June 13, 2011

Treasure and Worship

Shifting from one to the other, that's where it all started going downhill. You'll need to refer to the previous post to get some of the references I make here, but it's short and quick to read.

Last year, I wound up in a relationship that was better than any one I had been in before and better than I could have imagined. One thing that made it very loving for us was my decision early on to ask God to help me treasure her every day. The problem was that when you forget who you are, the work you've done, and that you're perfect at being human, it becomes easy to elevate others to a place that they shouldn't occupy in your life. She had become my object of worship.

When that happens, you can say goodbye to the closeness and intimacy in a relationship. The gulf between icon and devotee grows wider every day, and the devotee becomes smaller and weaker while the icon struggles under the strain of the unrealistic expectations. There is no more equality and partnership, only a hierarchy. I've seen it happen in other people's relationships before, even though I wasn't fully cognizant of what was happening exactly and the ramifications of it.

What usually happens when that kind of relationship crumbles is not a return to equilibrium for the devotee. Instead, the hierarchy is simply flipped with the icon becoming the object of scorn. Think I'm wrong about that? Take a look at all the popular songs over the years demonizing former lovers. Realistic assessment of the relationship becomes impossible as one's internal motives become inverted and projected onto the former icon. "I only wanted to love her" becomes "she only wanted to hurt me" etc., and then you're left with a recipe for failure in the next relationship to come along.

Even if you go into the next relationship with good motives, it's going to follow the same type of course unless you get yourself back into the equilibrium of being human, and letting others be human. The gap of "greater than : less than" remains, and the gap will eventually widen as the whole thing plays itself out again, possibly in reverse. I knew that intellectually, but just couldn't translate that into heart wisdom that would live in my life. I had a bad spot on my blade that needed some metal removed. (ok, you need to read the last two posts to get that reference)

Letting myself just be perfectly human allows me to work through my own mistakes without mental flagellation, and lets me accept the mistakes of others as we walk in our relationship. It's about partnership, not rank; equality, not hierarchy.

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