Friday, 27 June 2014

Where expectation and reality collide

'should be, could be, would be - those phrases do not exist in my vocabulary. The fact is, the way it is is the way it is...'

Just a short note today which is pretty much my impression on someone that I recently met, through some serendipitous circumstances (always make room for serendipity, guys! You’ll never know what’s waiting for you on the other side.) and a reconciliation of my thoughts on marriage.

One of the many lessons that I learn is, if I can put a label on it, about detachment. Or perhaps, even that constitutes an inaccurate description. It is about not being caught up in the outcome of things. In life we have dreams and aspirations and for some of us who are lucky enough to know what these are and are actively taking steps so that we could be closer to them, it is easy to forget that the process is just as important as the destination. In our minds, we have this image of success that constitutes us achieving a particular outcome. And we often forget to understand that things are going to happen that are outside our control, and the only thing we can do about these is to accept them and move on.

It is always tempting to try to control life so that everything happens the way we want it to be, after all, having this image of our dreams can be a powerful tool to influence our behaviours and direct our actions to manipulate life into giving us what we want. Yet life does not always work this way. When we get so attached to what we desperately want to happen, which is the reason why we do what we do, well, we are not exactly living life the way we should be.

It has taken me a very long time to understand this. When I put forth an analytical view of my life and everything that’s in it, and then I project different outcomes through some sort of scenario analysis, there is never any guarantee that these intended outcomes will follow the executed course of action.  This is because change is a constant, things are going to change, people are going to change, and that includes us, if we are lucky.

What this really means is that one day, we may feel one way about something, and tomorrow, we may feel differently about the same thing. I really really like consuming fried chicken these days, but there is always that possibility that tomorrow I may stop liking it altogether. I am relatively young and relatively healthy right now, and I know that consuming fried chicken is not the best thing I can do for my body, so in a way, I sort of anticipate that the day will come that I will cease liking fried chicken consumption. And why not? Why should I allow my current self to determine my food consumption pattern for the rest of my life?

This same logic applies to everything else, to any kind of relationships. I am going to apply this to the most important relationship in my life, being my marriage.

I am married to the most wonderful man in my life. I wanted to marry him (want to stay married to him) and I am in love with him. Before I married him, this thought did cross my mind: what if I stop feeling this way about him? What if we both don’t feel love towards each other at some point? What if this and what if that – the list of what if’s are endless. This is what you get if you have an analytical mind like mine.

The answer is that I don’t know. All that I know is that at that point in time (and at this point in time), I have every intention of loving him for the rest of my life, as I am sure he to me. This is perhaps the only thing that I can be certain of because everything else is yet to happen. This is working for the time being, and it seems to be working fine. We have the common goal of making it work, so we promise to evolve with whatever change that comes our way.

The outcome of this well-meaning intention can be anything, really. We, or I should say, I, take comfort in giving this my best shot, while being open-minded about what the outcome would be. I can only hope that we both change in directions that are mostly compatible with each other and most beneficial for us as individuals. I want my husband to be able to do whatever he wants to do, so that he can continue to move in the direction that makes his heart sings, and I hope he wants the same for me.

The very same logic applies to all kinds of relationships. In the beginning, two people seemingly serendipitous-ly bumped into each other, got talking and started being friends. As they live their lives, they grow as individuals, as every human being would; they change with time. If they are lucky they change for the better; if they are really really lucky, they change each other for the better, and still remain friends for years to come. However, sometimes, the alternative happens: they grow apart, and no matter how hard they work on the friendship, despite their best intentions, it is just not happening. This is neither good nor bad. The fact is that, the way it is is the way it is. Thus we detach ourselves to the outcome of the relationship, or our expectation of the outcome, or the idea of how the friendship should be, and instead appreciate the friendship for what it really is: a friendship.

Relax, and just live.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Put your real names to your voices. Anonymity is so overrated.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.