Like a recreated mastodon, all our relationships, both the newly interred as well as the ancient live on. Forever frozen in time to give us continual insights into how and why we choose them. Relationships secured in glass cases lit for clarity (or continued delusion), available for perusal 24/7. There’s never a line, and admission is free. We revisit what was obvious hell and sometimes the most painful of all: what could have been. We scrutinize with remorse, perhaps self-loathing the ghostly remains of past relationships conjuring feeling as dark as a little black dress. Past unions, for better or for worse deserve a place for us to observe at leisure and learn.
A one-day pass allows us to recognize when the feelings generated with a new situation are old and musty habits. Are we letting archaic behavior cloud a hard-won yet still fragile reality not quite solidified? Think a brilliant chunk of amber but the bugs are still kicking. This museum is a constant source of education, and better than any mirror to see how far we’ve come. Without any of the ties that bind us to a person we no longer are, based on the people who we no longer allow to affect us we are free to productively implement our decisions and make better choices because of them.
When we polish up for the wrong person, eventually we realize the true cost involved in remaining so brilliant — endless maintenance with nothing to show for the hardest of work. A very high price with no end in sight, for they insist on a mirror-like finish so they can see themselves (all they are interested in anyway) at all times. They demand we maintain the illusion for them, for without the constant attention, they are lost, and take us with them. It becomes next to impossible to find our way back to the museum for a lesson.
Perfection is a myth, but a perfect relationship is possible when we realize that we aren’t looking for a perfect person, but the perfect person for us. Someone we can embrace with all their human frailties, and love them regardless. No cutting around the edges to make them fit, no sanding off rough spots, no sugar coating needed or wanted.
The right person loves us for the patina that we have naturally acquired through our experiences. When we are with the right one, the shine is there, effortlessly. It is not maintained by diligence to be pleasing at all costs, to be the perfect partner, to skate on the thin ice of being “good enough.” The patina of love is a translucent effervescence – soul-dancing, heart-lifting and beautifully subtle, like the soft glow on a lover’s face when they can look out onto the future and, without a doubt, know it is the safest place they could have ever imagined. Part of feeling safe is speaking your truth – whatever it is – to watch it reflected back in the actions of another, amidst all that tarnish.