We reflect on the state of our lives. Not when we’re happy, no. When we are happy we are simply enjoying living it. If it’s good don’t think about it too hard: you might spoil it. It’s the Heisenberg Principle as applied to relationships.
It would probably, at least sometimes, be healthier for us all to spend a bit more time in reflection. Reflection like anything else requires a balance. Not enough and you rocket blindly up the motorways of life, unprepared for those pesky obstacles that will arise in your path. Too much and you’ll simply drive yourself mad. It seems for most of us, sadly, that regret is the impetus behind our reflections. We search our past to determine where it all started to go wrong. Often the search will only further cloud the issues, or worse. Sometimes these reflections cause us to discover very disturbing things about ourselves.
There will be in any given year a score or so of writers, pop psychologists and self help gurus who will profit by their recorded musings upon marriage or relationships in general. Most I suspect are charlatans, though this is likely my inherently skeptical nature. Let’s be fair. They’re not all charlatans and even those who are probably come at the question with only the best intentions. Of course good intentions are the tarmac laid upon the path to hell, if one believes in that sort of thing. But I digress…
Suffice it to say that there are libraries filled with books and advice on the subject of marriage and relationships. Clever, thoughtful, probing analyses filling page after page, volume upon volume, often saying the same things dressed up in varying costume. There are topics that warrant such exhaustive study, but I would submit that our interpersonal relationships need not be one. All wisdom on the subject has been given in brief phrases, poems, song. These are the medium for things so elemental.
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Fond affections are never said. They are only sung in song.
Gordon Sharp, This Mortal Coil, It’ll end in Tears
Oh, save your life Because you’ve only got one… …And I’m not happy And I’m not sad…
Morrissey (The Smiths), This Night has opened my Eyes
No six-hundred page tomes, no matrix of bio-rhythms, no meditation technique or tantric rituals. Simple things can be easily complicated, to their ruin. Complicated things are better simplified. We all hear different voices. What speaks to one heart may not to another, but these few precious lines speak to me.
Do these speak to your heart? I invite others to share those voices which speak to theirs.
Keep Calm and Carry on!