Sunday, June 10, 2012

Moonshine wishes and caviar dreams

I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than fatally disappointed.
-Julia Glass

We attended a party tonight that had champagne and moonshine flowing freely. It started out in the planning process as a cancer free party for our neighbor who finally got a clean bill after enduring a year of chemo. It turned into a going away celebration for two families, a birthday bash for twin boys, a house warming and a reunion of sorts. How do you fit all that on one invitation?
Our neighbors decided to downsize in an effort to simplify life post cancer. They didn’t realize their house would sell so quickly, so they don’t know where they are going yet. But they were gracious enough to invite the new homeowners. Effectively leaving their circle of friends with the house as a welcome gift. 
The twins down the street, who already have to share their birthday with each other, also compete with summer vacation when so many of their friends are away. This weekend they chose to celebrate early while people are still in town, only to end up sharing their day with cancer free parties, house warming fetes and reunions. The brothers celebrated for the last time with two other young brothers who are moving out of state tomorrow.
As for the reunion, it took a major life event like beating a deadly disease to get some of the relatives to set aside their differences for one night. Each hurt party steered clear of each other.  Why is it so much easier to see the resolution to other people’s conflicts? If only he could just accept that his expectations will never be met and to stop looking for something that was never promised or even suggested. If only she could just let go of the anger associated with disappointment. If only.
 Everyone has expectations that they cling to like a sinking life preserver. Something they know should work, but for whatever reason doesn’t. Instead of swimming, they sink, still insistently hanging on.
The reunion being just one of the human dramas unfolding amidst the toasts, speeches and candle blowing. It reminded me to reread The Dance with Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing Patterns of Intimate Relationships By Harriet Lerner and Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendryx. Two books written specifically to help navigate the twists and turns of marriage, but are really applicable to any person with a presumption about how someone else should be behaving.

I am currently reading Dr. Wayne Dyer's 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace. There is a great passage that speaks directly to this: "In all your relationships, if you can love someone enough to allow them to be exactly what they choose to be-without any expectations or attachments from you-you'll know true peace in your lifetime. True love means you love the person for what they are, not for what you think they should be. This is an open mind- and absence of attachment."
My question today- What would your relationship with --------- be like if you treated them like a friend instead of a loved one?

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