“Some walks you have to take alone.” — curiano.com

Humility helps us realize we are not as indispensable as we imagine. The more we put others on a pedestal in order to pull them in, or the more time we dedicate to those who are manifesting love avoidance, the more we feel taken for granted.

Part of the problem of being codependent is codependents seek to make themselves indispensable in order to secure a place for themselves, but this pursuit precipitates the opposite effect. As Mari Ruti, says,

“There’s no greater test of our respect for our friend’s autonomy than letting someone know she is free without protest when that’s what she needs. This is one of the greatest gifts – one of the greatest acts of love we can ever give. Love is bighearted. It wants what is best for the other even if the best doesn’t involve us.” *

Letting go is a part of loving. If you’re always with someone, you’ll never know how strong your connection is.  Though letting go can seem too much, we can derive inward consolation as Ruti explains,

“Letting a friend walk away before we are ready to let go is one of the hardest things we will ever do… It might help us to remember that friendship can die without us having done anything to kill it.  It’s better to lose a friendship than to watch its initial passion turn into a faint shadow of its former self.”

Whenever we sense disparity of feeling, even in friendship, it is time to let go. It is a needless weight upon the heart. We become desperate for someone’s affection, at the cost of our dignity.  We approach the friendship according to what we want to hear, rather than what is being said or done. Roger de Bussy-Rabutin uses a metaphor to help us read where we stand with another when he says,

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.”

~ vincenzo ©

*in these two quotes by Mari Ruti, I have substituted the word, “lover” for “friend” in order to contextualize the quote to my present situation

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solitary

Is finding online love better than no love at all?

I have been on my own for several years with my ups and downs. In real time I feel secure when meeting someone new. I can observe gestures and actions, listen to the texture of the voice and decide whether that someone might make a good match before deciding to step out. However, the rules vastly change when it comes to interacting online.

A close relation once recommended I get to know a lady a few years ago and so we began to correspond with each other. We chatted daily and eventually talked on Skype, but without the visual aid of a web camera. I did not own a computer at this time, so I relied upon a nearby internet cafe. This went on for a period of 3 or 4 months. We had developed a regular pattern of communication and all seemed a matter of course.

The day came when we finally met face to face as she picked me up at the airport and an unexpected dread filled my heart. Weeks of preparations and anticipation made the anticlimax more striking.  Until that moment, it never occurred to me we could possibly be mismatched. I blindly relied upon my close relative’s recommendation without question.  For someone who usually explores the terrain before advancing, this was not a great feeling.

Even though I already knew what I needed to be said, I stressed out for days pretending everything was fine. Days later, I worked up the nerve to sit down with her and confess my misgivings. The news devastated her as she felt we were the perfect match.  I felt sickened with remorse for having awakened her feelings. Alas, our dream vacation ended even before it started. It is most humiliating and disagreeable having to turn someone down after communicating at a distance for months.

The problem with online communication is you run the danger of fashioning a person after your own fancy, only to discover you lack the necessary chemistry or compatibility needed to advance further. What then?

Looking back, I believe online contact with stranger needs be treated as starting point while establishing strong limits. It is wise to keep the exchanges light, keeping the intervals of contact brief and spreading them out over a long period of time until you decide to meet face to face. Even though your intention may be to establish limits with someone in your head, what really determines the degree of attachment or involvement is the frequency and amount of time you as a couple interact together. You may call it a friendship or whatever you like, but the pacing is what determines the true emotional state.

Too much, too soon is a sure sign of codependency. It sends the message that the relationship is not only advancing too abruptly, but that the couple may have formed an additive attachment to each other. ~ vincenzo ©

I like the sound of the term “cognitive dissonance”. I feel sophisticated and deep when I say it. It is also something I am recently experiencing.

Part of my training as a volunteer counselor at church requires attending Bible studies. However, Bible study is hardly a good name. It is more often a monologue in which one dominant member expresses his or her opinions while everyone else sits passively silent. How many secretly tune out is another question.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the Bible is irrelevant. However, some Bible teachers seem to run on automatic pilot. They have a gift of presenting life superficially — low on soul searching or imagination. What I find equally disquieting is how anyone could be taking notes or nodding their heads in such a bleak context. Are they just pretending? Am I just crazy?

As usual, I am conflicted. I am forever questioning myself about issues that seem cut and dry to others. I tend to second guess myself whether I’m just being too hard while at the same time dreading the thought of another meeting.

I am also imagining what kind of dialogue I will have with the coordinator if or when I announce my resignation to her …rehearsing in my head line after line what we will be saying to each other.

Is faith about upholding the status quo? What does humility look like in such situations?

~ vincenzo ©