Posted by: syncopated1 | November 16, 2011

Moving Forward

I glanced around while she got the coffee; the usual suspects were in attendance in this cliche little coffee shop. To my right was the business woman waiting in line, tap, tap, tapping away on her Blackberry, across the room in a corner were the college kids with their laptops open, homework strewn about and clearly not doing any schoolwork.  At another table were the old fogeys talking about the good old days and so-and-so’s ulcer. Next to them were the hipsters animatedly talking about politics over their mocha-latte-venti-whatevers.

My companion sat heavily, and she slid me my cup with a sigh, “So, yeah, John and I broke up.”  I sat up, and replied, “I’m sorry, I liked him. What happened?” My old friend explained that they had both realized that neither one of them could envision a future together, and after talking about for sometime they had gone their separate ways. She turned her chin up determinedly at the end of her account and said, “So, it’s whatever,” with finality.

“Well, it’s not “whatever.” Break ups suck no matter how maturely you and your partner separate.”

Sigh. “I guess I just thought I had more to learn from John before it ended.”

“It might be possible that you still do,” I replied. And when she looked confused I continued, “It’s perfectly possible that you and John have way more potential as friends than lovers. And the reason there are so many horrific and dramatic break ups is because couples don’t recognize that potential through all the bullshit of the reality they’ve created together. All we can do is be open and honest with everyone in our lives; as ‘evolved’ beings we really have nothing that is worth hiding. Nothing. Instead we simply need to be compassionate to those lives we do touch.”

She sat back and thought for a few moments. The old fogeys climbed themselves out of their chairs, still talking about old friends on their way out of the coffee shop.  “But what if we can’t be simply friends, either?”

“Why even consider that?” I said with confidence, “If you create a space in your reality for you and John to not be friends, then you have automatically limited the potential of what your friendship could bring to the two of you. But if you do the opposite, then you have allowed space for anything at all that John could create space in his reality for, and then you have automatically created much potential for the two of you.”

“I suppose I should simply find a way to be optimistic about it.”

“Absolutely, the nice thing I’ve found about people is that if you’re compassionate and you give them the opportunity to do the right thing, they always do. If you extend earnest, mindful friendship to John, he’ll return it. It’s hard to turn down a gift like that.”

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