Melody over at This is Me had an interesting post about relationships yesterday. Here are the first two paragraphs:
From time to time I've had patients tell me that everyone who comes into their lives eventually leaves them. Upon discussion, they are usually able to identify at least one person who has consistently been there for them (thereby acknowledging that not everyone leaves them). Still, they feel abandoned and unlovable.
I've given this some thought and have reached the conclusion that it is the rule - and not the exception - for most people who come into our lives to eventually leave. Sometimes there are reasons - someone moves away or you have an argument - and sometimes there really isn't any reason. You simply "lose touch" with one another.
This coming and going has been on my mind a lot lately. There has been plenty of it happening for me over the past few months, more intensely it seems than at many other times in my life. Old friends going. New friends coming. Old girlfriends peeking out again from behind the tress. Others not sure if they are coming or going. A new family member coming. Maybe there will also be one going soon as well. Hard to tell for sure.
On one level, no one stay with you all the way. Whether it's through breakup, growing apart, or death - everyone eventually "goes" from your life. On another level, even the people we are the closest to are coming and going in every moment, eluding our grasp even as we hold them closely. And on still another level, this coming and going of people in our lives is just what we see, feel, and experience as such. It isn't happening in the way we think it is at all.
Like Melody's patients, I sometimes feel abandoned. It's easy in this fleeting world of ours to sometimes feel that you're being left behind by others, tossed away for someone or something else. In fact, you can feel this even when someone or a group of someones is right in the room with you, talking to you and spending time with you. So it's not really about them in some senses. It's about something nagging at you from within, hoping that another person will come and rub a balm all over you.
It's been many years since I felt "unlovable" as some of Melody's patients do, but I remember that one as well. For me, it was always tied with making mistakes, and not being "perfect" whatever that meant at the time.
But even if those of us who feel like we are loved, and lovable, can still get mired in abandonment. The wondering why someone has gone. Or why they have returned to muck around at the edges, but not really to fully come back into your life. It's not easy in a world full of impermanent people, places, and things to be truly ok with all the coming and going that goes on.
So, maybe it's best to let yourself not be ok sometimes. To not try and be stoic, hard-nosed, and faux enlightened about the ways in which you struggle with relationship comings and goings.
Because, think about it, most of the time, it's difficult to know if someone is coming or going for sure. Part of the struggle, much of the struggle perhaps is in wanting to have things defined, finalized, boxed away as past or present. And life just isn't like that. My long dead grandfather still "comes into my life" at times. And I have had a friend for well over a decade who seems to be long gone, even though he pops up in my life from time to time.
Maybe all of this is pointing to the fact that impermanence itself isn't exactly what people tend to think of it.
*Image - Picasso, Girl Before Mirror