Figure Eight

"CONNECTION",  2002, 40" x 40", m/m

"CONNECTION", 2002, 40" x 40", m/m

I was thinking about what makes a truly satisfying relationship for me.

Like, is there a one-sentence description that captures that most slippery slope of connecting with another in a way that leaves one completely satisfied?

I thought: “Maybe I should start here with my love for my dog and see exactly why this particular relationship feels so rich and multi-textured with nothing wanting.”

So: What do we have here?

Olivia has a life.

It is hers and hers alone.

Yesterday, when we came back from an errand, I was too tired to put on her leash to come into the house from the car so I let her out of the door, trusting she would follow me.

She did not.

I hobbled inside and watched myself swearing up a storm as I had to pee and wasn’t sure I’d make it and the dog wouldn’t come when called and I swore some more and thought myself so stupid for trusting she’d do what I wanted and knew my anger covered big fear that something bad would happen and, and, and…

I thankfully made it to the bathroom and then stood in the doorway and waited. And waited.

Ten minutes.

Half an hour.

Please know that stress is really not great for MS and I was certainly in it.

I was so very weak and yet this scenario was unfolding and I had to do something so I chanced getting back in the car to go look for her.

(This really is getting back to the subject in one second…)

Didn’t see her.

I am now quite paralyzed on many levels.

I drive home.

She runs out to greet me.

Jumps in the car and has her tail tucked between her legs and wagging it a mile a minute as she rolls over to have me rub her stomach.

Well.. I could have scolded her but my true reaction was intense gratitude for the gift of more time with her. My heart could barely contain itself  at the knowledge she chose to have her adventure on HER terms AND choose me again.

Isn’t that really IT?  That we all screw up repeatedly (in the others eyes) and yet..and YET!  There is room to return.  Return with the tales to tell from the adventure!

What does all this have to do with anything?

If you translate the scenario to human terms it looks like this:

Person is expected to do something you want them to do.

They don’t.

You get pissed off.

You get all mad and hard and ugly..

The whole world disappears because you are afraid what you had is no more and you can’t do a damn thing about it.

What I realized is this: Each of us has our own story, our own adventures, thoughts, beliefs, wants and desires.

We get in REAL TROUBLE if we think we have and control over another.

If you look at the template of a figure eight:

I’m not talking about a circle, here, but TWO independent and distinct circles.

Each person (dog, creature, anything, really..) has it’s own life and to make a REALLY successful relationship another qualifier is that the life is WHOLE and PERFECT on it’s own.

When two whole and strong circles meet; there- at that precious spot of joining, the miracle of successful relationship can happen, I think.

Only when each part is already whole and meet without a dire need to control or be completed in ANY way, can successful and satisfying relationship happen.


Lovely.. so very lovely.

..and challenging. So very, very challenging.


One Response to “Figure Eight”

  1. Adele Rosen on October 13th, 2009

    MBR…..mutually beneficial relationship
    this is the degree we can all reach for……
    as you learn you are teaching us all……
    thank you my beautiful friend

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