‪It’s common to think that there’s something wrong when we feel pain, but when our life has been deeply entangled with that of another being, the two of us are part of one emotional system — a kind of shared love that flows between us. In that kind of a relationship we’re not, on an emotional level, two entirely separate beings. And so when we lose the other, it feels like a part of us has been ripped out…

‪Grief is an expression of love. Grief is how love feels when the object of our love has been taken away. ‬

– Bodhipaksa

The above excerpt taken from http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practice/buddhism-grief-and-loss

I will try and remember that the next time I grieve. I grieved for the loss of a close friend. She did not die. It was just I realised that the relationship between us was too much work fraught with too many problems with me giving and her taking. I could connect with her but I was wanting to separate and be further apart and away from her because the relationship had become painful. For me.

I also realised I wanted too much for the relationship to work. Because of my kids. And I will always be thankful that it was her son reaching out to mine in the first place that helped my son gain trust in the power of opening up, sharing and participating with others. Yes the friendship seems to have soured between them now. The boy developed a mean bullying streak as time wore on, seemingly alike to his mother, who has the naive full-blown hopefulness of a child when entering into a new friendship, only to become bitter and defensive when they realise that the object of their affections turned out to be less than their initial hopes and dreams. They saw us as, I don’t know, more perfect and more in congruence with themselves at first. Then as they got to know us, they realised we were flawed in their eyes. More flawed than they were willing to accept.

I shouldn’t blame myself. I don’t. But part of me sees the whole picture for what it is and despair that none of mine and my son’s attempts to return contempt for acceptance and love worked. Or maybe it had worked but very slowly. I have no desire to continue with this for years on end with a woman who is troubled mentally and grew up in adverse familial surroundings and who seems never to have gotten over that fact despite marrying well. I cannot continue to act like her therapist. I’m not even getting paid (joke) but really when I made a friend, I was seeking a friend who accepts me on some fundamental beliefs. Not berate me every time I fell short of their expectations.

The last straw was when she called me a coward in front of 2 other people. One of whom was a new acquaintance so didn’t know me. Another is a good friend of mine. She called me a coward simply because I refused to deal with a problem in the way she would like. Her style is to be aggressive. I refused to do it like that. I preferred to deal with it more diplomatically. She takes my approach as a fundamental and serious flaw in me. This I have sensed and observed in her responses to me over time when other situations have cropped up and I chose to resolve things my preferred way. She has never openly criticised me in front of others who didn’t know me well at all, but when she did that, I felt it was the last straw. 

I was done with her. I do not want to continue to invest time and energy into a relationship when the other only treats my most treasured fundamental beliefs as serious and disgusting flaws. That she thinks I am a doormat (a trait which she despises as she has always said she valued honesty above all else, and in her view, honesty is synonymous with aggressive tactics and violent words if need be). I think this can also be the reason why whenever she meets up with me one to one, she would keep talking endlessly about her problems with other people in her life. It never dawned on her that I could be bored with it. And perhaps I could have suggested playing a board game instead to pass the time. Perhaps. But she isn’t a game-playing sort of woman. She is harsh and severe and serious. Perhaps I misread her and perhaps there is another side of her I haven’t discovered.

But at the end of the day, this relationship is too much work for me. 

I am not committed enough to want to work at it. You have no idea how much feeling and baggage I have accumulated through life around the concept of “commitment”. So when I said I am not committed enough for this relationship, I felt at the moment like repressing that thought and then telling myself “No! You must work at it! Wonderful things might befall you after you have made it work!” All projections of grandeur guys… I know because I went through life being too uncommital with work and studies, and human relationships, that all that chopping and changing I did… well I often feel like maybe I wouldn’t be struggling in life so much now if I *did* stick at something back then even if I didn’t want to do it. 

On the other hand I am aware all this self talk of issues, commitments, wants and judgments from myself are all illusory in nature in the grand scheme of things. I think of the universe as a great vast place. A living mega-entity, of which I am a tiny part of, which will always take care of itself, continue doing what it does, regardless of what I say or want or do. I know this is so from my own studies in Biology as well as my own experiences while meditating and from the countless spiritual resources I’ve consulted.

This duality I have in my head… 

Ahh… Am I always going to live like this till the day I die? And I say death as in the death of my physical body.. I am aware that the same cells and particles that make me up will go on to become part of something else in this mega-entity called the Universe. I know my body parts will live on in this world as something else.

Beautiful isn’t it?

So why am I always finding it a challenge to see human flaws as beautiful? Aren’t they also part of this mega-entity we call the Universe? Aren’t they part of this beautiful thing? They do help make it beautiful too. Yet so difficult it is to see them as so.

As I write this, I feel it has been a cathartic exercise. I feel better already. But of course, emotions change constantly, so don’t know what tomorrow brings. I should not be afraid of the challenges to come though, but somehow I feel I am..