Oh how difficult to have a face-to-face discussion with someone when both are trying to make their point and neither are listening to the other—the focus shifts to key words, and we tend to pick and choose what we hear. It’s like instant editing, with a bias. And while the words are lost, or maligned, the tension rises and the volume goes up (as if that helps). Then, while it continues to deteriorate, it becomes the blame game—“…if only… if it wasn’t for…because of you…”
Most of us have been taught to “defend our position” and the easiest way is to ignore, block out, or demean the other person. It’s a football game without rules, without a ball and without boundaries. Yeah, it gets ugly, but we’ve all been there, we’ve all done that. And of course, there is always an underlying reason for the conflict that nobody seems to recognize or maybe it is too painful to verbalize. I’m trying to not be angry any more—it is very difficult.

It’s been eleven months since I lost my love and it feels like an eternity. She is still a part of my daily living and always in my thoughts. Forty-six years of companionship does not fade away quickly. What does change, is the dynamics of your inner circle—your friends and family. There is an undeclared transformation within those relationships, and everyone connected to you has to relearn to interact in a new way, with a new vision and hopefully with empathy—unfortunately, this does not always happen and you may be cast in a negative light, or worse, be thrown to the curb. Yes, you may lose your closest friends and family. Be understanding toward them, and know—they too are going through change. Above all, don’t try to figure them out, and don’t blame them, even if it appears they are intentionally hurting you. As they say, “they know not what they do,” because they too are suffering, and we all have different ways of dealing with our pain. There will be tension, there will be arguments, and there will be anger. And if it feels like others are ganging up on you, they probably are, and don’t realize it. When that rejection hits, know that it comes from emotion, rather than logic or reason. It helps to realize that you will not be able to fix any of this.

And remember, your perspective is just that, your perspective. Trust me on this; you cannot fathom someone else’s loss or their level of suffering. It is not comparable, since we each believe our pain is the greatest pain, and the deepest pain.

If I tried to explain my feelings in contrast to others on that fateful day when we lost a mother, a friend, my wife and lover, it would be this: “They went home, I went back to a house.”

No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had. ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez


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