Confusion & Clarity

July 8, 2014

What’s done in a moment’s time cannot be undone in a lifetime

The past three months have been filled with confusion and clarity. Weird huh? Isn’t it contradictory to experience those two C’s at the same time? Initially, it didn’t make much sense to me either. However, after tragedy became reality, days evolved into weeks and a friendship dissipated into the sunset, I felt an overwhelming sense of understanding.

Throughout my life, I’ve consistently heard ‘everything happens for a reason.’ It’s a reliable phrase when hurting, mourning or seeking answers. It chastises us when we question God and is the nonchalant reply when offering bowed heads and folded hands to someone demanding a different outcome. ‘Why?‘ is the universal no-no and instead of giving answers, we avoid the question altogether by stating what’s already known. Everything does happen for a reason. It just may not be a reason of which we’re completely satisfied or accepting.

Roughly ten weeks ago, my view of love was irreparably disturbed. I once believed love to mean valuing another beyond a moment or an emotion. It meant considering feelings, sacrificing wants and thinking beyond oneself. I aspired to love actively and fully. My heart looked forward to days of giving up and giving in to gain a shared emotional connection. I yearned for that blinding love found in fairytales and junior high journals. Then it happened. I saw love in action. I was exposed to an all-consuming love–pained and bruised, discarded and disconnected. It was devastating and tragic to the point of taking one life and altering the paths of two others. High school sweethearts that became husband and wife only to end up as headline news. Days later, I heard the clash of metal on cemented ground as unbreakable bonds were broken and a friendship considered to stand the test of time, didn’t, because it simply couldn’t.

I spent many waking hours trying to reconcile the how’s and why’s of both situations until the truth hit me. Love is one of the few things we simply can’t master or control. True love cannot be manipulated and some find that truth both difficult and unacceptable. He couldn’t force her to stay, to love him with a pure heart and an innocent mind. Too much time had passed, mistakes made and memories created. They were incapable of forgetting everything responsible for their arrival at that point. He was so focused, angered and saddened by her goodbye, it was impossible to see the value in moving forward into a new hello. For many, love is possessive. It’s filled with rules and restrictions. Roughly a week later, different eyes were opened. She couldn’t offer the type of friendship she so adamantly demanded. I considered her hypocrisy as I navigated silenced words and cryptic texts. Love embraces freedom and respects choice. It communicates in times of confusion. I saw love stumbling about lost and dazed, forever changed and on the brink of destruction three months ago and I was almost destroyed with it.

Fortunately, love was prepared to overcome the odds. Her strength and willpower a testament to anyone doubting survival or rehabilitation. She continues to amaze detractors and give voice to the hopeless. His last action no longer the end of her journey, just a part of her testimony. And as I consider both situations-filled with broken bonds, misguided actions and selfish intentions–I see truth. I recognize how they allowed pain to disguise itself as love and act accordingly. Loving someone doesn’t preclude you from hurting them and everything does happen for a reason. But don’t ever think all reasons are created equal.

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