Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paper Covers Rock: Breaking up is Hard to Do!

This one is rated "R"...little ears should not be in the room.

Source: Unknown

What belongs on a Post-It?  The answers are endless, really.  But NOT unlimited.  Post-It notes are like the bottom feeders of the paper world.  Their very size suggests they are meant for small lists, gentle reminders, a sweet note, a "note-to-self," etc, etc. They are easily stored.  You can grab one with the wave of your one un-employed hand.  You can scribble, be done, scrunch and toss without feeling much sense of loss.  Now...I KNOW there are stories about entire corporations being birthed on a Post-It note and I won't deny that they come in very handy when a brilliant idea strikes.  But, for the most part...a Post-It...is merely a Post-It and about as personal as my relationship to my mini-sewing kit and as long lasting as a fruit fly.

I can tell you what DOES NOT belong on a Post-It note:  A BREAKUP!

Nor does a break up belong on a computer screen or a voicemail, in an email, via text, Facebook or Twitter.  It does not belong over the phone (extreme circumstances notwithstanding).  Hell, unless this is 17th century England, and your mate is thousands, okay, hundreds of miles away, a break up does not belong on paper...at all!

A breakup belongs in the space between two people.  Period.  The words need to be said, be heard and hang in the tense air. And the words need to be the truth.  

I am no relationship expert.  In fact, one might consider me more of a "Failed Relationship Expert."  (What is it Thomas Edison said...."I haven't even failed once....I've just done things wrong 10,000 times.")  And I am just as guilty as the next person.  But I think our society has made one of the most difficult and painful conversations as arbitrary and perfunctory as taking your rubbish out to the curb.  In fact, getting broken up with in said manner feels somewhat akin to being considered rubbish.  

What I am is a human being and I try to abide by the golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  Again...I can think of two, VERY recent instances, where I found it so easy and safe to invoke the end of one casual and one much less casual relationship via email.  I am as much to blame as the next person.  The dust having settled, I am not proud of my behavior at all.  As they said, it was "poor form."  The thing is...in neither of those situations...did I receive push back.  Both were opened, accepted, responded to and likely tossed in the proverbial "trash" by tapping the "delete" button.  

Breakups are hard and painful.  But in the end, you have been IN A RELATIONSHIP with another person...you have loved them, laughed with them, cried with them, grown with them, created memories with them, become family to them...the VERY LEAST both people deserve is a face-to-face conversation...which may in the end even create a solution to the impasse.  

Source: Unknown

I realize people don't want to hurt others.  Unless you are a sociopath, it is easier to throw out the break up and slink away playing both defense and offense at the same time.  I also realize looking in someone's face, in someone's eyes makes creating the words nearly impossible.  But having been on the receiving end so many times...I can say that I would rather be "hurt with the truth, than comforted with a lie."  And silence leads to assumptions, erroneous ones at that, and in the end it all feels like a lie, anyhow.  And then living in the "why's" is just a living hell.  (Someone else's words...not mine.)

I love technology...obviously.  I adore blogs and posts that promote hope, love, laughter, joy, etc.  In that way I think technology has a positive global reach we could have never achieved otherwise!  But it can also rip people apart...and rip you apart at the same time.  The speed, the convenience, the anonymity...it's frightening.  I fear we are losing our human interaction, sensitivity and compassion one key stroke at a time.  I think we all need to take a giant leap back and consider how technology has changed our sensitivity at the cellular level.  (And no, I don't mean cellular phone level!)

Jesus' final dictate, "To love one another as I have loved you" is often very difficult when jealousy, insecurity, pride, hurt and anger can be transmitted within seconds disappearing from our eyes, and by extension, from our hearts and minds.  Do we even stop to consider the person on the other side of the screen, anymore?

This book is resting by my bedside chair (I have a chair rather than a bedside table).  It is called The Four Agreements.

On the inside cover are "The Four Agreements."

And while, admittedly, I have only read the first chapter...I think this is a terrific road map for difficult, painful conversations...like breakups.  If executed as suggested by Ruiz, the truth is hanging in between two people.  It has been given genuine thought and leaves little room for assumption.  Sure...it will feel terribly personal...for a while...but that, too, shall pass.

Like my mom always says, "We are all just trying to get through life."  Indeed, we are.  So let's challenge ourselves by giving a bit more thought before we press the "send" button....because it can really be an "end" button to something quite beautiful.  Once it is out there...it can never be taken back.

The truth trumps silence, common courtesy should dictate difficult conversations and paper covers rock.

And while I am 100% sure neither of those gentlemen dare read my blog....I do offer my sincerest (technological) apologies...but you both already know that.

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