Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Adoring & Being Adored
A few weeks ago the blogs I've been reading got to talking about workspace, and perhaps this was the final impetus to clean out mine, which had gotten so appallingly cluttered it was like a little cave of craft materials, in which I had about one square foot of surface on which to work, and I had to sort of be careful with my elbows and feet so I didn't knock things over, and there was certainly no room amid the stacks of books and things for a doggie (this one is Leroy, Jim's dog. My dog we call our "downstairs neighbor" because she apparently doesn't like us enough to come upstairs to be with us in the studio). Anyway, I wish I could've taken a before photo but the camera was out of town with Jim at the time, so that part of my work life is now only an undocumented memory and thank god! I LOVE coming into the studio now!
Now, this is sort of a reach, but the idea of getting used to something so unpleasant does dovetail with something else that has come up a few times in the past few days and made me think, and made me grateful. It's about relationships, and people getting so used to bad ones, or unfulfilling ones, or ones that diminish them, that they don't really see what it is they're living, and cannot "see beyond" or believe they deserve better. I know there are a million complicated reasons why people hunker down in uninspiring relationships -- I'm not even talking about abusive ones. Thankfully, I have no experience with that. But it doesn't have to be really bold or overt to take its toll -- the relationship I was in before meeting Jim wasn't abusive, just drastically unfulfilling. It was a relationship in which I got so accustomed to not feeling special that I began to believe it. I also was pretty sure I was in love, and that things like that had to be "worked on". Not true! You can love someone and wish them the best and still owe it to yourself to get the heck out! Love isn't enough, no matter what the old platitudes say. And there's nothing, nothing, nothing in the world like feeling adored, by someone you adore back. In the same way I wish all women (& men) the strength to pursue their creative ambitions, I wish everyone to believe they deserve to be adored, too. And of course, you don't get to be adored for nothing, right? It's important that you ARE the person you wish to be, that one who's worthy of adoration, and that you are to your partner who you wish them to be to you!
But what makes me think about this is two situations in the past week, one a good friend who has recently found herself in a wonderful relationship after so long in one that had truly begun to diminish her. It was visible -- she was becoming someone she didn't want to be. The wrong relationship can do that to you -- start to warp you into someone else, someone you don't like very much. But now, she absolutely sparkles! The other case is someone who has just broken up from a bad relationship and can't yet see how she was diminished by it, and that she deserves more than that someone who never ever made her feel special. It takes time. After breaking up from my own uninspired relationship, I was a wreck. It was a truly humbling experience for someone who'd had the incredible good luck of an easy life, wonderful parents, absolutely no childhood trauma, nothing bad. Having such a charmed childhood can make you an unempathetic person. I used to almost scorn my best friend for her self-help books. Going through that break-up, I would be driving along thinking random thoughts, and as soon as my mind would alight for even a moment on the relationship, I would feel punched in the stomach, a real, visceral reaction. I'd never known anything like it, and it really made me grow as a person.
And blessings be, it all made me recognize something good when I found it! I met Jim the next year and, to steal a line from my own novel, "it was like a flare was lit over the world, revealing all new colors". There's nothing in the world so wonderful as adoring and being adored. Where trust meets passion -- that's love. And it's so so worth looking for!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 7:32 AM