November 28, 2023

Love is a Delicate Seesaw.

People, at times, have rejected me.

There are many possible reasons for this.

Maybe my love was greater than their capacity for self-love? Perhaps they neither wanted nor needed my love? Or my love was in a form they didn’t understand.

I forgive them for not accepting my love.

I have, at times, rejected people.

There are many possible reasons for this.

Maybe their capacity for love was greater than my own capacity for self-love? Perhaps I neither wanted nor needed their love? Or their love was in a form I didn’t understand.

I forgive myself for not accepting their love.

Sometimes, I have put unfair pressure on others to maintain a waning friendship.

You know the kind…the friendship that felt strained for a while, but you still want in despite sensing that the balance might not be equal anymore. You continue to reach out but feel that the other party is half-heartedly maintaining the minimal contractual obligations until the balance on the seesaw is tipped to the point where you stop trying.

I forgive myself for not giving up sooner. I also trust that the other party knows I have forgiven them for wanting out.

Sometimes, I have put an unfair pressure on myself to maintain a waning friendship.

You know the kind…the friendship that felt strained for a while, but you want out sensing that the balance might not be equal anymore. You continue to half-heartedly maintain the minimal contractual obligations until the balance on the seesaw is tipped to the point where the other person eventually stops trying.

I trust that the other party can forgive me for wanting out. I also forgive myself for not giving up sooner.

The times a friendship has magically revived.

I wasn’t expecting it. I was minding my own business and a blast from the past came back to reignite itself. I welcomed it with open arms. On occasion, the other party was minding their own business and I appeared suddenly to reignite what had once been. I was welcomed with open arms. We had at one point gone in our own directions but a shift in circumstance has brought us back together though some sort of shared experience.

I am grateful for this.

The times a friendship has failed to revive.

I wasn’t expecting it. I was minding my own business and a blast from the past came back to reignite itself. I passed up the opportunity and let it go by me. On occasion, the other party was minding their own business and I appeared suddenly to reignite what had once been. The other party passed up the opportunity and let it go by them. We had at one point gone in our own directions and a shift in circumstance had attempted to bring us back together through some sort of shared experience, but it was not the right time or place.

I am also grateful for this.

Sometimes, on occasion, I have found a balance in my interactions where a kind of give and take is struck that feels both rewarding and effortless.

I can give without any expectation of it being returned, and equally, love is given to me freely and unequivocally. A backwards and forwards dance but where no one is keeping score.

Compassion is the gateway to a greater understanding of ourselves.

I have been on both sides of the seesaw, the rejected and the rejecter. I have had my heart broken by others, and I have broken hearts. I have disappointed others in my ability to show up for them, and I have equally experienced disappointment in the way others have failed to show up for me.

Love in all its forms is a delicate seesaw, a continual movement rocking from one side to another, rarely maintained in perfect equilibrium. Sometimes we can meet another where they are and other times we can’t. It is generous to forgive ourselves when this happens. Sometimes someone will be able to meet us where we are and other times they won’t. It’s generous to forgive them when this happens.

Maintaining a strong sense of self is helpful to not lose ourselves in the dance. We shouldn’t have to continually pretzel ourselves to meet another’s needs. Equally, others shouldn’t have to continually pretzel themselves to meet our needs. This is never sustainable.

We need to recognise the dance for what it is—a seesaw that will never stay equal for long but a ride that can be enjoyable nonetheless.

It’s always helpful to start by evaluating our own behaviour first to understand how we contributed to the breakdown but know that we don’t need to take responsibility for everything all the time. If we want others to receive our love, we need to ask ourselves if we are accepting the love we are being offered. If we don’t want the love we are being offered, we need to question if there is some way we are also being rejected.

Love is shown in a myriad of ways and often people have a funny way of expressing it. But love is never wasted; it’s merely upcycled into the universal ether continuous and unbounded.

We need to keep on giving and receiving love; it’s the kindest, most generous thing we can do. And during those times when we are unable to receive the love we are offered, we need to remember to forgive ourselves as we also want to be forgiven.

~

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