I continue to work my way through Richard Wagamese's book "One Story. One Song" which I discussed in a previous post. In today's essay Wagamese discusses his marriages. Of his current wife he writes "Debra has never tried to save me. When I fell, she was strong enough to let me flail until I found my footing again." and "Love is not about rescue....it's about allowing. In the Ojibway world, love is the process of you leading me back to who I am. You do that by stepping back and allowing the creative nurturing energy of the universe to work. That's the most courageous thing you can do when you love somebody."
I remember my father in law saying that you choose your partner based on what they will bring out in you. Different people will bring out different parts of you. I choose my partner, despite his disabilities, because I liked the parts of me that he brought to light. Even if he can't get out or do things some of the time, I like the conversations and the humor we have. I think that Wagamese's words are also wise ones for all relationships both in navigating those relationships that you need to leave and making decisions about which relationships we invest in.
I am seeing this a lot recently with my daughter as she moves from the friendships of proximity, to those based on shared interested. Sometimes the old friends are not letting you go into spaces that you need to. But it is hard to let go of friendships and not have it be a negative thing. It can be hard to learn that some friendships are finite. This essay has also given me a lot to think about in the context of parenting and our role to help people find themselves.