What has come up so vividly for me is a few subjects, paths and passions, as well as where my heart lives.  I have become so vividly aware of a few subjects lately, paths and passions, as well as where my heart lives, and the lives of those around me. There are so many things I learned once in my life about myself that I have forgotten. Motherhood and the busy scurrying about the day tends to place these deep and forgotten.

I'll tackle passion first. I need passion, with a passion. All the writings, songs, poems, all the good ones were all written in sad moments, moments of loss and pain. Every single one. I try to write when joyous but it simply isn't the same. A very long time ago a close artist friend pointed out the fact the we NEED these highs and lows to produce, (as well as to appreciate the existence of each,) that we create when we feel, and we feel the most when in pain. When we are joyous, the joy is enough passion for us, we do not produce as we do not need the outlet, usually distracted by what has made us joyous.

I had forgotten this in my recent awareness of what love and passion I was missing in my life. I still stand by my decision to remain in one marriage, for reasons that do not matter here. But I will be searching for something to fill my need for passion as well. This does not have to be another person, but can be one of my many past times. I am well aware that all passions also burn down or completely out, always. Every time. Leaving my current situation and pursuing another situation would be fruitless, as eventually, a new relationship would not always be as it was at first, with full exploding passion. Instead, I think a wiser choice would be to simply enjoy what passions come along my path, as I really have done all along.

Ok, paths. We all have our own separate paths. Each person must travel under their own speed and energy, that anyone looking to make someone else their purpose is someone to avoid. The world bombards you with "I Can't Live Without You" songs that subtly attack our quest to find independent, inner strength. It is so easy to get side tracked, and I am reminded daily how many have no idea of this concept. A companion must be someone traveling in the same direction on their own power. There are also a hundred varieties of companions, from brief encounters to life long loves and soul mates.

Timing is a crucial thing.

My Oak Tree theory: Imagine a huge,old, wonderful oak tree, with endless branches, endless intersections, endless tips. You start your life, journey, or path at the base of the tree. Every time you encounter an intersection you must make a choice. What choices you make during your journey determines which end is the result. They might (or might not) all be pre-determined ends, all pre-determined paths, but your choices in life determines which end is the result of your life.

A companion theory is that there are no good or bad choices, merely the one you felt was most appropriate at the time. If you chose road A, how could you possibly make the statement later down that path that road A was a mistake? You did not take road B, thusly you truly have no concept of what the other choice might have resulted in, regardless of how it may have appeared at the time. The appearance of the road at the intersection certainly did not assure its fate.

There are points along the way where you could have met me, or whomever. My tree also contains points along the way where I could have met you or whomever. You have to be at that particular intersection and the same time I am at mine in order to meet. Consider the amount of people in the world as well as the quantity of intersections in both our journeys! The chances are fairly astronomical. There are no coincidences.

Every meeting, every intersection has its purpose. Every meeting has one. Sometimes I do not know if it has been fulfilled until it is over, and perhaps I will not understand or recognize it then. My choices also affect every relationship, but the path will go the way it will go, so worry and fret is wasted effort on what simply will be, regardless of the worry and fret spent on it. Especially in light that choices made by the other person are as crucial to its existence.

Trying to maintain a balance in your relationships?  In every relationship one party feels stronger than another whether it be a relationship with your dog, your children or your job. It is physically impossible for it to be perfectly balanced for any duration of time. One person will have more limits, considerations, requirements or demands than the other. As long as both are in agreement on basics, as to what the relationship will or will not contain, can and cannot go, and both can adjust to the difference between them, then it can be a working relationship in any degree or depth.

If the differences, expectations and needs, are too great, then you face changes. Each person has to rely on the other's base needs to determine if the changes are within their realm of possibilities or not. What would be the point of not accepting these changes and fighting them? What is not present simply is not. To fight what one feels or demand another feel what they do not is beyond realism. To accept what is, is to let things flow the way they were intended to go, which opens up what may not have been possible before.

I have felt guilty about the level of priority I give friendships until one night when I read the words that one man sent me. "Our relationship will always have a special place in my heart . A place that only you and I may visit...." A place that only you and I visit. Eloquent and perfect sense. Every relationship has its own beauty, its own time and space, to be shared by only those two people, independent of all other relationships. I believe I have tried to explain this once or twice and botched it badly without these words.

Those you meet along the way don't always have your best interests in mind.  Along with the precious, genuine gifts of friendship and love, there will always be those whose goal is based on greed, deception and self-interest. Quite a bit more nasty than being selfish. Selfishness is a word that has unfortunately received a negative connotation over the years. To be selfish is to put your needs and concerns before others. Honestly, that is an honourable pursuit, for you have to be your fullest before you can give to others. Only after your own needs are fulfilled can you truly give to and help others properly.

Just as mankind has done for eternity, all we can do and remain civilized is to relish those who are honourable and shun those who are not. This action also serves as a teaching how any society rewards good intent and purpose. Continual and repeated support towards inappropriate behaviour promotes its return. Consider training your children, or a dog. What message are you wanting to convey? What lessons do you want them to retain?

Helping those in need of understanding is another chapter. There are those that want to be honourable and those that are dishonourable intentionally. Those on a path they wish to leave can be guided to understand what changes are needed, but essentially have to make the change themselves. We can only wait for that day, but continue with our own lives until then. Those who have made the active choice for dishonour cannot be guided as they know perfectly well what path they stroll.

What is life for? I don't know, and may not understand it in full even when I take my last breath. Until the true reason for life is made clear to me, if it ever will be, if it hasn't been already, the best I can think of is to take every day and make the most of it. You hear that expression a great deal, but do we think of it each and every day, each and every time we waste a day? When we realize it has been ages since we stopped to look around to see just now wonderful life really is? When is the last time you awoke joyous? A fall is a lesson. A loss is a growth. A friend is a healing. A love is a fulfillment. They are all gifts from the gods, to grow with, learn from, give to, experience to their fullest, and to fill our hearts with contentment for a job well done.

Written by Sharry Anne Stevens 1992, all right reserved

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