All that you can and can’t leave behind

When you look at the world, what is it that you see?

January 13, 2023

Edited January 16, 2023

To fix or not to fix? That is the question.

Can a broken relationship be fixed? I guess it depends on what's broken or if anything is really broken at all. Thousands of songs talk about patching things up, making up, forgiving, reconciling, making it work this time, etc. Based on how many artists have written about it, it’s fair to say that there is a common thread shared throughout humanity, and that is that most of us, at some point, have desperately wanted to reconnect with a partner after a breakup or separation. Whether it works out or not, I think, depends on what problems were there, to begin with, and whether they are surmountable. I've been separated for about a year and a half, and I can say with absolute certainty that my deepest wish is to make up and reconcile with my wife. Despite there being a legal dispute over money, which has tied up a large sum of money in a trust account, I can see us getting back together again because, in my view, there was nothing that was done or said by either party that can't be forgiven. We have been loyal and devoted to each other, neither one of us ever straying from the marriage - this is a big deal. Overcoming infidelity is not easy, and not everyone can do it. There was never any abuse, either physical or emotional, between us. What pulled us apart was severe chronic health issues and the crushing debt we found ourselves in, which arose from being so sick and unable to work for many years. We could not agree on what to do to get out of the debilitating financial position we had found ourselves in. So in our case, money and health were at the nexus of our breakup. Not surprising that “in sickness and in health”,  and “for richer or for poorer” is included in most wedding vows - because they are quite difficult to overcome if and when they do happen.

All that you can and can’t leave behind

Do I regret breaking up? YES. I wish I could have seen some other solution, but at the time, I was desperate to get out of a situation that seemed impossible to resolve. Things had escalated to the point of no return - at least, it seemed that way to me. But the truth is, I still very much love my wife, and I miss her every minute of every day. It takes courage to come out and say this sort of thing publicly. Our relationship is worth salvaging. In some instances, whatever was broken should just be left behind to die, making space for something new to take its place. So it's a passive form of "fixing," if you will. While other parts of it will require active effort from both partners to fix what it was that broke them apart. Does that make sense? I am in no way qualified to give relationship advice! This is my 2 cents on the subject based on personal experience.

I keep hearing stories of people who broke up and who got back together after a year or two and made it work. Some even divorced and remarried! I've also had friends tell me that getting back together with an ex never works - that it is doomed to fail. That may be the most common outcome, but perhaps it's because the couple's problems were too serious to overcome or one of them just wasn't able to change and adapt to the new 2.0 version of their relationship. 

Fixing the human heart without surgery

I compare the active "fix it" solution to car repairs. Some mechanical problems can be fixed without leaving a trace that anything had ever broken. Remove this part and replace it with a new part - done. It's like new. While other repairs, such as welding two parts together so that they don't fall off, leave a visible scar. What kind of repairs does your relationship need? The invisible or visible kind? Well, regardless of what type of repair is needed, one differentiating factor between humans and cars is that our hearts can heal, without leaving a scar, if we allow them to. A heart is extremely flexible and can grow, just like the Grinch's heart, which grew twice its size when he was suddenly overcome with love! The human heart is malleable and resilient. It has the capacity to forgive, evolve, and love again. 

Surviving with just Me, Myself, and I

With the holidays just behind us, there is no denying that we all just went through the hardest time of year for anyone who is pining for their ex and wishing they could be together once again. Being alone at this time of year, pre and post-holiday is brutal; I can attest to it. To borrow from the theme of my "One Banana" chapter, I never knew what it was like to live alone or spend the holidays alone - until now. I was certainly sensitive to it when I saw it in others, but you can only really know what something feels like once you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes. Now I know.

So, will the spirit of the holidays play cupid and help coax things along for me and my wife? God (or Santa) only knows, but I sure do hope so. I’m wishing for all those out there who have cried a river full, as I have, that they may be able to work things out with the person they miss more than anything and find peace and happiness, as corny as that sounds.

When your thoughts are too expensive to ever want to keep - Bono

Everything in my life is just so heavy and hard to bear; how I long for days gone by when life was sweet, bittersweet at times, but still sweet. Lately, my thoughts have been so heavy and so expensive I want to press the invisible key on my keyboard - the one that doesn't exist - and disappear forever. But for now, it's the daily sour taste of a hard life that prevails.

When I Look At The World – U2

When you look at the world
What is it that you see
People find all kinds of things
That bring them to their knees

I see an expression
So clear and so true
That it changes the atmosphere
When you walk (in)to the room

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world

When the night is someone else's
And you're trying to get some sleep
When your thoughts are too expensive
To ever want to keep

When there's all kinds of chaos
And everyone is walking lame
You don't even blink now do you
Or even look away

So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world

I can't wait any longer
I can't wait 'til I'm stronger
Can't wait any longer
To see what you see
When I look at the world

I'm in the waiting room
I can't see for the smoke
I think of you and your holy book
When the rest of us choke

Tell me, tell me
What do you see
Tell me, tell me
What's wrong with me


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