Monday, October 8, 2012

Worth a try

When I was struggling with whether or not I wanted to work on things with Sparrow, I had a well-timed visit to my counselor. I discussed my fears of taking on a project, "forcing" someone to change, and whether or not he might become resentful - and was it all even worth the trouble?

My take on it was that it could be one of two outcomes:
  • I could struggle and compromise and work - and end up heartbroken anyway
  • I could struggle and compromise and work - and end happily ever after
My counselor, in his infinite wisdom, pointed out to me that I was "doing it again" - it being painting things in black and white, and ignoring all the gray.

What if I struggled and compromised and worked - and revisited in a month (or whatever time made sense)? What if I decided for myself, at that point, if things were working? What if I asked myself, "Am I trying hard enough? Is he?" and took it from that point? What if I took a little control, and responsibility, for protecting my own heart, and stopped relying on someone else not to break it?

I was worried that I'd end up broken hearted because Sparrow owed me nothing. My counselor reminded me that I owed Sparrow the same. All I was committing myself to was trying. I wasn't making a promise of forever, or a promise to be perfect.

As long as I tried, I'd done my part.

It occurs to me that is true of any relationship. Along the way, you make various commitments; I won't date other people, I'll meet your parents, I won't get drunk in front of your parents, etc. Eventually, if it gets there, you make a commitment to love that person forever. Til death do you part.

I'll spare you the joke about how that means you either need to love that person no matter what - or kill him.

But until you've made that promise - well, you haven't. Seems like it should be simple enough - you're only responsible for keeping the promises you have made. But it's not that easy for someone like me, who tries to plan for every possibility, contingency, and variable.

I worry if I can keep a promise before I'm even asked to make one. Maybe I need to just stop that; to cut myself some slack, and realize that I'm smart enough to know when a promise is too big, even for me.

It's a lot to teach myself, and will probably take some getting used to. But it might be a project that's worth a try.

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