That (failed) relationship, and those before it, taught me many things. It has taken me a long, long, time to reach a point where I could string these sentences together.
That (failed) relationship reminded me that there are people who can look directly into my soul. And I into theirs. While that’s not something you’d want any old Tom, Dick or Harry to be able to do, it’s comforting to know that it can happen, and more than once.
That (failed) relationship reminded me that those people who can see into your soul may not stick around forever, and that’s okay. Sometimes, one has to just let go.
That (failed) relationship also reminded me that I’m breakable. In a dramatic, I-can’t-breathe-I don’t-want-to-go-on kind of way. I felt like I’d been turned into tears, my whole being dripping into a muddy puddle on a dirty floor.
That (failed) relationship, and those before it, reminded me that even from that liquid state, I can recover. I have recovered before, and I did again. Yes, I was left with a few more scars, but scars are life-affirming, a reminder of the things that have turned us into the (battered and scarred, but still perfect) people that we are.
That (failed) relationship reminded me to pay attention to all my other relationships. It reminded me of the importance of loving, all the kinds of loving – from the wild, flaming, passionate, heart-swelling, all-encompassing kind that so often burns itself out, to the kind that seems to have been passed through the aeons of time to the strong, gentle, long-standing kind to the kind shared in a smile with a stranger, a moment in a city street. And all the loves in-between. They are all important.
That (failed) relationship, and those before it, it seems, taught me a lot. I guess that’s the whole point of (failed) relationships. And perhaps, now, I should stop referring to them as (failed) relationships. The beauty is often in the failure.
They taught me that sometimes, one just has to let go of the bad bits and to cling on to the good bits and cherish them, allowing the (failed) to fall away and letting them turn into just relationships. Ones that were really good when they were good, ones that each, in their own way, taught me a lot, the main lesson being to learn to just let that ‘failed’ label flutter away autumnally, leaving behind it the memories of being loved, and loving, so very deeply. To be grateful for having had that.
And to be, finally, okay with it. Is this ‘deep wisdom’ a result of turning forty, I wonder?
(Posting this is freaking me out completely, but I’ve been told I must write honestly, and put it out for an audience and I always do what I’m told.)