What’s hope got to do with it? Everything? Au Contraire, I say!
I’ve found that one of the most painful but vital parts of any love relationship is the acceptance of hopelessness. There are times, when contrary to the reality before me, I have hung on to a person long after they were interested in sharing their attention with me.
If confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand a situation, I’ve been guilty of a conviction that I can fix a relationship that was broken beyond my understanding.
There’s something to be said about persistence, don’t get me wrong and in a marriage or any committed partnership, waiting out a period of disconnection is what we sign up for as grown-ups.
Our hearts want a happy ever after once we’ve opened to another soul
Anyone who has had a parent or family member give up on them knows the unbearable conviction that they can prevent that kind of hurt from ever wounding them again.
My point is that sometimes the fool’s errand of propping up a mirage can lead one down a rabbit hole of living out some script from childhood that has nothing to do with the here and now.
Compensating for what I didn’t have as a kid, filling a hole dug long ago has been my lifelong blind man’s bluff. Believing I can make things turn out differently than they did when I was too young to control what was done to me has always been hard to spot.
Misreading of a situation keeps you stuck
Once when I was younger, I was in love with a musician that loved his clarinet and the joy of playing either alone or with his crew more than I could possibly comprehend.
I have no talent or passion for chamber music and would feel hurt and rejected when he preferred practising or performing to time with me. My resentment and misreading of the situation kept me stuck in the wound of a lonely child when he would be off celebrating life with his gift excluding me from what I had no real interest in, anyway.
Self-efficacy is the key to overcoming resentment
Lynne Forrest a psychologist who deconstructed “the Drama Triangle: The 3 Faces of Victim” explains this dilemma. According to Dr. Forest, how you tell the story of what you are going through is so important.
If you can’t stop identifying the characters in your drama as a“victim” or “persecutor” and keep trying to find someone to “rescue” you instead of operating out of a strategy ofself-efficacyy you stay stuck, stewing in resentment.
For most of my life, I have used my creativity and energy trying to arrange the puzzle pieces of my childhood with adult partners, in the here and now, who had different life paths and dreams than I could comprehend.
I was so busy imagining a romantic drama that wasn’t possible, that I lost sight of my own indifference to them and saw myself as that abandoned child, misunderstood and unloved. Why a person has to go through the pain of this kind of lost cause, lost in the past, clueless, I will never know!
Here, I was rejecting them without any conscious awareness, blaming them for hurting me.
That, my friends, is a hopeless situation!
We tend to seek out what’s familiar
My familiar was not a recipe for happiness.
It took therapy and 12 step groups for me to see what misery I was creating for myself and my unsuspecting “victims” that I perceived as “perpetrators”.
Before I could change this recipe for heartbreak, I needed to sink into the fog of hopelessness. Before I could go back to the drawing board, fall in love, eyes wide opened, I needed a period of time where I could focus on having a loving relationship with me.
Now that felt like real hopelessness!
It’s hard to feel loveable when you blame yourself for the bad things that happened to you as a kid. It’s even harder when you don’t even know your doing that.
Finding fellowship, being listened to, letting people love me, non- romantically, began turning my ship around.
Today, I’ve put hopelessness to work in different ways. I remain hopeless that I will ever be perfect; that I will ever change anyone; hopeless that anything but honest intentions, kindness and clarity are the actual seeds that allow love to blossom. I’m hopeful that I can do that, a day at a time.