Human relationships can be so rewarding, fulfilling, loving and nurturing. In the same vein, relationships are messy.
Other adjectives are equally accurate when used to describe relationships are: painful, difficult, confusing, unloving, and a slew of other ones.
Let’s be honest, there are days, we’d like to blurt: “relationships are for the birds and I will have none of it.” However, this train of thought has a major caveat. You see, humans are designed to live in groups.
Tribes and Human Relationships
Human infants cannot survive outside a “tribe” and this remains so for many years. From the beginning of life to the end of life, relationships are part of the fabric of our humanity.
I — like you — relish a healthy nurturing and loving relationship. Being around someone who accepts us and loves us is magical. It is a gift. There is nothing quite like it.
However, the sloppiness of relationships isn’t something I enjoy. At. All.
While some thrive on drama, I abhor it.
Moreover, the older I get the less I have the patience for foolishness and head games.
Watch my little feet walk away from this mess….and fast.
Except, avoidance isn’t always possible — nor beneficial.
And, here, in this very situation do I find myself.
Messy Human Relationships
I want to speak up freely. However, opening my mouth and voicing my opinion could make things worse. I have already expressed my disappointment without going into the nitty-gritty details of my position.
The thing is — the way I feel at this instant — spilling it all (while it would be cleansing and maybe even empowering) may not be so great after the smoke clears. More than likely, I would be left with my feelings as they are now and an additional mayhem to fix. My short term feelings of “heck yeah” would turn into “drats, what have I done?”
Striking a balance between speaking up and withholding isn’t particularly easy for me to navigate.
I need wisdom.
Put concisely, my dilemma is this: I long for something I don’t have. I feel far less important to some as they are to me.
I know, I know, I can hear the voices of those who would say: “you don’t need this, walk away.”
The problem is this: these individuals are beloved close family members.
These individuals are not unloving nor uncaring. They are young, a bit naive and maybe a little clueless. Moreover, they are being wooed and influenced or blinded, or combination of both.
I am leaning toward both.
They are still learning how to navigate relationships as adults. They stumble and fumble…as I do. No one “arrives” at relationships. It takes skill, grace, wisdom, and a spine. They are still working on their spines especially when it comes to people they admire and who are older than they are. And, here lies the crux of the issue.
I see what they do not. Or, alternatively, they do see but make excuses or don’t know how to handle the situation.
Whatever the reasons, they are sitting ducks in the middle of an unhealthy situation.
I’d like to run in and save the day. Except — although it affects me – this is not my battle to fight.
Power and Control in Human Relationships
These individuals are surrounded by — what should be mature — adults. They care for and respect them. The thing is I see what they do not. These people whom they trust thrive on control and manipulation. Moreover, they are uncannily good at it. Behind the smiles are less than healthy beings who expect those around them to fill all their empty spaces.
Nothing is off limits in their quest to conquer their loneliness. Fear, verbal sparring, cajoling, guilt, etc.
My loved ones are some of the collateral damage they leave behind in their wake. While syrupy, and beside all — superficial — evidence to the contrary, they are far from loving.
I Love You
The word “love” can hide some less than savory behaviors which have nothing to do with genuine love.
- I love you so I control who you see and when.
- I love you so the damage I cause is for your benefit.
- I love you so I will cripple you and make you fear the world “out there” so you stay and do as I dictate.
- I love you so you cannot leave me.
While I do not question these people’s have feelings — they label love — for those they so readily damage, I do question the behaviors they whitewash as love.
- Love is not selfish.
- Love does not teach fear.
- Love does not hold in bondage.
- Love does not hold tight.
- Love trusts.
- Love is kind.
While I see the control, my family members see the saccharine sweetness. These people are good and have decades of practice. They prey on the weak and innocent.
No surprise here
However, I am neither weak nor innocent. I would love nothing more than to descend on these people like a flea on a dog.
Except, I am talking about adults. Kids to me but adults nonetheless.
My role is to support and respect. To love. Always to love. And, to hope, that all will be made clear.
Admittedly, I worry and fret a bit which serves no positive nor constructive purpose.
Granted, in all honesty, I am also being emotional while hubs is being more level-headed. Moreover, I am in general more volatile while he is the definition of calm. He is the yin to my yang.
What am I to do?
Gratefully accept what is offered as anemic as it may be?
Make a stink?
Put distance to preserve my already aching heart?
My favored option is the magic wand.
Abracadabra and “poof”…everything is as it should be.
Problem is, I must have misplaced my wand eons ago.
Boundaries in Human Relationships
I have no doubt I am loved. However, words sound hollow after a while. All the “I love yous” in the world do not amount to a hill of beans when the rubber meets the road and you find you have no rubber.
So, through my tears, I prayed.
I went into my sacred place within and whispered my feelings, my fears, and my hopes. I listened to my soul in the silence. Somewhere, there are answers.
These beloved individuals are as happy as pigs in the mud, or I should say they appear to be. Maybe things aren’t as rosy as they appear. Sometimes, I feel they aren’t so much blinded, but more like stuck.
I sound melodramatic I know.
I am trying as best I can to keep my boat upright in this storm.
Writing is therapy so I write. Pour it all out and process.
If only, I could get a hold of that stinkin’ magic wand.
I think I know what needs to be done.
Forget my expectations, accept what is given with gratefulness and be me. I can nourish my soul, listen with gentleness to my bruised heart, remain kind to myself and others, keep praying while loading up on chocolate or whipped cream. I can do all these things while remaining in joy and focused on the blessings which are many.
I can send love from near and far.
These beings — as much as I love them — are not on earth to fulfill me. Fulfillment is solely an internal job.
This too shall pass no?
Nothing remains constant.
At the same time, I am prepared to speak my truth and to make a stand for what is right. I will battle if it comes down to that and I will have my beloveds’ backs.
I pray for their eyes to be open and for wisdom to flood their being. I pray they will learn to stand and be who they are. I pray for their happiness and that they will know love in their relationships as I know love with hubs. I pray that when they think of me they smile and that their hearts are full of love. I pray they know they are loved unconditionally. I pray for much and believe for even more.
In the midst of the ashes, I rise. I always do.
I will brood over those I love with love and acceptance. I cannot lose this battle. I will not.
Love will indeed win and I will be patient.
As always, writing has worked its magic. All is clear and I am ready!
Yes, human relationships still are messy and some should be walked away from without a look back. Yet, others are worth fighting for and pouring in.
I will love and love some more…first myself and then those given to me even if for a short time.
I will pour grace like oil and I will wait knowing love will win.