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The Benefit of Hindsight
Mary: Dear Ram, I’ve been in a relationship a few times, and in hindsight it all seems pointless and meaningless, one of those dead spots that a tentative tentacle happens upon before it lifts itself off again and moves along. I was thinking of my ex-husband and I remembered that within a month of meeting each other we were head over heels in a no-turning-back relationship. And often then, I used to think, “I am not dependent on this person for my happiness or my life. Where was he before I met him? Totally unknown to me and I was fine before and I’ll be fine again, even though the relationship is charged with emotion. I am myself with or without him and even if this relationship had to end – I will have lost nothing.” Eighteen years later, after much love, hate – the full catastrophe – this knowledge was with me and stood me in good stead.
Ram: I know what you mean, Mary, but why didn’t you use this knowledge to prevent the relationship from going onto the negative path? You told me that you spent – was it six years? – in therapy getting over it, not to mention all the unhappy drama. Did you feel this way when you were so angry you physically attacked him? This understanding is very valuable but if it is going to amount to freedom, it needs to be accompanied by discrimination, which in this context I would define as the ability to abide in oneself when the emotions are attempting to pull one down into them. Of course you could not use the knowledge, because you didn’t know its value and therefore you did not have full confidence in it. A young child offered the choice between a one-hundred-dollar bill and a one-penny piece of candy will choose the candy every time.
~ Love, Ram