Together and apart

Shit happens. If you can’t fix it, don’t break it.

Carelessly or purposefully hurting someone – treachery, betrayal, deception, backstabbing – is fucked up. It cannot be fixed.

First and foremost, loyalty is the least of virtues; displayed, usually, only when betrayal has already occurred. Loyalty aside, if friendship is not based on the honest portrayal of the reality that the friend acknowledges, upon what, then, would you have it based? Her or his reality may be different from yours, but, however much it differs from yours, it is no less valid than yours. Of course, she or he could withhold her or his opinion, or alter it to flatter you. I believe that interest, fascination, infatuation, obsession, love…joy, if not happiness…all lie in mystery rather than identity.

Then there is the question of freedom versus responsibility. Did the context of your friendship grant that friend the presumption of freedom of expression vis-á-vis you, or was there, rather, in you, anyway, the presumption of responsibility – that your feelings might be guarded? Misunderstanding that causes hurt may, both parties willing, be clarified, rectified. Hurt, simply to hurt, heedlessly, with deliberate disparagement in judgement, interpretation, or reading undeniably evident, is unforgettable, if not unforgivable.

Forgiveness for misunderstanding, misguidedness grants change. Anyone who hurts only to see you writhe in pain is beyond, beneath any benefit that might be derived from grace.

Love is needs-met. What does she or he do for you? What do you do for her or for him? Reciprocation is seldom adequate motivation. We often give simply because it feels good to do so. Resentment occurs when reciprocity is expected. Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the intended victim to die. Without expectation, there may be no disappointment, but there may still be desire, the desire for something, anything pleasant, or of value, or comforting, anticipated.

How precarious is life; how violent, mere hope. In the mortal world in which we live, forever is but a sentiment of fondness, hopefulness, wishful thinking, desire for continuation. Forever, here, with future ever future, hope may be fulfilled, but only thus – beyond wish, desire, longing, craving, anticipation, surpassing whim – faith superseded, belief enlivened, reality assured. When belief is actuality, faith becomes endeavour, hope becomes strategy. Perhaps if but for hope the heart would break; but were it not for belief, unfailing, the heart would surely find no healing.

There are only two types of people in the world – those who need help, and those who help – takers and givers. Generally, takers prefer to take; givers, to give. Balance eludes many, perhaps even most. Despite and still, good may be found in them, in lieu of dismissal. I have few friends, even fewer who offer me anything other than the presence of their living, breathing selves. Many of these defy all that I hold dear. In being reliably erratic, though, they keep me on my toes. Maybe, deep within them, there are profound surprises aching to burst forth. Maybe I will be fortunate enough to witness their unfolding. Maybe not. It does not matter to me. I give, because I am a giver. What they do, or fail to do, is not my concern. Destiny may not be coerced, cajoled, or counted on. If destined to traverse a path on this Earth with another, for any length of time, I owe it to both of us to be the most that I can be with every encounter.

At the centre of your being, you have the answers to these essential questions. You know who you were before others defined you as someone you are not. Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself. You know, too, who you are now, having found your way back to your preordained trajectory. You know that which you cannot live without, that which may not be compromised. You know when you must be brave, as therein alone will your brilliance be manifest; when you must make a move, and where you must go; when laughter may arise from your own spontaneous rapture, and not merely in accompaniment to the vacuous amusement of others; when, where, and whom to love – in interest, fascination, infatuation, obsession – in tolerance, compassion, sacrifice. You know why mystery enchants you, why definition repels you; why, at times, you have no choice but to flee the latter in favour of the former. Your answers are your destiny – ineluctable, incontrovertible.

Be as you appear. Appear as you are.