Whole people vs broken people

I fell asleep thinking of  a statement that a friend made to me last night, and when I awoke, it was still there.  So I’m going to pull it out and take it apart.

“Your relationships have all been with broken men.”

Having friends that speak truth, even if it is painful, really can drive a thinker nuts you know?  I said in the not-too-distant past to another friend, “What do good relationships look like? Do you know anyone in one; do you have a model?”  I’ve been striving to envision this model in my own mind since I am once again single. I’d like to know a good thing, to see the value in it, to recognize it.  My initial determination about this matter is that people in good relationships are quiet about them.  You don’t see drama.  They quietly live their lives in peace and an inner joy. They are in balance.  Think about it.  When your tires are in balance, there is no shake, shimmy, shudder.  You drive smoothly from place to place.  If you’re truly attentive, you can begin to feel the pull to the right or left and you take the car in to get the tires rotated and balanced.   If you’re really attuned, you get the tires rotated and balanced on a schedule so that they never get out of alignment to begin with.  Since relationships involve two distinct and separate entities who decide to enmesh their lives, there will be times that things get out of alignment, out of balance.  But there is no ‘relationship mechanic’ per se.  I guess counseling might be a form of that in a way, but I think most people try to do the balancing at home first, by being attentive and attuned at all times.

Back to broken vs whole people.  The definition of whole can vary from ‘ a thing that is complete in itself’ to ‘free of wound or injury’ to ‘physically and emotionally sound, ‘ and a few more.  None of the antonyms of whole are actually the term broken.  However, an antonym of broken is…whole, unbroken.  I don’t know any adult that has not had a wound or injury, psychically.  Perhaps once healed, we are again ‘whole’, just maybe now with a scar where there previously was not one.  But scar tissue is not like uninjured tissue.  Scar tissue loses part of its resilience; it is tougher in some ways, yet also more easily subject to tearing again due to its lack of flexibility and elasticity.  The initial statement made to me is true: My two marriages involved men who were broken; and what is worse, neither of them sought to heal their wounds.  The status quo was okay.

Now I turn the lens unto myself.  Most definitely I have had injury in my life. I have some serious scar tissue going on.  But I have spent the last three years alone so that I can examine the scar tissue and work some resilience back into those parts of me.  This is hard work.  It involves unlearning things nearly as much as learning things.  Sometimes I do not even know I have scar tissue until I encounter the inelastic parts of my thinking and doing; the reflex of response to perceived things in the only  context that I have currently to frame it in.  But there are other contexts.  There are other ways of responding to things.  I believe I am on a pathway to wholeness, but it is possible that I am not yet there.

So I am now on a journey of trust, as elucidated by Sol over at Lonerwolf.com, in this manner:  ” To inquire within and discover more about ourselves, we need trust.  Only a man capable of great trust is capable of great inquiry.  Mediocre fears can be appeased with mediocre explanations.  Great fears can only be appeased with substantial explanations that remove every doubt.  From what I have discovered, trust is the capacity to go into open waters without a map or knowledge of whether the other side exists or not.”

I have no knowledge of whether a good relationship lies on the other side of these waters, and I have no map.  But I am willing to look both inward and outward, and inquire.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway

To journeys, to open waters, to wholeness.


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