The Difficult Task Of Going With The Flow
Going with the flow, living in the moment, having no expectations could be the most difficult state of mind to reach as it means letting go of the outcome.
Somehow, somewhere we bought into the illusion that if we have a tight grip on our lives we will be spared from hurt and pain. That is not so. The effects are actually the opposite — the tighter the grip, the greater the confusion.
I have been a widow for almost four years now. A couple of months ago I met someone who sparked my interest. The first one in many years. In my mind – and based in my past experiences – I was embarking into a committed relationship. But, to my surprise my new partner saw things differently. He truly enjoyed our time together when we were together, but wasn’t ready, didn’t want, or couldn’t commit to only being with me.
At that point, I was faced with a few choices: 1 – change the situation, 2 – leave it, 3 – change how I felt about it, 4 – accept it, 5- become miserable or 6 – make things worse.
My first choice was to leave the situation. In my mind it was either you’re ready to give this a shot or you’re not. And staying open to meeting other people did not seem to me to translate into really giving it a shot. I think in my decision, I didn’t take into consideration my partner’s history, rhythm or way of living. I actually don’t even know if he was seeing others or was more attached to the idea/possibility of it.
A couple of weeks after me telling this person, I was no longer interested in seeing him under the circumstances he was proposing, I realized I was unhappy. I missed his company, what we had started building together, the feeling of being connected and the attention he offered me. I realized being without him at that particular moment was harder than being with him. So, I called, and we got together. But, I had stipulations for the new situation. If he wanted an open relationship then we couldn’t email, text, call as much as we had in the past and we were not to ask each other where we were and what we were doing. My thinking was this way I would protect myself from knowing something that would undoubtedly upset me.
Well, a couple of more weeks went by and I had another realization. I wasn’t being spontaneous and thus I wasn’t getting as much out of the experience as I could. And I still worried about the outcome.
I again ran through the six possibilities I had run through only a few weeks back (see above) and finally realized the only sensible thing to do was to let go of the outcome. If we will live together happily ever after or if we will stop seeing each other by tomorrow is a question mark, but enjoying each other as much as possible and being in the moment is a certain possibility.
We lose a lot when we don’t accept things as they are. By doing that we actually get in the way of letting life sort itself out and possibly give us the outcome we wanted.
Arm wrestling a relationship to reflect our needs, fears and insecurities will just lead to pain and hurt. While acceptance will lead to real experiences.
Of course, I’m discussing a situation that involves respect and mutual liking. When that is not present then staying means opening oneself up to an abusive relationship. You must know the difference.
This is a new experience for me, but I do know it is something I must go through now. And so I check in with myself constantly and ask the same six questions. When the answer changes, then it will be time to switch my behavior. In the meantime, I’m laughing and enjoying my moment.