I am loyal to a fault and have difficulty letting go of unhealthy habits and relationships, and sometimes, I have to quit cold turkey, lest I stay mired in the quicksand of dysfunction. Sometimes, the end is permanent, and there are no second chances to be offered or to be taken by either myself or another person. Sometimes, the end is temporary, either by design or by fate, and there is another chance available to get it right. In less than a week, my self-imposed Lenten resolution to forgo sweets will come to an end, and a few days ago, I was surprised when what I thought was a permanent end to a relationship may not be so permanent after all. Obviously, the former does not compare in significance with the latter.
Let me continue by stating emphatically that I love sweets, from cakes to candy to everything in between. To paraphrase the Lays’ Potato Chip slogan, I can’t eat just one. While I am not a devout Catholic by any stretch of the imagination, I find myself following the practice of giving something up during the 40 days of Lent each year, and most years, I declare that I am going to give up sweets, only to fail almost immediately. Only once have I ever made it the entire 40 days without succumbing to the lure of sweets, so, the fact that Easter is 6 days away, and my resolve remains steady and the stash of sweets in my home remains safe from my sweet tooth is nothing short of miraculous. The last time I was in this situation, I indulged in an abundance of Easter candy and cake to the point that I was physically ill. Too much of a good thing really is not so good indeed.
This time, instead of looking forward to ending the moratorium on sweets, I actually find myself feeling somewhat apprehensive. Being more mindful of what I choose to eat and becoming aware of what triggers my cravings for sweets have motivated me to continue making healthier choices and reducing how much and how often I eat sweets, and I do not want these new healthy habits and self-awareness to end when Lent does. As the end of Lent approaches, I find myself having to come up with a plan to deal with the tempting treats that await me. I need to make a treat just that, a treat, not a substitute for something else that is missing from my life, not a salve for what hurts me, and not a mindless morsel to pop into my mouth. While I have a shaky relationship with sweets, I want to give them another chance and find a healthy way to incorporate them in my life from time to time. Sweets, in and of themselves, are not “bad”, and they certainly are not essential in order to live, but they can make life all the sweeter, literally and figuratively. I just hope to use this chance to get it right.
Much more essential to life are the special relationships I have with my family and friends in my life, and because of the love I have for them, I give second chances, even when it may seem that another chance may not be warranted. Sometimes, another chance has paid off in spades, and other times, it has been another painful lesson of why the relationship was severed in the first place. I would like to think that I have gotten much better at discerning when to both extend and accept another chance, but that would be a lie. I am still trying to get it right.
Much to my utter surprise, the chance at a second chance and getting it right presented itself to me when someone very dear to me contacted me three months after I had to walk away from our friendship. Severing ties with this person was painful on a number of levels that I will not rehash here, but I knew that it was the right decision at the time and regarded it as a permanent end to a friendship I truly cherished. With this person’s unexpected reappearance, I am left wondering whether they are merely passing through just long enough to try to hurt and/or disappoint me yet again or whether this is a second chance to get a new beginning or another ending right this time. I truly don’t know the answer yet, but I do know the solution, regardless of whether they remain someone I used to know or someone I know as my close friend again.
In this person’s absence, I found my presence in my own life, in that I discovered that I am enough as is on my own and do not need another person to validate my existence or give me self-worth. I still want unconditional love and acceptance from my family and close friends, but I am not willing to campaign in the hopes that I can convince this person or anyone else for that matter that I am deserving of both. I know who and what I am, and in the midst of the pain I felt a few months ago and its aftermath, I finally fell in love with who and what I am, flaws and all. I don’t need this person in my life, but I would like them to be in it in some way, shape, or form, provided we both do our respective parts to get it right this time. So, what will we each decide to do now? We’ll see.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story