Ooh…Now that’s a pretty self-focused title on a Friday morning. It’s just a snip of a larger bit of stray thinking; time is bringing me closer and closer to my spring camping trip.

Whatever else may be true, we each walk our own path, and we choose it.

Whatever else may be true, we each walk our own path, and we choose it.

 

Taking things out of context can really change their potential meanings. Putting myself on ‘pause’ for a moment to take something random out of context and reconsidering it from other perspectives, looking for potentially reasonable alternate meanings that are in no way related to whatever it is when taken in context is a simple way to dial down anxiety; it forces me to fully reconsider my perspective and acknowledge untested assumptions. I sometimes find that I’ve made an erroneous assumption, and having done so my thinking is no longer resulting in the best practical choices. Being aware of the error makes it possible to ask the appropriate clarifying questions, fill in the gaps on missing information, and re-calibrate.

I am, indeed, looking forward to my camping trip. I hope I am over this cold by then. I suspect camping with a head cold is a lot less fun than camping in good health. It isn’t really relevant to my thinking this morning, it’s simply awareness of moments to come, and happy anticipation. If I ramble this morning, it’s probably just the head cold. 🙂

Time is a powerful driver of change, and one we don’t have any particular control over. We have to just ‘go with it’ and let time flow past us, or push us forward, or drag us along…or whatever it is that time is actually doing, if in fact is does anything active at all. There’s little to do about time, and it will keep bringing me closer to the thing I’ve planned in the future without any interference from me at all. Love, on the other hand, is not like time at all in that respect – if you want to bring love closer, there are most assuredly quite a lot of things that must actively be done, choices to make, relationships to build, and there are most definitely verbs involved.

We are each having our own experience, and each as individual as snow flakes or grains of sand… If bringing me closer is the goal, the differences between us are as significant as the difference between time and love. I’m sure that were my goal bringing you closer to me, it would be the same; considering who you are as an individual would matter greatly in that endeavor. This morning I am contemplating how easily I lead myself astray with that puzzle…treating others well is about delivering to them the treatment they, themselves, define as good treatment much more than it is about what I think is good treatment – and their efforts to treat me well will fall flat if what they find to be ‘good treatment’ feels brutally punishing to me. Perspective becomes a very big deal; I know to be gracious when someone is treating me well by a cultural standard I don’t share, or don’t understand. I am learning to communicate clearly when my needs can easily be met in some other way, and to set boundaries when I feel mistreated. It’s pretty easy most days, most situations… but what of love?

I suspect a lot of time is wasted in life haplessly expecting that other people already understand us, already know what we want or need, and anticipating that there exists some implicit agreement to provide for our needs, particularly in the context of family or love. It’s a poor assumption to make (most are). There’s no ‘instant baking mix’ for love*, and because we are indeed each having our own experience, not only do we want different things than our lovers may want, but we understand what our lovers say to us, and how they treat us, differently than they may understand it from their perspective. How frustrating, to love fervently and recognize that the message isn’t getting through! It happens a lot, and it happens more with implicit communication than with explicit communication.

Bringing me closer is going to take different things than bringing some other person closer. This morning I am asking myself – knowing that bringing me closer takes different things than it may take to bring someone else closer…do I know what my partners, lovers, friends, and family members need as individuals to feel closer to me? Do we each adequately communicate those needs? Do we invest similar effort in the relationship? Is our experience reciprocal? If our relationship values are not an exact match, do those values support shared goals, compliment each other, and nurture individual needs on an equal basis?

One step after another.

One step after another.

Really that’s it this morning. Some good questions, no answers, a pleasant Friday, a head cold. I don’t have easy answers to these questions; I wouldn’t expect me to, I’m sick and foggy and probably fortunate to be able to assemble sentences in the first place. 🙂 I hope wherever time brings me today, there’s also plenty of love.  Today is a good day to bring love closer.

*This may not be a true statement. This article lays out a specific technique for building love, more or less instantly. There are still verbs involved, and your results may vary.