Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Often we hear the phrase ‘people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.’ I always loved that phrase but I think somewhere in my Pollyanna youthful naivety I believed anyone who came into my circle would remain there- even for a lifetime. Relationships have not panned out that way and nor should they have. But oh how I have misguided myself somewhere along the path.

The reality is: people come in and out of our lives and some people you may never see or talk to again. I have met and worked with many it’s just not feasible to have every relationship pan out long term even with the surface connection of Facebook. And as I get older I accept this rite of passage. Well, maybe not accept completely but attempt to understand and embrace. Trying to view relationships as valuable for whatever their time table is more miracle minded . It’s particularly cyclical in New York where by definition careers are nurtured, not relationships.I was recently watching a very poetic and interesting documentary on New York from it’s inception in the 1600’s. It stated how New York was the stopping ground from the beginning which would dictate the societal and political climate of America as we know it. How millions came here en masse to pursue this dream of financial wealth and prosperity. And even today New York holds this mystical allure, this place where ‘anything is possible’. NYC- the agenda oriented city. But with that anything is possible comes ruthless ambition and emotional disregard. It’s a double edged sword really. You crave connection but you’ve chosen to live in that agenda and then real connection can be, well…fleeting.

There have been seasonal relationships for me over the years. Big one was with a friend and roommate I loved in Chicago. We had one disagreement and she ended our friendship with no discussion. I learned a lot about myself from that. Most recently I had a friend I met at an audition a couple of years ago whom to me at least, felt like a solid genuine connection. We talked, we texted. I visited him at his job and we laughed and talked about everything. But slowly I came to realize he was the illusive 'New York actor people collector’- looking for fans in their entourage rather than living, breathing friendship. All of the effort was coming on my part. I stepped back for my own dignity to see what happened. And guess what? I never heard from him again. I realize I am accountable because I choose to believe these brief liaisons are more lasting than they were originally intended. And then my frustration and expectation sabotages the deal when I actually express that to them and they run for the door. I guess if you feel a looming disconnect it’s best to just cut your losses and move on. Dating here is the worst regarding this. There’s just a lot of narcissism in New York you absolutely need to keep your blinders up, feet planted firmly on the ground and accept the reality. And try to remain open too as much as you can. It’s a dance it’s a balance- holding on and letting go.

The spiritual study The Course in Miracles says there are ‘three levels of teaching’ in a relationship. First being a ‘casual encounter’, second being a ‘more sustained relationship’ where two people enter into an intense teaching/learning experience then appear to separate, and the third level being a relationship once formed last all our lives. Author Marianne Williamson says the second and third levels are where intense healing happen showing us the barriers to love we put up and how these relationships illuminate that. I can really relate and feel like if you have that information you are prepared for relationship endings. Not try to control it, but trust those meant to be near to me will be.

Makes the people who have been there for you year after year that much more treasured doesn’t it? Letting you be who you are with flaws, good days, bad days- Makes you so grateful for their consistent presence. Tell them today how grateful you are. And embrace the flux of the reason, season or lifetime relationship…out with the Pollyanna and in with the reality.

1 comment:

Niki Naeve said...

Yeah, um, wow. You touch on so many truisms that nonetheless we don't talk about, generally. Thanks, Thadd.