Relationship speak

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Michelle: For those who have just been hurt or are still hurting over broken vows or broken promises or are learning to cope with the recent heartbreak, now is the time for healing. It’s hard to pick up the pieces and start over. Harder when one hasn’t let go of feelings, emotions, memories and pains.

Once one is back to square one and the slate is again wiped clean, it’s good to start right when one is ready to start over. I read somewhere that the real pleasure is in returning to square one. A new beginning is a welcome gift. We’re all (or claim to be) experts in something. By the time we have survived several decades on this earth, we’ve become full-blown specialists in some walk of life.

DJ: We all make mistakes. The good thing is we can always start over. But hopefully we’re not learning all things all by mistake! The thing is a relationship is meant more to refresh and not to drain. A good measure is on how they both are growing as persons.


Not perfect, of course, but better. No matter how much one believes in unconditional love, something, someone, somewhere’s gonna snap if there’s more of the taking and less of the giving. Love is economics too. Usually. There is supply and demand. It’s give and take. A relationship can not work if one can already see from the swelling on his cheek and the limp in his gait that it will not work!

M: Some people think they know how to love and deal with all aspects of a relationship—only to blow it due to pride or lack of discernment. Many commit the same mistakes when it comes to relationships—like falling for someone who shares the same character flaws as the previous partner, choosing “bad boy/girl” types in the hopes of “redeeming” them or getting back into the vicious cycle of an abusive relationship. That’s why if you’re still single and unattached, before you start again and give a relationship another go, take the time to know yourself first. Before we can know and love others, we have to know and love ourselves.

It helps to remember a basic teaching from Zen master and author Shunryu Suzuki: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” We have to open ourselves to further and deeper self-knowledge to see new possibilities for a better appreciation of ourselves. This will help us know what we really want in life or in our relationships—especially romantic ones.

DJ: I agree with you, Mic. There are three essential things in a relationship:

Faith. It starts within. A person learns to trust others only when he or she trusts himself or herself. Being jealous can be fine as long as she doesn’t always stub you through the heart with a knife! We cannot give what we do not have.

Hope. Decision making is said to be overrated. But the follow through is also said to be underrated. There is no perfect match. It takes a lot to swallow the lump forming on one’s throat and not lose the perspective why the relationship is important in the first place. Call it crazy but once the melodrama is all over, you still both know that the relationship still means more than the situation.

Love. The deeper is the love, the greater is the cost. It’s measured best in times of adversity rather than in situations of convenience. A person needs to have enough love for someone to keep it growing when the going gets tough. And it’s just as important to know that loving one’s self can also mean letting go of someone who loves you less. Sometimes, love can only begin when love has already ended.

M: When we get to know ourselves once again, pursue our life purpose and our passions, share our blessings with the less fortunate and have a deeper appreciation of the here and now, we stand a better chance of fulfilling our search for love and happiness. We cannot rely on others to complete us or make us happy. We’re asking too much of the other person (who might be a significant other or lifetime partner) to fulfill all our needs.

Even if you date or marry the most wonderful person in the world, he or she will not be able to meet your needs totally. To expect so much is to invite disaster. When we start all over again, we learn and re-learn a few things. Experience (daw) is the best teacher. We have to discard our previous notions of what is an “ideal” relationship. Nothing and nobody is perfect. If we don’t get it the first time around, let’s try not to mess it up the second time (if there’s one!) And as the saying goes “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!”

DJ: Like what I shared in the past, I have met many people who always need to be in love and I dare say that those who profess that they cannot live without romantic involvement often do not have big hearts or a mature capacity to love. Often, they are just addicted to romance. Love is made of honor. Not just respect. It’s still best to treat people as peers and not as objectives, as persons and not trophies.

Let’s decide to be present in everything that we encounter. Because once we are awaken to the present, life also stops repeating itself.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 31, 2014.


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