I just posted on my facebook page, for perhaps the third time, a post from the beautiful blog, Momastery – one of my favorite short posts ever written (I think), titled “Carpe Diem.” You can find it here.
I see this kind of tight winding, complicated un-loving in my divorce practice all the time. Years of stress and hurt and fatigue build up and create distance, wind people more tightly, set them apart from each other. If no one is willing to waive that white flag, pour that first glass of wine, soften and see the other person as a whole, fallible, imperfect-but-nonetheless-lovable human, then it’s hard to remain partners. You wind up getting stuck in an attachment to making the other person change; you condition your happiness on the other person’s behaviors. What makes things worse is that, inevitably, the other person can sense that you wish they were different; they feel your judgement, your sense of distance, and they often respond to you in turn with the same kind of objectification and judgment.
Breaking the cycle is hard, of course. It takes deep humility. It takes a willingness on the part of at least one person to to take a breath and not lash back and not defend, but rather offer empathy and respect. It takes effort to be ok with not “winning” the argument or be “right” or more powerful. It takes one person being completely committed to honestly looking at themselves.
Are you ready to “pour the wine”?