We came upon a time that forced us to look at ourselves and our relationships. I braced myself for what I knew would come. Telling someone things that they don’t want to hear isn’t the easiest thing to do. I was dreading it and avoiding it to an extent. I started to imagine that the rash that I got from the gloves was somehow psychosomatic. It itched and prevented me from getting sleep. On the outside I projected a calm and serene figure while on the inside storms raged as I tried to reconcile all of the various strings that were tugging on me psyche.
I may have spoken before of my parents strong belief in their faith. The faith in which I was brought up in and one that I have questioned and to a large extent eliminated from my life. They see it as a rejection of where I came from but all I’ve done is built upon what they taught me retaining the integrity and principles of their lessons. We were brought up in a land far away from the traditions and culture that nurtured them. The world has moved in a different direction away from religious based explainations and into a more fact based belief system. Although looking through the pages of today’s broadsheets one would question that observation. Nevertheless I am not practicing the faith that I was raised in.
Chrl made an important observation when we discussed the fallout from the conversation that I had with my parents. We would have never lasted this long together if I was a ferverent Christian. Some of the ideas that are held strongly by those denominations conflict with my beliefs. They also happen to conflict with her views along similar lines. We are in many ways aligned in our worldview. Hence the wonderful way both of us complement each other.
When I made the call to inform my parents of the date of our upcoming nuptials and the manner in which the ceremony is going to take place they reacted negatively. This saddened me quite a lot. It has taken me a long time to find someone with whom I could reasonably spend my life with. It is especially nice that I have found someone with whom I am excited to spend the rest of my life with. I knew that they would react this way but it didn’t dampen how I felt after hearing this from them.
I understand their desire to have cultural traditions passed down along the family line. I know that they would have loved to be able to communicate with my bride in their native tongue so that they could express themselves to their full ability. To have the ceremony performed in a church and all that it entails. I guess I would have appeased them by doing that in the manner in which they desired. Confronting them and discussing this subject with Chrl took its toll on me.
One can’t force someone to believe something. They can only be convinced of its truth or its validity through their own volition. Otherwise what it becomes in extreme cases is tyrannical. We see and have seen this played out in many countries that use force to compel people to act and dress in a certain manner. This occurs not just in the Middle East but everywhere that such forces have taken hold and flourished. My parents are not that extreme but they have strong opinions on such matters. When I was little they taught me to think for myself so that I wouldn’t get caught up doing bad things because others were doing it. That independent streak has matured into this now. It encompassed this kind of secular belief.
A bunch of time has passed and the emotions that raged inside earlier have subsided a bit. The strong emotions that my parents expressed has subsided a bit too. There was an apology for their initial reaction and some soul searching on my part. There is still some residual emotion somewhere inside but that big wave has dampened somewhat into a more manageable form. There are other tasks that have distracted me. Executing them has been some form of therapy. By channeling my energy into them that energy transmuted into something positive. Sometimes talking does that but oftentimes tasks have a better outcome. Some kind of peace is established within. Maybe doing nothing could have the same effect but it doesn’t always.
There is much to balance. Between all of the various forces that pull in their direction the tension created forces me to walk those tightropes precariously. I am not however just beholden to those forces but there is supposedly some level of control over the trajectory. In time these forces pulsate creating a rhythm to their order. Sometimes these forces coalesce to overwhelm while at others these forces shelter from the storm.
In the days and weeks that have passed my mind considered in conjunction with Chrl the implications of our decisions. My parents are by and large lovely people with particular views but those views can’t be why we chose what we do. Times have changed as have my own views on religion and spirituality. It doesn’t mean that I love them less or respect them less. It means that as I’ve grown older I’ve developed my own views and that I have to respect the views that my partner has. We have that freedom after all.
As we discussed this initial reaction we also had a visit from Chrl’s parents. They don’t have strong views regarding these beliefs or at least they don’t project them in the same way. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t any rough patches during their long life together. These patches have their own way of affecting the kids. That leads into rebellion and then to some sort of resolution hopefully. In our individual cases Chrl and I have gone through our crises and came through them to become the people that we so admire and love.
We are aligned in many ways and think alike about a variety of things but there are differences. These differences make it interesting. What will cause us to have our hardships? If we had a crystal ball we would peer into it in order to fix it. We have discussed how we should prepare for our union. All the various different options. We are trying to find compromises and learn about what it will take to make it work. It isn’t just about longing looks and warm embraces (although those are nice) but it also encompasses how we will handle the day to day grind of living together.
We have been single individuals for a long time. We have particular views on how things should be and arranged our life accordingly. All of a sudden we are bound inside a flat by the conditions outside. Furthermore, we are now embarking on a walk down the aisle to be joined in a legal union. One to the other until events cause that to cease.
Ever see that video of that guy who can balance anything? I find that to be a great metaphor for life. If he was a politician he would change the world. The ability to balance all of the various forces at play is a great skill to have. Static forces are much easier to manage than dynamic ones.
Over the course of a couple of weeks my thoughts and emotions have interacted in a dynamic dance. Each sparking perturbations in the other causing each to falter at one point or another. That’s the point of these forces they tear apart the thing (?!) that caused them to face off to begin with.
At the end of it all (although this debate will continue) it comes down to love and respect for all parties involved. I don’t like certain aspects of their opinions but I still love them. I may have to put up with some things I don’t like but I can’t abandon them. I also can’t ignore the relationship I’m building. It is this relationship that has flowered into something wonderful. Love is love regardless of how it comes into existence and into what forms it develops. In a strange twist it is that same love that pressures me.
The apple has rolled a bit further from the tree. Like a rebel it has taken root in different conditions than the parent. It has found a novel path to that nourishing sun at the expense of the favorable conditions provided by the parent’s roots.
Humor and laughter is a great method for diffusing tension. I’m glad that that skill still rises to the surface when it’s needed. Paradoxically anger and laughter cannot exist at the same time within one’s psyche.
Cultural traditions evolve once they become transplanted to a new place. Over time they ebb and flow with the advent of new developments as well as new traditions that supplant the old ones. There is a pain that comes from this shift. I may be around to see and experience this myself. However we may be responsible for our own traditions beginning.