Monday, July 23, 2012

Navigating the Friend Ship: Part Two

Acceptance. Genuineness. Raw, open honesty. Unconditional positive regard. High standards, but low expectations. These are the qualities that have come aboard the friend ship lately. They are qualities that were not necessarily there before, or if they were, they were lacking or hiding behind some insecurity or misunderstanding.

But now they seem to surround every conversation Random and I have. It adds a different feel to the communication, this new acceptance and vulnerability. We hypothesize that it is what allows for platonic love* to grow. [*"platonic" here meaning strong, non-romantic, brotherly love]

This poses a very important question: How do you let go of romantic love while at the same time increasing platonic love? Is it even possible? I would like to think so, but am still uncertain. I think the transition from romantic love to platonic love requires a more extensive and intricate use of the heart muscles, a workout I haven't done before. (Can I get a personal trainer for that?)

At any other time in my life, or with any other person, I'd probably have just walked away from this entire thing, letting my wounds close up over the parts of my heart that needed further exploring. Instead I stay, one dialogue at a time, in hopes that maybe my heart will learn a lesson it couldn't learn otherwise. Every dialogue is a mix of nostalgia, discovery, pain, beauty and growth. It's exquisite in its uniqueness; We're walking through mostly uncharted territory, with no guide but God Himself (I wish He'd leave us a map or something... just sayin'). It's not particularly easy.

Perhaps this is why so many people run ashore when trying to ride the friend ship. It's HARD. And not like have-an-awkward-conversation hard, but let-me-tear-out-my-old-heart-and-grow-a-new-one hard.

I'm not sure in what ways it's hard for Random, but for me, the letting go is the hardest. Letting go of our past, and accepting this new way of relating. While Random loves me in this platonic way, a way that still fulfills me and brings me peace, it is intrinsically different than it was before. I'm still adjusting to it. It's not a bad, just different, and it doesn't allow for old feelings or emotional baggage (that has to get checked and processed often.. but that's a whole other blog). So I have to practice letting go. I have to accept the direction our friend ship has taken, which is freer, fruitful and to be honest, kind of fascinating.

Moral of this blog? The friend ship is still a bit scary, still uncertain, still difficult, but so far, still worth it.

We'll see what happens next...

"The art of love is largely the art of persistence." - Albert Ellis


RedCatholicViking said...

I suppose the best things in life are hard, because people always say they are worth it in the end.

Britt Holan said...

I very much agree.