Be willing to lose what you love

The “Why?” questions become a shortcut to everything we want to say but are feeling our feelings far too much to actually articulate what we need to articulate.
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When we are frustrated with our partner, or any loved one, we often end up asking “Why?” questions when frustrated. “Why did you do this? Why don’t you listen to me? Why can’t you just do what I ask for once?” or variations of such questions. Most times, these questions are rhetorical and there is no real conversation possible. Even if the person this is directed at actually tries answering the question (“Because I choose to,” “Because I was listening to myself,” “Because I don’t agree with you and you are not the boss of me,”) it really won’t matter at all because the “Why?” questions in these contexts are nothing to do with wanting to know something, and everything to do with just sharing one’s frustrations.

We could just say we are frustrated, annoyed, irritated or anything else we are feeling, along with what’s upsetting us, but we do not do that, do we? We don’t say, “Hey. It is upsetting to me that despite my being so clear that I did not want this, you went and did it anyway. It makes me feel disrespected, and I really do not like it that you did this. I need this to be made right,” or anything to that effect. We just find it so hard to communicate fully when we are upset. The “Why?” questions become a shortcut to everything we want to say but are feeling our feelings far too much to actually articulate what we need to articulate. Sometimes, it is not even a full question but just that word with a whole lot of emotion behind it.

If we were frustrated by people we didn’t really care about, we might be OK to do whatever it takes, but when it is someone we have loved, we have chosen to be with and are now trying to continue to love despite everything, it really is very hard.

Our feelings clash – on one hand we want to love them and on another, we just do not like what’s happening at all. In that clash between not liking, and yet loving, we just seem to get reduced to yelling and screaming, or crying and weeping, and make it really difficult to communicate anything, and stay very much in a sad/angry state, waiting for amends to be made, which might never come. So, when the clash between loving and not liking is at the centre of such helpless frustration, what can be the way out? The answer, though not a comforting one, is a simple one – be willing to lose what you love.

The challenges come when we put ourselves in a helpless position by telling ourselves we cannot lose this love no matter what. Paradoxically, the willingness to lose will likely be what helps us keep it. When the seriousness of the consequences is clear, there is greater space to be seen and heard, and therefore to negotiate. Next time you find yourself wanting to wail, “Why?” in frustration, take a deep breath and try this; you might just surprise yourself.

(The writer’s views are personal)

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