October 18, 2014
How do you know when to give up and move on, or just hold on a little longer and wait for things to turn the corner?
Making decisions–why is it so difficult? In many ways I live in the black and white or at least I have in the past. Good/bad, black/white, right/wrong. Boy, that certainly makes choices easier, doesn’t it? If it is not all this, then it is that…and the guillotine comes down as the decision is made. I equate it to math, if it is not right it is wrong.
More recently I have been living in the different shades of gray, and boy there are a lot of them! LOL. Living that way has both good and bad points. In the area of decisions it makes it more difficult because nothing seems clear. Something is good, but is it good enough? Am I making a choice too quickly? Could it be so much better tomorrow? If I make the decision today, I will never know! It makes my head spin at times.This comes up frequently with relationships, romantic in general. But it is not the only place it comes up–friendships, career, job, parenting, exercise, car buying (or large purchases in general), etc.
I think back to buying this house I live in now. I looked at a ton of houses on line, and then many more in person. None were the “perfect” fit for me. However, if you took the kitchen from one, the master bedroom from another, the basement space from a third, and the exterior color scheme from a fourth–WOW! You would have my perfect house. Obviously it does not work that when when you are buying a pre-owned house, so what do you do? Do you go with “good enough?” No, you wait until you find that house that pulls at your heart and mind, something that feels like it can be called “home” and you know for sure that it is the one. With my house I loved the layout and floor plan, the openness, the flow, the way it “felt.” One of the most important rooms for me is the kitchen, it is always the hub of the house. In my previous house I had just renovated the kitchen and it was amazing! It is where you would most often find me. The kitchen in my new house? Not so much, in fact I hated it. But I knew it could be changed. I had to live with it for almost 3 years to know how I wanted it, and I still made mistakes. It is not perfect, but it is a whole lot better than it was. So, if I didn’t like the room that I considered most important in this house, why did I buy it? Because the bare bones of the house were exactly what I needed at that time, and I knew I could change the things I did not love. Things like paint color, flooring, doors, trim, the landscaping, the exterior color, windows, the front door….ok, I changed just about everything! It would have been cheaper to build a new house. But I like the foundation and the essence of this house. It is on a cul-de-sac in a great neighborhood, close to friends and family, and I have awesome neighbors from all walks of life and cultures. I especially love this couple across the street. They look after my place when I travel, I let their dog out during the day sometimes, she has borrowed a cup of sugar, and I have taken them my famous carrot cake. All that I could not change about my home, and it is what makes this the perfect house for me.
Unfortunately, it is not that easy when it comes to people. Let’s face it, we are all pre-owned after the first heartbreak. The first time a friend betrays your trust or throws something back in your face, the first time a partner breaks your heart, we carry that experience with us. It becomes part of our story and a lens that we see things through; an overlay that we use to weigh or judge future relationships. We learn what we want, do not want, and will not tolerate through personal interactions. The thing is, with people you can not change what you do not like! It just does not work. People only change when they want to, when it is important to them, and often when it is the only option…because to not change mean to go against who they are at that moment in time.
When my oldest son asked his girlfriend to marry him I told her that she is never going to love everything about him and there will always be things she wishes she could change. But going in, if she knows she loves 75% of who he is, she has to accept that other 25% knowing she will never be able to change those things.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to incorporate guy A’s looks with guy B’s personality, guy C’s love or dancing and cooking, guy D’s stability and sense of family? Just as with a house, it is just not possible. So then you have to do the same thing…look at the foundation, the floor plan, the “feel” or “vibe” of the house…oops..person. I guess it all comes down to energy. How does this person feel to me? How do I feel when I am with this person? Are we in sync? Do we match vibrationally? What happens when we match well at first, but then one changes and we no longer match? Do we give up and move on or wait to see if we match up again? Is it too soon to give up or change my mind, or will I be making the biggest mistake of my life? What about commitment and vows? I went through all of this when I ended my 22 year marriage. Look, he didn’t beat me, he provided for the family, was a hard worker and a good man. Many considered him an ideal man. I lived a charmed life by most standards. People who did not know us well thought I was crazy. What was the deciding factor for me? When the pain of staying was greater than the fear of leaving; I felt if I stayed my soul would die a slow, painful death. Isn’t that when most change occurs, or at least when it is the easiest? When something feels like it has to, as if it is a matter of life or death. How many people finally change their diet and start to exercise more, only after having a heart attack or being diagnosed with diabetes? But why does it have to get to that point? What if the change happened when the acid reflux started or when it was difficult to bend over and ties your shoes? All that pain could have been avoided.
For me the answer is that I hate giving up on people. I know that is just an image, for am I really not giving up on them? I prefer to see the best in everyone, sometimes to the point of ignoring the rest. After all, we are all spirit having a human experience, so who am I to judge? Really what I am judging is not the other person but whether a relationship with that person is what is best for me. Can I to be myself and allow the other to fully be in their essence as well? Can we each be who we are and grow and change alongside each other, reaching for the light as we journey down this path of life? Or is it going to keep me in one place, the same, stagnant, not being able to bear fruit? For a plant to grow it has to have space, nutrients from a rich soil, sunlight, and water; it has to be nurtured. Relationships need tending in that same way. Am I lovingly tending to it, and what kind of fruit am I producing in this relationship?
In the end, just as I knew this house is perfect for me, I know when a relationship is no longer working for me. Until I have that “knowing” in my heart, I will not make that decision to move on. I will continue to work on it, tending it the best I can and waiting to see if it produces the fruit I so long for.