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!

9 comments:

chest of drawers said...

You are absolutely right! I know what it feels like to be in an unsatisfying relationship, it eats away at you until you don´t know who you are anymore. Now I know what it´s like to really have a "partner", I would never settle for less. While I was married, various people tried to convince me that I had to expect less from my husband - him included!-, that my dreams of how a relationship should be were unrealistic and I would never be happy if I kept wanting more. When we are tired from bringing up children, working or studying we don´t always have the energy to fight for what we need when it´s necessary and sometimes it´s the people closest to us who are convincing us that we are not worth more so it´s easier to believe them. We should remember this when we bring up our own children and not forget to tell them over and over again that they are worthy of a loving relationship.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Those feelings are mutual baby!

I love you SOOOO much and I'm blessed to have found you!

Thanks for making life so sweet and enjoyable every day! :)

Spousy Jim

Alexandra S said...

I didn't know you were scorning me! But now that I know you were I have irreversible psychological damage. (What are you going to do about it???) Anyway, I do remember very clearly that break-up of yours and sending you a SARK book and if I'm correct, that was the first self-help book you ever liked! (If someone didn't like a SARK book, could I relate to them? Hmmmm....that might be a bad omen!)
Though Gene and I certainly have our bumps as you know!, I want to second that about being adored, because that is one thing he often makes me feel no matter what shape or size I am in, and the reality is we are all so beautiful and worthy of our own adoration and encouragement no mater what. Wonderful post Magtoad!

megg said...

Hi there!!

Fantastic post!! I totally understand about being adored! When I was struggling with whether or not I was going to fully commit to living in another country with Mark I spoke to my Mom about it. She asked me if he adored me - not loved, adored. When I said he did and I did back she said, 'well that's not something you throw away!' And she was right. It's worth every compromise and every long flight!! I'm so so so so happy that you are in such a relationship!!

liz elayne said...

such beautiful thoughts you have here. and fantastic that you are in such a wonderful relationship, recognizing something good when he crossed your path...
also, i just love the name of your blog!

melba said...

Looking through your site and offerings. Very inspirationsl and beautiful. Love all the ladies!

HoBess said...

This is one of those truths that always seems too hard to express, but you've done it fabulously.

Watching someone you love cocoon themselves is hard to accept. And we can't make them "grow wings." I guess sometimes we just have to wait for them to choose their moment.

I've watched my brother rediscover the man he was before an uninspiring marriage rendered him dormant for eight years. His awakening has been a gift not just to himself, but to all of us who love him.

Thoughts are with your friend ...

Swirly said...

Wow...this post was powerful, and especially potent for me right now. My relationship with my fiancee is fabulous, but I am dealing with another very significant relationship that does not feed me, inspire me or make me feel good. For the first time in my entire life I am gathering the strength to stand up to this person and stop settling for so much less than I've longed for my entire life. This is one of the biggest turning points of my life with this particular relationship. It is a strange process...

d said...

wow. almost exactly what i have just been going through - an unfulfilling struggle of nine years' marriage (although i had emotionally detached myself PRIOR to ending the relationship) ended a month ago after an already incredible friendship blew up into the most amazing love i have ever known.
never before have i felt as understood, appreciated and adored as by this man.