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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The highway, one-way streets and embracing vs. tolerating.

Do you find yourself consistently giving and giving in relationship and getting little in return?  It is like driving down the highway day after day in the same direction, cross country and expecting to make it home.   Sure, you can fill your tank up at places along the way, but eventually your car will break down and leave you stranded.  Similarly, you can scratch and claw and find hope in a one-sided, one-way relationship, but eventually you will be mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted and having nothing left for anyone including yourself.

As my ex-father in law said, "the highway goes both ways".

Sometimes you just have to pull the car off the road and wait for the other person to drive to you.  It can feel risky, scary or uncertain when you are so used to doing the reaching out, but it is a necessary step.  If nothing else, you cannot expect the other to come to you if you continually deprive him/her of the opportunity to meet you halfway.  Beyond that, sometimes you just need to know IF the other person has the capacity and presence of mind to know he/she needs to meet you half way.

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A variety of the above concept or a finer point on the scale is tolerating vs. embracing.   Tolerating, no matter how you wrap it up is never as warm, giving or loving when compared to embracing.

      Tolerating to me means:
         a) I don't really get you, but you offer me something anyway, so I will stay with  you.
         b) I don't necessary like you, but you offer me something anyway,....
         c) If you stop offering me something in return for tolerating you, don't be surprised if I leave.
Effectively, tolerating is a calculation that what I are putting up with is worth what I am getting in return.

     Embracing to me means:
        a) Your quirks are cute, funny or charming.
        b) I accept you for who you are, not what you can give me in return.
        c) I would feel sad if you changed the things that made you uniquely you.


So, the questions I ask myself are these: Am I tolerating or embracing?  What does embracing look like?  If I am tolerating, can I get to a point of embracing?

Some things/relationships aren't meant to be embraced or tolerated,  The keys are learning to embrace what we need to regardless of how unpleasant it is and those things/relationships we shouldn't tolerate letting go of them.