Journeys Shared Are The Journeys Worth Taking

life

I’ve made a conscious decision in my adult life to focus on people who reciprocate. I don’t mean in a tit-for-tat kind of way. I don’t keep score. I have some friends from far away that make an effort to visit and some that don’t. With some friends we need to talk a few times a week and with others we can pick up where we left off after months of no contact. I suppose my criteria is different depending on the relationship. But for the most part,  it has to feel like we’re both making an effort to nurture the relationship.

A very wise man once gave me the following visual about marriage. He said that there are times when a marriage is like this – and he made a fist with one hand and covered it with the other. And then there are other times when a marriage is like this – and he reversed his hands. But for most of the journey a marriage should be like this:

hands

He interlaced his fingers, joining them together.

That visual made such an impression on me. I was in a relationship at the time that was so lop-sided. I was codependently orchestrating our journey. I left that relationship – thank goodness. I’ve applied this visual to other parts of my life, both with family and friends.

I recognize that we need to carry the other person sometimes. We all have struggles in our lives where we need others to pick up the slack. And sometimes, we’re the one who needs to be carried. Being able to lean on your friends from time to time is essential. But for most of the time, for most of our journey, we need to be working together to nurture and care for each other.

Journeys shared are the journeys worth taking. I surround myself with people who nurture me and allow themselves to be nurtured by me. People that listen with their heart. Act with compassion and kindness. See with loving eyes.

These are the people who I make time for.

P.S. After reading what I’ve written I realized this may sound preachy. So not my intent. I’m struggling right now with my relationship (or lack there of) with my parents. I think I wrote this to validate my adult decisions.

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10 Comments

Filed under family, How We Roll, Marriage, People

10 responses to “Journeys Shared Are The Journeys Worth Taking

  1. You know, I think about this a lot as I get older. You get very little, and at times nada, from some relationships. But I don’t know what the right answer is, or if there is one. There are a lot of people I’m willing to “carry” for a long time.
    Good food for thought; thanks.

  2. I have reached that same point with relationships…and that is saying something since I am usually the caretaker. It took me a long while to let go of the guilt of letting things fade away, but my life was richer and happier for it.

    As far as struggles with parents, I once separated myself completely from my mother, for a long time, no communication, no input in my life, nothing…the relationship had gotten that toxic. Sometimes our self-preservation must come first. Even when it is sad and leaves a whole. Sending hugs to you!

  3. angelcel

    You’re absolutely right. I think relationships have to be about give and take and not all follow the same rules – you just *know* when it’s right and when it isn’t.

    I don’t know your situation with your parents but I may have an inkling of how you feel. Not to go into graphic detail here, but my mother and I emotionally parted company about 4 years before she died. When we parted company I realised that it should, for my own well-being, have happened a lot, lot sooner. She died 10 years ago now and for long after, I wondered when I’d go into melt-down for having been ‘so selfish’ and done the wrong thing. I didn’t, haven’t yet, and don’t think I will go into melt down. As you describe, I felt our relationship had been very heavily biased in just one direction for far too long and not a meeting and melding of two people who love one another, with mutual love, respect and support.

    I’m not twisted up with either guilt or continuing anger. I know that she did the best she could with the life tools she’d been given.

    Whatever it is that has happened to put distance between you and your parents I hope you find a way to happily move forward.

  4. I love that analogy about marriage and it is so true. I am sorry to hear you are struggling with your parents. Sometimes we make peace with the people around us in order to have peace within ourselves. Making peace is not about giving in, it’s about letting go. Just a thought.

  5. As someone who had a lot of one-sided friendships growing up (and even a one-sided marriage at a very young age) I totally get this. I also have been going through a severe disconnect with my parents and the relationship is strained. I can’t keep giving and giving and hitting a brick wall with the people who brought me into this world.

    *hugs*

  6. Joe

    Great analogy. I love coming here and getting these different ways to think about things. Even in a negative situation, you put a positive spin on it.

  7. What an awesome post! I love the saying at the start. I have stayed in far too many lop-sided relationships for far too long, and it has only been in the last couple of years that I have realized how much better I feel after letting them go.

    I am so sorry you are in this position with your parents. Someone once told me that “Blood is thicker than water.” I HATE that phrase. Being of the same blood does not obligate a relationship.

  8. Oh. I’m so touched by all of your comments and support and individual sharing. I’d forgotten that I had even written this and was testing the “scheduled” option of WordPress. I wrote this last week and then scheduled it to be posted a week later. Then, over the weekend… well, you know what happened …and I’ve been out of touch with my own blog. I came here today and saw what all of you have said and I want to thank you. Sharing and learning from each other is an important part of blogging for me. I’m honored to have you all sharing and learning with me.

  9. Love the visual! Thanks! And, NOT preachy at all.

  10. I have been away and missed this when you posted it. I’m so glad I checked to see what I missed.

    This is wonderfully written and very wise advice.

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