Sunday, January 19, 2003

Life Lessons

So it's approaching a year since I broke up with Miriam. Since then there have been some relationship concepts that I keep encountering, especially during these last few months, after the initial pain wore off and I could pay attention. It seems that there are some definite things I'm supposed to be learning at this time in my life. So here's an attempt to articulate some of the ones that have been important to me recently.

Having been part of a couple for so long, it was really hard to start redefining myself and my life on my own. I'd forgotten how important that was. But one of the lessons that's been coming at me from various directions has been the fact that eventually starting a new relationship is going to require not just finding the right sort of person, but being the right sort of person as well. I want to be able to have such a happy, satisfying life as a single person that I can then find someone with whom to share that happiness. I don't want to go into a relationship needing someone to get me "over" the last person, or make me feel better about myself or live up to other expectations. That's the sort of thing that gets in the way of unconditional love.

Of course, the difficulty here is that love is a wonderful thing, good for the soul, and it's hard to feel like you have to do without it all of a sudden after a romantic relationship comes apart. That's the bit that would make it too easy to fall into something that wouldn't necessarily be a good idea in the long run. The thing I try to make myself remember then is that friends are also wonderful things, and I've got some really good ones. There can be an immense amount of love between friends without anything becoming romantic, and it will always be there to help keep you strong and healthy.

I suppose I'm at least on the path to where I want to be, though it looks like a very gradual road. Externally, my life sometimes seems uncertain or unstable, mostly due to the job situation. But I do tend to feel better about life in general than I did at many times over the past year and I still look forward to improvements. Internally, it varies. I'm still a long way from being over Miriam, but at least I'm learning to be patient and loving with myself as I go through the process. I'm just trying to take better care of myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So there's hope.

Lots of people have been really good in helping me realize, understand and apply these sorts of concepts. You know who you are. Thanks.

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