was normally rather concerned with her own needs, and I am not sure how often she stopped to consider mine, so there may be little room for self-reflection there. I can not judge anyone, and it is not my place, but perhaps she has reflected on it in the time since we last spoke and I hope so. I try to keep an open mind and never burn the bridges I have invested time in making. I am fairly certain that R did not know me as a person as well as she thought she did, and maybe that’s true for me regarding her as well. Nevertheless, such experiences in life have made me wonder on the nature of love and caring, be it in intimate relationships or friendships too. I am not a religious man particularly, but I do read the Bible for wisdom sometimes.

I like this passage: Corinthians 1, Chapter 13, verses 4 to the end,

     4 Love is patient, and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;  it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices on the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
     8
Love never ends; as for prophecy, it will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
13
So faith, hope, love abide, these three;but the greatest gift is love.

How much do any of us wonder on the emotional pain or injury we inflict on each other, even though we all seem fine later down the road and survive the injury? I think these words on love are quite profound and a guide book of sorts on how we should be. Well, maybe these words have some meaning, not just the biblical verse, but what preceded that thought too. For me it’s a form of healing I like to call Blogotherapy – writing down the bones of what makes me solid, the heart that makes me feel, the mind that makes me think, and the flesh and tissue that holds it all together. Whatever you, the reader make of it, this what I am and who I am – inside and out. My pondering ways are what my blog “Cogito Ergo” is all about…

Disclaimer: All characters resembling any living  persons in this work are real. The resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional. Any characterization beyond scenarios depicted in this work, of said persons, could possibly be through imagination or coincidence.

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