Not Enough or Too Much : The Power of Love and Judgement

I wasn’t blonde enough. I wasn’t loud enough. I wasn’t quiet enough. I wasn’t organized enough. I wasn’t loved enough. I was too friendly. I wasn’t friendly enough. I was too smart. I wasn’t smart enough. I was too overwhelming. I wasn’t overwhelming enough.
I was too creative. My skirt never was pleated enough. My shoes were never shined . I fell all day and everyday. I was the butt of everyone’s jokes.
I was awkward, and not confident.
All my life, i have heard what I can’t do, and what I can. I have defined my life by who people expect me to be and not who I want to be.

But we cannot possibly live for what others expect of us. We have to listen to that little voice inside which tells us truly, who we are supposed to be.  A lot of times, people project on others their own misgivings. The very things we do not like about others are at times the very things we do not like of ourselves.

I remember a marriage therapist said in a seminar ” When we love someone at first, we see everything we would love them to be. This is not realistic, but not bad either. It’s what we might aspire to be one day. Then we have a period where we become disillusioned and the other person’s faults are magnified tenfold. This is where true growth occurs because it is not their faults we are seeing but our own and how we react to them, and this is the start of true love.

I liked this video which kind of defines this :

So I think, that while it is important to stay true to ourselves, and not listen to negativity, we should also grow on the basis of our relationships.   While the relationship between your husband is a clearly defined role with set expectations , there are other relationships which are not so defined.

Take our friendships.  Friends , on some level, are some of the most pure relationships we can hope to aspire to have. They give us strength when we need them yet we cannot demand from them. They have a choice to accept you or to separate themselves from you. There are no ties, time stipulations or obligations.  Sometimes time can erase all bonds, and this is quite sad. I remember writing a poem about it :

Here we are.
Two strangers staring into space
Here we are
There used to words overflowing, there used to be no secrets overfl
But now they pour out like bleeding storms

There used to be open planes
Now there is secrets
It used to be my haven
I would lay in the green crooked marsh
And know I was safe.
But now
There is not anything to find

There is jagged rocks
Before I used to know things without saying
Now I say things without knowing

I don’t know what is to become of us
This is the last time which the rivers meet
Tomorrow we shall be Others
And Others will no longer fit into the broken reflection of Before
The blood might overflow

There is a way to find that which is lost
It lies behind seeing the magic of yesterday
Seeing the blurry images collide
If you are quiet
If you are still
If you try no to move too much
In between the land of fairies and wings
Where the branches stretch out for miles
There , I will always wait for you
There I shall have the strength to lift u p my weakened fingers
There I might be able to smile
And maybe the butterflies will melt in the sun
And we shall dream
That we were once us
Instead of two strangers staring into a broken space.

But regardless, friendship while it lasts is also something we take for granted. We also have a weird tendency to fragment our lives. Who said that we can’t be friends with our spouses or our mothers? Who says that our relationships should be limited to a certain moment.

I have spoken of this, in terms of our expectations of others and our own expectations. I think we need to stop being so critical of each other and accept and love everyone for who they are. We should also realize that some things that truly bother us have more to do with our own issues than someone else’s. However,  we can also tell someone the truth if we love them , but once we give that pearl of truth out to the universe we have to realize that it is no longer ours. We cannot control it. I think it’s a little like being on a sailboat. Sometimes the waves are too much and we fall from the sailboat. This is the same for relationships. Sometimes we can control it’s direction, and sometimes we have to accept the sailboat’s limitations.

The concept of marriage

At the moment I am in Barcelona, an artistic off the beat place with small winding streets and curved buildings.  The artistic influence of Gaudi permeates everywhere. It is also, surprisingly, a very romantic city filled with diverse amounts of couples casually strolling by the curved sidewalks.

The couples and the impending nuptials of about three couples I know reminds me for the umpteenth time of marriage and coupledom.  This year alone, there are 40 people I know who contracted or are contracting nuptials.  Countries ranging from Portugal, to Spain, to Canary Islands, to El Salvador to Ecuador to United States to Canada. Couples who are persian, american, portuguese, spanish, australian, chinese, Taiwanese, etc etc.

And marriage, along with graduation and babies are the kind of thing that while it may be slightly exciting for some people around you, it marks a quintessential right of passage which is believed everyone should go through…

But I was wondering if marriage, or the idea of ” getting married” has become the end of itself. Just like money,  marriage should be a means towards something, and it isn’t just the American Dream.  There is something profoundly awry with our current definition of ” getting married”. We base it on romantic notions : Of fear of not being alone, companionship, love. Which, in essence are profound and great things. to have.

But we also make it a sort of status symbol. In Latin america, since I was 18, people sometimes look down on you if you haven’t gotten married. As if, somehow you are less of a person, or your accomplishments are worth nothing because you have ” single” stamped on your forehead.

The funny thing is, even if they are totally wrong for you or even if they want a green card out of you, I have had people tell me to ” take a chance” as if, somehow the reasons they wish to be with me would miraculously change.  So inevitably, after all my travelling I get asked WHY I am still single. I can’t give them a coherent answer other than the fact that, things just didn’t work out. There are things beyond my control… And I do get the ” if you lived in one place maybe it would happen”.

Here’s the thing : If you really want to work things out, it will happen no matter the location , the timing, or any other obstacle. I think the willingness to create these relationships and create bonds can be done if you are willing to do it.

However, I don’t think we stop and think before we fall in love. We just go over the deep end and let the current take us. Especially westernized notions of romantic love, teaches us that these relationships are something that we do not have control over . This leads us to take a passive stance, which is dependent entirely on timing, circumstance and feelings.

I have trouble understanding relationships that are so consuming you end up forgetting your friends, your goals, your family. True, you are becoming a ” We” but I don’t understand the dichotomy that would make you entirely break off from people who have cared and known you all your life.

Furthermore, I think marriage and building a family should be considered the bedrock of constructing a new [part of society. Think on it. If all of us, consciously , tried to rid ourselves of our patterns of the past, if we built a life where we tried as a unit to serve others around us and build relationships based on trust and growth… imagine the long-term repercussions of this.

I came from a broken home and grew up mostly without a lot of positive male figures in my life. I am not alone, as I would say a good majority of my friends will say the same thing. … I truly can’t even think of a truly united household.

That’s because we have to recognize that the way we consider marriage and family is a broken one. We need to reconstruct it . We need to stop seeing marriage as a status symbol.  I loved when someone commented that marriage is like pearls and corals. Pearls are made based on the sand clashing with each other over a long period of time, and eventually it becomes pearls.  One layer of coral dies for another to be reborn.

I have no idea what or how this looks like, but I think it’s one of the most profound concepts I have ever come across. What is missing there is a willingness to work together for that to happen.  And that’s where love and willingness comes in.  Finding someone isn’t like going to the supermarket, it takes time and patience.  And personally, if I look back I am glad for the relationships that didn’t work out because they were totally wrong for me.

So you just have to trust in God, take a deep breath and remember to keep living your life and not waiting for your life to happen when you get married,  because that is the biggest illusion of all.