The Bridge

T-C-header-cleanerRemember those times when someone who you thought you knew really well, did something or said something which stumped you and you thought ‘And I thought I knew this person all this while..’? I have a theory on why we end up in situations where we end up disappointed and would love to hear from you what you think about this.

This is not the Charles’ Darwin theory of evolution…but well, on similar lines, the theory of evolution of the psychology of people. Human beings, we all know, have evolved and we continue to evolve biologically. We do know that over time, our brain and our capabilities have evolved too. We are witnessing some of the youngest minds prove themselves better than some of the older, experienced ones and certainly, evolution is apparent. The thing to think about, and honestly, I found this thought a bit spooky, is that everyone around us, is evolving, constantly and well, so are we.

So? The thing is, that if we know that everyone around us is evolving, then, are we evolving at the same pace? The answer in many cases might be – not always. We all know of relationships that sour over time or just lose that spark or children who find they can no longer connect with their parents or vice versa. What happens? Well..everyday, each of us, go through a whole bunch of thoughts, feelings and emotions. We might think something, feel something and end our day with some thoughts. Every day, we evolve. We don’t know into what and we don’t know by how much and most people around us don’t know that too because they are busy evolving too!

If we did consciously acknowledge this constant evolution, then, perhaps we would get up in the morning and think..ok…now, let me think about how my spouse might have evolved post this travel and what I need to do to get up to speed so I can evolve a bit in that direction…or we might sit down with our friend and recount the many experiences and feelings and emotions they have been through to gather the extent and the direction of their evolution?

The less we do pay attention to this, the more surprised we are, at some point in time. We just wake up one day and say..I have no idea who this person is! Of course we have no idea! How would we, when we have not kept up with their evolution or shared about ours?

Relationships, by that construct, would be these continually broken down, vanishing and rebuilt bridges, connecting two people, who are moving from one stage of evolution to the next. The more disconnected we keep ourselves from the evolution of people around us, the wider and weaker our bridges might become.

So..did you rebuild your bridge today?

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Good Enough

Good-enoughThis post goes out to those of us who have had trouble in our relationships at some point. I am guessing that would include most of us, maybe all of us (if all of us reading this are humans, that is:)). I remember when I felt not so close to some people I was supposed to feel close to – you know that feeling..when a relationship just does not feel good enough? I reflect back and think about what I was thinking and feeling at that time. There is this feeling that suddenly creeps in – something in us which starts looking at things and how they are and people and how they should be but are not and a voice keeps saying to us – this is not good enough. And that’s when I realized, trouble began.

It is to prove this hypothesis right that we sometimes engage in fights or sometimes convince ourselves that there is someone else who is better suited to us or understands us better..only to realize, that it is untrue. The moment we start believing that something is not good enough, it ceases to be good enough for us and we look for ‘seemingly’ better things. Seemingly, because in the long run, we know they are not. I might be generalizing here a bit, but this does hold true in most cases where one has seen deterioration of relationships, not attributable to a specific cause.

Interestingly, I discovered, the converse is true too. And I think this really applies more to relationships where there is a formal bond – as in that of family. It may not apply to friends or acquaintances as we always think we have a way out with them. With family, well, we have who we have. We had better believe our family is good enough for us because guess what, we cannot replace our family. That could mean a husband, a wife, achild, a mother, a father, a sister, a brother..etc.

The other side of this is also relationships in which we do not feel good enough ourselves or are made to feel not good enough by others. (This might remind you of Transactional Analysis (for those of you who are not familiar with it and might be interested in learning more, try going through the book ‘I’m Ok, You’re Ok’ and you’ll know what I mean). Though I think TA focuses more on transactions and how conversations are eventually transactions, I am talking about our mindset and our feelings. That is what finally determines our happiness). We usually want out in such situations. We all want to feel that we are good enough for everyone else around us – and there is nothing wrong with that – it is human to feel that way. And we should.

Choose to believe that the people in your family and who you really cared about once, are good enough. There are no true replacements, are there?

What can be

0b7649dce17f10558317d50953edf33cRelationships are one of the world’s most challenging experiences. I think a relationship is an experience because I find it odd that a relationship can be a label. How can something so dynamic, so ever changing, have a static name? How can you say someone is a friend when you have not been in touch with a person for so many years? How can a person be a stranger when a person has just connected you with your inner most feelings? It is like reporting an average. We have so many interactions in general, which are of this nature, hence, by the law of averages, we have this relationship. Well, this is what we have been taught so this is what we follow. In reality, every person in our lives holds a meaning, has a message for us. It is up to us to make the time to unravel the message and to absorb it or to let it float in the universe.

I have often found myself at a juncture with every relationship I have been in, when I have had to make a choice. There have been times (many times) when I have thought – this is just not working! When I was much younger and much less wise, I remember choosing the ‘can’t.’ Not working, cannot sustain, let go. It was the easiest thing to do! And I let go of so many people, so many relationships, just like that.

It is easy, isn’t it? Just give up. What is always tougher is thinking of new possibilities and sustaining relationships. Over time, I have realized the value of people and relationships. There are, of course, people who matter and people who don’t. For those who matter, who have ever mattered, I would argue, we owe it to them and to ourselves to make some time to think of ‘what can be’. If things cannot work out the way they are today, think about ‘what can’ work and make it work.

I don’t think it takes creative genius to make relationships work. Sometimes the trick is in just letting things be and letting them evolve. What can be, will soon present itself to you. Sometimes, however, it is a matter of making a choice – I just have to make this work, I want to make this work.

Choose what can be.