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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Managing Life with Irreconcilable Differences

There comes times in all our lives when our best efforts come to nought. For want of neither effort nor creativity the end has come, however hard that is.

And conversely it can be seen that our ‘ends’ simply shower us with possibilities of beginnings, fresh and new.

The new beginning is what we expect. The fresh one, however, is perhaps not.

New Beginnings

Some situations cry out for new beginnings; however this is not an excuse to walk out on a bumbling marriage, for instance. All relationships are imperfect. Some do have features of damage about them, and this is what the new beginning is about. It’s that time when the collective pain to move apart is a better, more healing, pain for all than the pain for all to stay in the present situation. See how we’re trying to factor everyone into this thinking?

If we were in an abusive or seriously co-dependent relationship, for instance, it would be healthier for either parties to address the issues, where one or both can, or move apart. Even saying that suggests a certain finality that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Yet, realism has the final say.

Sometimes, however, despite the best efforts of many to change, they do not, and this leaves the individuals in the relationship with choices on how to proceed.

Fresh Beginnings

Acceptance is the operative word here. Although some relationships won’t afford the new beginning—perhaps because we’re otherwise extrinsically committed to them for purposes beyond ourselves (for instance, children or workplace realities)—there is a good place to reach on the other side; the fresh side.

How comforting it is to know there’s a way to endure some relationships for the benefit of others, and/or our circumstances. The pain of change here is more than the pain of staying as we are.

Freshness is victory, and the best sort, for if we can live with the toughest of things in quite comparative ease—and this is possible—how good now are the nicer things of life?

Despite the trends to ‘ditch’ our long-held relationships, there is nothing wrong with extrinsic commitment to relationships, provided we’ve reached a mature landing of acceptance—our expectations fitted to the less-than-satisfactory reality we find ourselves in. However trying these hard relationships feel, they’re beautiful from both the ‘iron sharpens iron’ and long-range perspectives.

The Joy Underpinning the ‘Fresh’ Approach

Appreciating this perspective does, however, require quite tangential humility—to be able to accept many things that would otherwise send us stark raving mad. This is clearly about attaining and maintaining the sort of joy that is not dependent at all on our relational circumstances.

Very simply it’s about having an identity solidified in things well beyond those of this world.

This is not a concept easily explained; perhaps it’s rather a destination each of us finds, appropriate to our spiritual search, acquired self-knowledge and compliance to that which we find at each step along that way.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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