Contrary to what Disney or the storybook fairytales would have you believe, Iâ€™ve come to realize that most human relationships are not destined for forever.Â I am not a pessimist and I donâ€™t like to think of anyone as a lost cause, but sometimes taking a stand and walking away from a relationship that no longer empowers you is as difficult as choosing the familiar, yet uninspiring routine.
I was reminded of this kind of courage as I sat around a kitchen table drinking wine with women who were finding their way through lifeâ€™s challenges; some of which they had chosen; some of which had chosen them.
Their stories were unique, but the principles of learning to trust another were commonplace. One of the women shared stories of betrayal and mixed messages of hope for reconciliation.Â Another struggled with the exhilaration and exhaustion of entering the dating world; and the third wrestled with the guilt of her decision and the impact it had on her family.
My heart ached from missing important time with my son. He was with his father when I called to say goodnight. I learned another woman was reading him a goodnight story.Â The thought she had the honor and privilege of holding my son and tucking him into bed nearly ripped my heart in two. I had prepared myself for this womanâ€™s existence in my exâ€™s life, but hadnâ€™t considered her role in my sonâ€™s; a reality I would be forced to reconcile from that moment forward.
Over the course of many months, this group gathered at various kitchen tables when the weight of the burden was too heavy to carry alone.Â The kitchen table became the place where we shared our sorrows and encouraged each other to continue moving forward.Â I donâ€™t mean to make it sound like a man bashing pity party, because believe me when I say it was not. We challenged each other when the wallowing became more evident than the strength and we cried together when the loneliness and responsibilities overwhelmed. We discussed what it meant to maintain our power and debated when it became clear we were selling ourselves short.
At the time, those friendships were the most important people in my life. But like the marriages that ended to bring us together in that place, the relationships that formed around the kitchen table were never meant to be forever. Our informal meetings were intended to reveal the mystery of who we were becoming while we safely shed the skin of who we had been.
One by one, we found our new normal and the kitchen table club was no longer. My mind wanders back to those days and the lessons I learned and think that when we allow something to end as effortlessly as it began, we give it wings and set it free. Life and relationships are continually changing, and as long as we trust ourselves to recognize an ending as simply a new beginning, we live in a state of power instead of fear. We relinquish control and expectation and therefore dwell in the moment of now. We begin to see things as they are, instead of how we want them to be and we learn that we have access to everything we need. These gifts may be wrapped in unusual packages, but the ways of Divine are not ours to know.
The gifts of acceptance and awareness are Powerful Perspectives I learned from the kitchen table club, with gratitude and love.