Nov. 17, 2022

Relationship Sand Mandalas

Have you ever experienced grief over knowing something in your life will never be the same? Don’t worry, I am not talking about death (for once).

I tend to get comfortable with the every days of life – the comfort of my own home, my routine, my morning coffee, my five outfits even though I have 640 in the closet, and most importantly, the comfort of my closest loved ones.

I love being around MY people. I mean, I love being around people in general, but it tends to get exhausting if I feel I cannot be 100% me, which is often. I have this core group of people, though, that I can rely on for comfort just in knowing I can be weird o’ me – and oddly, that list is growing, and I love it.

But there is something to be said for those that have been by my side for the long haul. Those who never wavered, never strayed, never made me question anything.

Until they do.

At first, I refused to admit anything changed. I tried to ignore it and hum along, stay busy and distracted, until it was no longer deniable.

I got angry at myself for being vulnerable, letting people in, allowing myself to get hurt. I process hurt with anger. It is a defense mechanism I have used since I was a child. I have been working on it, but that does not mean I have perfected the art of processing hurt in a meaningful, constructive way. I admittedly talked shit, oddly not in a malicious way, but in a way that distracted my hurt and kept me angry. Feelings are lame.

When it became obvious that was not making me feel better, I worked my way back into thinking maybe I could do something better, be someone better, do something different to keep things just as they are.

I can’t.

Then I got sad, and literally mourned out loud. I vented to Ken, I cried, I talked more shit because I would do anything to not hurt. To not come to terms with the fact that I loved someone I perhaps didn’t even know. Someone that never really existed. Someone I wanted that someone to be, but they never were.

It is not over – but it has changed, and will never be the same.

Every day at work, my job is literally to implement change in a controlled, productive, effective, positive, non-impactful manner with the least amount of down time. You would think I could get my shit together when I experience change in life. Nope. I am having a hard time with my everyday changing.

So, I got to thinking (dangerous). Should our relationships be looked at like a sand mandala? During the Fringe Fest one year, Ken and I went to an exhibit where someone was creating a sand mandala. I have never seen anything so cool, so beautiful. It took so much patience, care, dedication, and time. At the end of her creation, she destroyed it. I gasped out loud that she destroyed something she worked so hard on, but sand Mandalas symbolize the transient nature of physical life. Perhaps friendships.

Or should we regret ever even having relationships? If nothing is permanent, why bother? Let’s take Notorious for example, our beloved cat. Not a lot of people know this, but the truth is, the success of our marriage is 100% because of her. We were so close to divorce, and neither one of us would leave because we both refused to leave her. She is special. I know everyone says that about their fur family, and I don’t doubt it, but she is, like, REALLY special. Her soul is so deep and kind, and she is so intuitive. Anyways, we decided to put in the work, and spent years in counseling tearing down our transgressions and rebuilding our relationship. She is still by our side, almost sixteen years later. I cannot imagine the amount of pain we will experience when she is no longer here with us. It brings tears to my eyes to even think about. Does the pain of losing her outweigh the love we have for her and the exorbitant amount of joy she has brought to our lives?

The answer is no. Never.

I know I cannot cling. We have already discussed that nothing is permanent. So, what is my problem?

My problem is…feelings.