Transience. Transience is something I’ve been wrestling with for most of my life. On the one hand, the reality that “this too shall pass” is comforting and can get me through just about any unbearable situation. On the other hand, I’ve always had difficulty watching people leave my life. Death is agonizing because there is not even the hope of ever seeing that person again here on earth. When a person’s leaving is due to a move, we can at least comfort ourselves with promises to keep in touch…and we do…for awhile, until time, distance and life’s demands pull us in different directions. When a person leaves with no explanation at all, we can be left in a swirl of confusing questions and a sense of unfinished business and unclosed doors. It can often be difficult to move on until we can figure out the “why”.
I have abandonment issues. We’re not sure why it’s as profound as it is, but it is what it is. Therapy hasn’t really unlocked the “why”, but has helped me to develop coping skills so as not to be as devastated by leave-takings as I used to be. But I’m still profoundly affected when someone leaves my life for whatever reason, and every leave-taking eventually leads me through a myriad of nagging questions always ending with that most painful question of all “why don’t they like me?”
Even writing it betrays the childishness behind the inability to let go gracefully. I am much more graceful at letting go now than I used to be. Someone’s leaving used to reduce me to a crumpled heap of writhing bafflement, spending hours and days in bed coming to terms with that agony of absence, and figuring out how to tiptoe around the holes that each person leaves behind in my heart. Now I’m more understanding of the transience of life, and that people have to march to their own drumbeats….faith helps when I believe that each person has a purpose they are fulfilling and that “moving on” is God-at-work. It still hurts, but not with such detrimental force.
I love deeply. Each person who comes into my life is such a treasure, I just want to sit at their feet and learn everything there is to learn, both about that person and about everything that person knows. Intense, I know. (I probably would have made a great psychologist!) Perhaps that’s why I’ve retreated into social hibernation, not just because I’ve lost so many loved ones recently, but because I simply don’t always know how to rein in that exuberance with the few that are left…it’s easier not to have to figure it out than to keep having to stifle my joy in being with people I enjoy being with.
I’ve never been able to figure it out. It’s the bane of my existence, this whole social interaction facet of life. I’ve never been able to figure out when too much is too much and too little is too little, maybe because it changes with each person and they just don’t know how to teach me or stay around long enough for me to learn. Sadly, what’s joy to me appears to be burdensome to them.
Sigh. This is such a weird topic. But I’m really missing some people right now, people who used to be a vibrant part of my life and now aren’t even on the radar anymore. Why? I don’t know. And when I don’t know why this friendship or that relationship didn’t work, how do I learn for the next one so that I don’t make the same mistakes over and over again?
Sometimes my head aches with trying to figure it all out. So I don’t. I just keep on moving on, hoping that time will heal all wounds and reveal reasons and resolutions.
This too shall pass…
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. (Anaïs Nin)