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Love the One you're With

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#1 manitou

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 01:44 AM

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Many might remember the Stephen Stills song with this title: Love the One You're With. I woke up this morning with this song running through my mind.

(The particular lyrics of that song aren't pertinent to this discussion, only the title).

I've been in a relationship, an on and off relationship, for 30 years. I've tried countless times to end this relationship, but have never been able to. We've been married and divorced from each other twice, and we're still together. Unmarried, but together.

My whole life, the grass was always greener on the other side of the fence. This was just my make-up, and it was a recurring theme throughout my life. I always had one eye on the current relationship and the other eye wandering (not in an actual physical way, I wasn't actually BORN in West Virginia or anything!) I was always looking for something Better. But I was never without a relationship. I was capable of going to the lowest depths to find one; anything but being Alone.

So I guess this falls under the category of 'be careful of what you pray for' (at least, back when I used to pray to 'something')

For the first 25 years of this co-dependent, torturous relationship with Joe (due to our mutual alcoholic personalities), we made each other miserable. And he would go out and get drunk - skid row drunk - every time we had an argument for the first 10 years we were together.

But a funny thing has happened; maybe because our co-dependency was stronger than our desire to leave. A few years back, I was listening to my car radio and that song came on. Love the One you're With. And it hit me like a thunderbolt, although I had heard that song countless time before. Why not try actually loving this man? Why not stop looking for something better, or smarter, or someone of greater social stature?  Just make the darn decision:  love him!

 

And so began the process of acceptance.  First of all, acceptance of myself, because I saw the tendency that had haunted me my whole life; never being satisfied with what I had.  The second part was accepting Joe total for what he is, and not wishing he were different in some ways.  What a huge difference this decision - merely a decision! - has made in our lives.  I actually go out of my way to do nice things for him now.  I count the blessings we have together, as opposed to focusing on the differences.

 

Well, relating this to my own spiritual growth, I must say that this has probably been one of the biggest components of it.  It opened my eyes just a bit to unconditional love, to forgiveness, to remaining in one place and focused - and not 'waiting for the next one'.  To be Here Now.

 

And most of all, to come to the realization that I Am responsible for my own happiness - not someone else.  Someone else can never give it to me, I must give it to myself.  What an incredible awareness this has been.  And the funny thing is, we have a wonderful life together now; as I have changed, he seems to have followed suit.  Or maybe I am just seeing it with different eyes.

 

I am very thankful today for this loyal friend of 30 years that has been part of me - and who has been the mirror for me to see the changes that I need to make within myself.  And today, when we do have a bit of a dust-up, which is not real often any more, they blow over quickly.  In fact, we now have a plan for any little spats we get into - we have a big trailer sitting up at the top of the property that he can stay in.  But it happens hardly at all any more.

 

It seems that there are two dynamics within all of us.  One dynamic is 'that which we want', and the other is 'that which we need'.  I realize today that Joe has been the very 'lapidary' that I needed to smooth out my rough edges, and I have been that for him.  I'm happy to say that today, we fit like a hand in a glove.  But I would never have imagined, in my earlier life, that a fellow like Joe was what I needed.  What a surprise.

 

Love the one you're with.


Edited by manitou, 25 December 2014 - 01:46 AM.

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Joy is the Dao.

 

               -The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-

 

                                       


#2 johndoe2012

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 02:06 AM

Very fine writing.

 

You are a good communicator and a blessing to this forum.

 

 

And most of all, to come to the realization that I Am responsible for my own happiness - not someone else.  

 

This is true. Something I am working on myself.

 

Thanks for this post  :)


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#3 Marblehead

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 03:12 AM

Just in case some of our younger members don't know the song:

 

 

Spoiler


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YIN-YANG.jpg I reserve the right to change my mind. Anarchy4.jpg



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#4 GrandmasterP

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 03:33 AM

Lovely, beautifully written post and so true. Thank you Manitou. :)
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Chinese Health QiGong Association here...
http://jsqg.sport.org.cn/en/
More about Mindfulness here...
http://bemindful.co.uk/

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( Dogen).

#5 3bob

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 05:26 AM

Manitou, I think that is really an uplifting and evolved meaning and reflection you've given compared to the original context of the words in that old, irresponsible, catchy tune from the late 60's era of "free-love" that was often very costly!

Thanks for sharing :)


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#6 joeblast

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 06:54 AM

 I can sympathize, for I felt like that for a long time, perhaps a third of your time manitou - but sometimes, there's no better path forward.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWxnGf7isqc

 

now its groovy

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl4DKmbfDyk


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#7 rene

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 07:00 AM

manitou, friend,

 

Thank you for your words and open heart. It's no small thing, to me, that what we need comes. Sometimes quickly, sometimes eventually; but always. May I share with you how your words are exactly what I need in this moment?

 

My beloved husband died four years ago come May. We were inseparable, joined at the heart. Just as it takes a high-speed train a long time to slow down and stop - my emptiness lasted years. Until last November, actually. Then I met Tom and suddenly I was alive again. Love pierced my heart, mended it with a thunderbolt. (-:

 

But now, over these last two months, I'm realizing that part of me wants Tom to fill another's shoes, in the same way I had it before; in the same inseparable ways. And that's not right. We cant make people be the way we want them to be; we can only make ourselves the way we want to be. As you reminded me - I am responsible for my own happiness.

 

What you said about being Alone is very true. Tom sparked me alive, yes, but if he and I dont last (or if I am never in another relationship again) the Alone thing for me has changed. It's not possible for me to be Alone again; my heart is joined with Love itself, and it comes in many ways, in many forms.

 

Right now I'm enjoying Tom (i.e. love the one you're with) just the way he is (i.e. love the one you're with) but mostly I'm enjoying being alive again. It's been a long time since the breathing was easy, and sometimes I stumble especially in these early days. Your words, from open heart and love, helped me self-right - just when I needed them most.

 

Thank you.

 

warm greetings

rene


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Tao is the spiritual space,
where one has complete freedom of mind,
but can still work to do what needs to be done.
~ my friend, Daniel


#8 manitou

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 07:49 AM

Rene - 'Like', times 10.

 

I don't think the Alone thing is with me any more - nor is it with Joe.  If one of us died today, the other one would be just fine.  Through working through all the so-called negative dynamics and bouncing off each other continuously, we have both become a more whole entity, individually, than we were before we met.

 

And I also know this.  That if one of us died and the survivor did choose to enter another relationship, that it would be for the right reasons.  Healthy reasons.  I look at myself as being half a jigsaw puzzle when I met Joe - and so was he.  Our pieces seemed to fit each other just perfectly, hooking into each other (and looking for each other) to complete that which needed completion.  And we found it, sure enough - but it was a horrendous task for both of us for so many years.  Many over the years have called our relationship co-dependent - and I have been encouraged by many to just move on to another.  But what would that result in?  Just finding someone else that fit my particular configuration of the incomplete jigsaw puzzle at that given time.

 

Joe Blast - How I used to identify with that song, 50 Ways to Leave your Lover.  That seemed to be my mantra, :(  Always looking for The One who would fix me.  Never found it.  What a surprise.  I had to find it in myself.


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Joy is the Dao.

 

               -The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-

 

                                       


#9 vonkrankenhaus

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 07:59 AM

I just want to write that, as a human being, and as a man, I am deeply moved in reading this thread, and I very much appreciate the opportunity to read all of this.

 

Thank You, to Manitou and rene and everyone participating.

 

-VonKrankenhaus


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#10 ChiDragon

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 09:25 AM


..........But a funny thing has happened; maybe because our co-dependency was stronger than our desire to leave. A few years back, I was listening to my car radio and that song came on. Love the One you're With. And it hit me like a thunderbolt, although I had heard that song countless time before. Why not try actually loving this man? Why not stop looking for something better, or smarter, or someone of greater social stature?  Just make the darn decision:  love him!


Many members were looking for the definition of "enlightenment"; and here is. It has to be experienced but not by searching. And this what I called enlightenment. Manitou had been experienced her sudden enlightenment of love. Congratulations....!!!


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靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

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#11 Aetherous

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 09:46 AM

I just want to write that, as a human being, and as a man, I am deeply moved in reading this thread, and I very much appreciate the opportunity to read all of this.

 

Same here. I am inspired to cultivate acceptance of others!


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"Motivation is the key; discipline is the key; teamwork is the key" = basic training pushup mantras.

#12 manitou

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 10:04 AM

Chi Dragon - Thank you, darling.  I think you may be on to something there as to the acceptance / enlightenment connection.


Edited by manitou, 25 December 2014 - 10:04 AM.

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Joy is the Dao.

 

               -The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-

 

                                       


#13 Andrei

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 10:25 AM

Manitou, awesome writing. In my experience there are two kinds of men, winners and losers. If the woman meets a looser, she will look for someone better, but she does not know that the destiny brought him into her life because of the lessons she needs to learn. But women always reject loosers and look for winners. I always was a looser, I loved my girl with all my heart but she broke mine. Girl, you gotta love your man!

#14 rene

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 10:41 AM

Someone that loves with all their heart doesn't sound like a loser to me.


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Tao is the spiritual space,
where one has complete freedom of mind,
but can still work to do what needs to be done.
~ my friend, Daniel


#15 ChiDragon

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    Interested in finding and demystify ancient ambiguous ineffable concepts in correlation with modern scientific knowledge.

Posted 25 December 2014 - 10:48 AM

.......... What a surprise.

 

Love the one you're with.


The difference between being enlightened and not is only a split second away in the thoughts...... ;)  


Edited by ChiDragon, 25 December 2014 - 10:49 AM.

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靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

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#16 rene

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 10:49 AM

Our pieces seemed to fit each other just perfectly, hooking into each other (and looking for each other) to complete that which needed completion. 

 

manitou, the jigsaw puzzle-piece analogy is spot on. (-:

 

VonKrankenhaus, Aetherous, kind words, thanks and you're most welcome.

 

warm regards


Tao is the spiritual space,
where one has complete freedom of mind,
but can still work to do what needs to be done.
~ my friend, Daniel






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