They say Karma is a bitch and believe me, having met her face to face, I can tell you first-hand that yes, she is. She recently decided to feed me a fresh batch of payback stew – with a pitchfork. Don’t make her wait too long kids, atone for transgressions quickly – she gets more sour with time.
When I was in school, there was a girl I hung around almost entirely because I had an unbearable crush on her boyfriend. My crush was a one-way street and so I pretended to like his girlfriend far more than I did just to be near him whenever possible.
While I did like the girl, I was not nearly as enamored with her as I let on and so, when he left her, so did I. We both broke her heart, and while she had some understanding about why he just wasn’t into her anymore, she had no clue as to why one of her closest confidantes had abandoned her too. Pretty heartless, I know, I admit my selfish guilt; I simply had written it all off to the heart wants what the heart wants.
Affairs of the heart can be pretty tricky at any age, and regardless of our experience, we’ll always be in some sort of learning curve within all of our relationships.
When we want something or someone so badly that we will bend our values or morals or sense of fair play to get it, the one thing I learned from that is, the achievement will not only be shallow, it’s doomed to be short-lived anyway.
Even that much awareness, regardless of age, is still no guarantee we’ll be able to over-ride desire. We all want to be loved, respected, to be heard, and sometimes to get those things, we‘ll go so far as to convince ourselves that bending a value is the same thing as a compromise.
Compromises mean things like you’ll agree to half the salt you normally like on popcorn so you can share with your sodium conscious pal, or you’ll agree to that raucous rugby tournament on TV the whole weekend if he’ll wear the earphones.
If someone says they agree to a value like a level of trust or respect, but do so not so much in understanding and agreement as in just an effort to halt friction, that’s not compromise. That’s deception, and not only to the party who believes they have an understanding, your own heart is eventually going to take a beating too.
Love makes people do some incredibly wonderful things, but it also, intentionally or not, makes them do some really stupid things too. Deception is a friend when we need to sneak around a corner.
This kind of deception isn’t necessarily the deep, dark, nefarious predatory sort, but it can sure feel like it if it gets to step in your relationships, especially as broken agreements.
If we become close to someone and honestly love them, but we’re not able to truly understand a value need of theirs, intended or not, if we don’t work to resolve it, we create a chasm that only one of us knows about. Eventually the blind one is going to fall into it.
If consensus isn’t genuinely met, but the desire for that person remains, what is the fair play in the end? There is really only one decent option. As painful as it may be, you’ll either need to slog it out until you both truly get honest agreement or just let go.
Let me assure that the seemingly easier route of agreement for the sake of avoiding conflict is neither easy nor painless. It’s a short term plan that always gets revealed and as I was recently reminded, it doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 50 years old, when your heart falls into that chasm it gets crushed, pretty damned badly.
You don’t have to be cruel to be kind, but know the heart taking what the heart wants while bending values means someone is going to get hurt anyway – mostly, devastatingly.
Karma takes no prisoners.