I grab at my chest afraid that my heart might somehow explode out of my chest. I feel like I’m dying. I close my eyes and prepare for death. It’s got to be less painful than this.
Even lying on the bed requires too much energy. Somehow I manage to roll onto the floor. I am now literally laying flat on my back. My breath comes in short spurts. I try not to inhale too deeply because if I allow myself to breathe, I know that I will feel the searing pain in my heart.
So I hold my breath, anticipating the next wave of pain.
There are always two choices. Two paths to take.
One is easy. And its reward is that it’s easy.~Unknown
When I was younger, struggling to form bonds with my peers and muscle my way through the turmoil that is adolescence, I always pictured my life ten, twenty, thirty years down the road like an enjoyable trip down a lazy river — one that flowed effortlessly, guided by the wisdom I had gathered throughout the years.
I looked forward to the day when I could reach a plateau and things would come easily, because I had strength, knowledge and an abundance of resources at my disposal. I would be married with kids, surrounded by love that would never evade me.
To me, with age came certainty, stability, ease and grace. I thought that all of the awkwardness that comes with growth and change would be a thing of my past.
So, as I entered my twenties, I spent a great deal of time searching for “perfection” in my personal and professional life, believing that the only way to curb the constant upheaval from growth and change would be to find the relationship and career that would make everything else fall into place.
I’ve seen it happen so many times: In casual conversation, without really thinking about it, I start a sentence off with, “Our couples counselor…” and I’m startled when I see the eyebrows raise.
Amid what has become my utterly ordinary reality–we see a couples counselor–I forget myself. I forget that for most people, working with a couples counselor is the sort of thing you’d only reveal to intimate friends and family (and perhaps not even then).
But this is my truth: my partner of seven-plus years and I work with a couples counselor, and have done so since about the two-year mark of our relationship.
Keep your heart open for as long as you can,
as wide as you can, for others and especially for yourself.~Morrie Schwartz
I distinctly remember the time I first thought about love.
I was 5 years old. It was a bright, sunny day outside and my mother told me that she and Dad no longer loved each other; and that they wouldn’t be living together anymore. My little 5-year old world was rocked.
I remember trying to take it all in—to process it all as fast as a 5-year old brain could. Thoughts rushed through my mind one after the other. I would no longer be living with one of them and seeing them everyday.
In this world of change, nothing which comes stays,
and nothing which goes is lost.~Anne Sophie Swetchine
Starting at a new school on the other side of town at the already awkward age of 13, I was desperate for the kind of friendship I could lose myself in. I was completely uncomfortable in my own skin and wanted someone I could join forces with, someone that could take some of the focus off of me.
We met in the lunchroom–the worst possible place for a middle ‘schooler’ who has yet to make any friends. So you could say the friendship was sparked by a sort of quiet desperation.
Love isn’t a state of caring. It is an active noun, like struggle.
To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly
the way he or she is, right here and now.
There are certain things in life that we can’t master simply by memorizing a set of facts or figures. We must navigate our way using past experiences and current feelings, attempting to find what’s “right” when “right” is only a matter of opinion.
Relationships, especially romantic ones, are just one of these things.
Ever since I started dating at the immature age of 15, I’ve always evaluated other people’s relationships. I pay careful attention to the dynamic between two people, taking mental note of the things that other people’s partners do and don’t do for them.