This week has been a challenging one. It seems that I have put on my counselor’s hat most every day. Everyone I have talked to seems to be bound up…bound up by things that they can’t control. It is like I have watched as people wrap themselves tighter and tighter in issues that they have either created or have let into the cracks of their lives and irritation resulted.
I talked to one woman who was consumed by jealousy. When I asked her what her husband had done to build such jealousy and distrust in her, she answered that he had done nothing….that it was just the way she was. She searched through his phone when he wasn’t looking, she followed him constantly (only to see him go exactly where he told her he was going), she questioned him and needled him every waking moment. He had simply told her that he was tired. She was so tightly wrapped up in her own mind, that she didn’t realize that she was exhausting the relationship.
A male friend I talked to this week, could do nothing but mourn the loss of a relationship that he had seven years ago. He blamed all of his inadequacies on this person deserting him seven years ago and how this other person was ‘his heart.’ He kept going on about how I could never understand that kind of loss in my life. (Honestly, at this point, my eyes had rolled back into the back of my head in an ‘oh please’ type of reaction.) No, I doubt that I could understand losing someone…never mind that I had dealt with the loss of a partner to AIDS. As I sat there listening to him tell me how painful every day still was, I wondered why it was easier for him to wind himself up in the turmoil that he had created and not live his life a little more carefree.
As I listened more than talked this week…I think I realized something about people, in general. People are afraid. People are afraid that, without drama in their lives, they will be overlooked. They are afraid that they will just blend in with everyone else. As I talked to the jealous wife, I realized that her value didn’t come from her family or her relationship. It didn’t even come from who she was. It came from being able to weave the tales of his betrayal…to be able to earn sympathy for something that her husband had given her no reason to believe. When she told me that he hadn’t done anything and that jealousy was just a part of her nature…it told me all I needed. Her nature was the damaged part of the relationship.
My male friend, even as he spoke about living with his heartbreak….in that same breath asked me why I don’t have any photos of Jim. I told him that it wouldn’t be fair to my current partner and that was a part of life that was finished. There was no way that it could ever be what it was. When I buried Jim, I also had to bury that relationship. I still carry the love and memories, but the love and memories don’t possess me.
Many may read this and feel that I am cold and heartless. It isn’t that. I just can’t imagine being bound by anything extra. Life throws enough at you. Why hold onto things that can make your life even crazier. I have always been the type of person who believes that you live and you let live. As long as you don’t hurt others or aren’t spewing vile…then I will peaceably live my life alongside of you. Just like with my friend that is seven years out of a relationship….I asked him, “How often do you think he sits and thinks of you?” Just like I asked the woman bound by jealousy, “Have you ever thought that if you let go of the jealousy that you could actually be with the love of your life, living your ‘Happily Ever After?”
So many times, we concentrate on such tiny things….the things that rub like sandpaper. If we were to just give a tug on those chains, we may just find that they are made out of paper.
My step-grandpa used to have cattle. I watched as he trained an old bull not to tear down the fence. My grandpa used an electric fence. He would walk that bull up to that fence and right into it. The bull would get shocked. He did this many, many times until finally that old bull wouldn’t get anywhere near that fence. While I don’t condone his methods, they were effective. After that bull had it ingrained in his mind that the fence would shock him, my grandpa turned the electricity off to the fence. In that bull’s mind though, that fence was still capable of shocking him if he went near it.
We have pretty much done the same thing. We have confined ourselves based on past experiences. The electricity has been off for years, but we don’t dare test it. I guess I was always the stubborn child. I would constantly go up to the fence, touching it to test it every time….not for fear of getting shocked, but in the hope that the next time I touched it, it would be powerless.
I have watched some witches become like Christian church. I have always believed that whatever your path, faith is the primary part. Faith puts feet to belief. I can believe that the fence won’t shock me all I want, but until that moment I reach out and touch it, it is something only my brain has concocted. The cunning men and women in the community were the ones that the townsfolk would come to for guidance, for magick, for something that everyday life couldn’t supply. Isn’t it really time we lived up to that?
A friend of mine posted a photo today…I took it to heart. Most might get offended, but it struck me as an epiphany.