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Author Topic: Practicality and the Power of Love  (Read 877 times) Average Rating: 0
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EkhristosAnesti
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« on: May 06, 2009, 12:00:22 PM »

Christ is Risen!

As one who has always deeply cherished the bonds i've shared with certain people over the course of my short life, I find it very difficult to "let go" and refuse to be convinced that doing so could ever be "what's best"; nor am I convinced that it is even possible to reach a point of "no hope" so long as the God of Love reigns both in Heaven and on earth.

"Love never fails" says the Apostle. I love these people. Some may no longer feel the slightest warmth towards me. Some may hate me. But I love them. Will my love fail? Will it be conquered by tragic mistakes of the past? Will it be made redundant by a time-procured apathy? Will it be mocked by hate? Scorned by legitimate judgment and criticism? I refuse to believe so!

I am contemplating making an attempt to touch base with a beloved friend (once partner) from the past. Those who know me and her, and of what we had, and what we lost...and how we lost it...would think me absolutely insane to think I could achieve anything positive by doing so. Some would even deem me inconsiderate. She has moved on; things are going great for her. Do I have the right to risk upsetting that in the slightest? She is probably content, maybe even happy, that things between us have dissolved in such an absolute fashion. My so-called expression of love may serve to do nothing but conjure up bad feelings and memories. But...love never fails, right?

Am I being naive? The Apostle made no exceptions. He didn't say, "love never fails...BUT...look, you have to be practical; if someone's effectively told you to get lost and has refused all your contact attempts thus far, then...your love probably will fail..." Nope, not in my Bible.

The email has been composed and sits patiently yet anxiously in my 'drafts' folder till I have the opportunity to discuss this with my spiritual elders.

I'd appreciate any advice, encouragement, or criticism, particularly from those who can base the same on their own personal experiences.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 12:04:21 PM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 12:30:59 PM »

Christ is Risen!

As one who has always deeply cherished the bonds i've shared with certain people over the course of my short life, I find it very difficult to "let go" and refuse to be convinced that doing so could ever be "what's best"; nor am I convinced that it is even possible to reach a point of "no hope" so long as the God of Love reigns both in Heaven and on earth.

"Love never fails" says the Apostle. I love these people. Some may no longer feel the slightest warmth towards me. Some may hate me. But I love them. Will my love fail? Will it be conquered by tragic mistakes of the past? Will it be made redundant by a time-procured apathy? Will it be mocked by hate? Scorned by legitimate judgment and criticism? I refuse to believe so!

I am contemplating making an attempt to touch base with a beloved friend (once partner) from the past. Those who know me and her, and of what we had, and what we lost...and how we lost it...would think me absolutely insane to think I could achieve anything positive by doing so. Some would even deem me inconsiderate. She has moved on; things are going great for her. Do I have the right to risk upsetting that in the slightest? She is probably content, maybe even happy, that things between us have dissolved in such an absolute fashion. My so-called expression of love may serve to do nothing but conjure up bad feelings and memories. But...love never fails, right?

Am I being naive? The Apostle made no exceptions. He didn't say, "love never fails...BUT...look, you have to be practical; if someone's effectively told you to get lost and has refused all your contact attempts thus far, then...your love probably will fail..." Nope, not in my Bible.

The email has been composed and sits patiently yet anxiously in my 'drafts' folder till I have the opportunity to discuss this with my spiritual elders.

I'd appreciate any advice, encouragement, or criticism, particularly from those who can base the same on their own personal experiences.
Have you moved on? Sounds like you are still "pining" for this woman. What are you real motivations?
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 12:31:50 PM »

EA,

I totally know what you're going through and even believe (still) the same thing you do: love never fails, or, in my own choice of phrase, love never dies (it only changes in expression).  Before I met my wife, I had two prior serious relationships with women that, for different reasons, ended.  I am still quite friendly with the first (with my wife's blessing, mind you) who has married and just celebrated the second birthday of her son.  I could not be more happier for her and I'm glad we kept in touch even through the nastiness that follows any breakup, even one such as ours where we realized that our relationship had simply run its course and there wasn't really anything to blame anyone over.  We had become different people with different wants and needs.  Some things, of course, needed to be said about our relationship which, thankfully, we said in the course of the break-up without rancor or malice.  We became better people for our future spouses because of that clearing of the air, so to speak.  We also became better friends because of our honesty.  

The subsequent relationship began as a simple friendship that slowly became something more.  Without going into details, it ended rather nastily but, in my effort to learn from my mistakes and to not play the blame game, I took alot more responsibility for things than I probably should have.  Over the years since, I have come to see that while I was culpable for many things, notably complacency and aloofness, she was equally at fault in other areas.  The incredibly sad thing, from my perspective, is that it damaged our simple friendship.  I could easily get along without the romantic component of our relationship, but, in the end, I lost one of the few people I've ever been able to open up to and whose company I enjoyed.  As I am one of those people who also enjoys being alone, having someone who I just liked being around, with whom we both can appreciate our mere presence in silence...losing someone like that was quite a blow.  In some ways I'm still smarting from it.  

We never had that final "clearing of the air", though, at least not as honestly as the first.  While over the years we have communicated to one another, it's not the same.  She has moved on, married and has a son.  I come across mention of her here and there, as we have mutual friends (well, some of her friends are acquaintances of mine).  I do sometimes long for a true reconnect because I just plain miss my friend.  But I also know that my wife is against any such friendship and I think that's a good thing.  In some ways I'm still not over what happened even though I've spent the last 6 years telling myself that I am.  I also had an email sitting in a draft box for a long, long time until just recently.  I have come to be content with simply praying for her and her family, all by name, and knowing that God is looking out for them and will let me know anything I need to know.

In fact, just the other day, I was surfing around youtube and somehow found myself staring at a video my ex and her sister (her sister has a rather uncommon name and uses it for her userid on the site) in the "related videos" section of a clip I was watching.  I clicked on it to find a video of the two of them doing a rendition of the Beatles' "Help!"...filmed after the fourth round of chemo her sister endured after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in December (Thanks be to God, she's beating the cancer).  A couple years back I heard in a rather roundabout and odd way that her father had a heart attack but recovered well.  Some may see these as conicidence, but I just like to think of them as God's little nod to me to remind me to continue to pray for them and He'll let me know the fruits of my love, so to speak.

I really don't have any advice other than some things are best left alone.  I know if it wasn't for my wife's reticence in me reconnecting with this particular person, I, the weak willed creature that I am, would have done so and probably made things even worse.  I'm sure your spiritual elders will have much better advice.
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2009, 01:31:50 PM »

I know in small part what you are talking about EA. I met a man once (literally, once!) for whom I developed a deep attachment. He too has long since moved on and forgotten me-he is now with some other woman, I believe. However, I continue to remember him every day. I spoke with a priest once about this problem, and he said I must forget him and never again contact him-that I am making an idol out of the man. I know he is likely right, but it is so hard for me to do so, especially when most of my male friends with whom I socialized and who have since married retain me as a good friend on most cordial terms. This one exception haunts me. May God help you and give you wisdom and direct you to the one who will love and appreciate you in return.
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 02:10:13 PM »

I've been on the opposite side of this.  I was in a very serious relationship that ended quite poorly - not really anyone's fault so much as we simply became different people.  While we had had some great times together, I knew it simply would not work in the future. 

The problem has been that she flat out did not agree with this assessment and wants to cling to some romanticised past.  Please don't send the email.  Drink a bottle of vodka, listen to some music and move on with life. 

Having to deal with the frequent emails, things that border on stalking, my friends being harassed for information about me, etc has not been pleasant.  It's not that I would be so opposed to staying in contact, but since even after seven months she doesn't believe it is over, hasn't started to move on, it's not really possible to stay in contact.  So please, don't make someone's life even harder by sending out that email.   
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EkhristosAnesti
'I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."' - Psalm 91:2
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 03:21:21 PM »

Christ is Risen

I’d just like to clarify (for everyone, but especially for Nicholas) that I did not have the romantic sense of the term 'love' in mind at all in the OP. Whilst the only specific example given in the OP concerned one with whom I did once share a romantic love with (simply because this person is at the forefront of my conscience given that her birthday is soon), I also have in mind a couple of other people, male and female, who were simply close enough to me to be regarded brothers and sisters.

For the sake of emphasis, in the case of the lady the subject of my specific example, I seek and desire nothing more than a cordial friendship with her. I can understand and accept that romantic love can and does fail, and that it may be contrary to God’s will. What I cannot accept is that it'd ever be contrary to His will that two people who once shared a genuine loving bond, regardless of the context, should be permanently divided and separated by a wedge of error, misunderstanding, disagreement, apathy, hate, guilt, resentment or whatever else that is a product of the fallen-ness of this world and our nature from which Christ redeemed/redeems us.

Dear Schultz and Rosehip,

Thank you for taking the time to expound your personal experiences. May God continue to guide both your hearts and circumstances according to His will and may He endow you both with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but in both your matters where detachment from your respective 'loved ones' remains in force, it would appear that there are known factors at play which would reasonably suggest that it is indeed “best to let go.” In other words, there would appear to be good reasons to dissuade you both from pursuing reconnection; it is not simply a matter of pursuit of reconnection being seemingly “impractical.” In this sense I can nod to the general sentiment put forward by Schultz that ‘some things are best left alone’—I just cannot acquiesce to that sentiment when it rests strictly on assumptions about love being limited by ‘practicality.’

The reconciliation of man not only to God, but also to man, was one of the main achievements of God’s redemptive work. A pursuit to re-connect with past loved ones is surely part and parcel of the Christian’s responsibility as God’s co-worker to instrumentally effect His redemptive plan in the world. Now, I can say in all honesty that I am not driven by such noble motivations in my attempt to reconnect with loved ones from the past; I am mainly motivated by the very simple want to once again love and be loved by those who meant and who continue to mean so much to me. But my point is that whether consciously in mind and heart or not, the wider redemptive framework of all this surely deems such a pursuit to re-connect with past loved ones viable and practical, at least if we are to maintain the same of the saving work of Christ.

Dear Nektarios,

You assume much that my situation somehow resembles (in reverse) your own? It doesn’t…at all.

In any event, if the only obstacle to you and this young lady maintaining a cordial relationship is her inability to accept the ending of the relationship, then I hope that she resolves her issues in that regard and that, once and if she does, you'll be receptive to communication from her (assuming no other complicating factors are involved).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 03:22:56 PM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 06:46:38 PM »

Hi EA,

Thanks so much for telling us more about your situation. I must say that I have been friends with many, many guys who liked me but they ended up marrying other women. The curious thing is, in every case, as I mentioned earlier, they have all remained very, good friends with me. Since I have struggled with illness, they have done so many kind things for me, such as offering to help me with groceries, visiting me in hospital etc, calling me to see how I am doing. I also love and have become good friends with their wives.

However, this one time when I liked this man, he completely rejects me and will not communicate with me, even though I am not so silly as to expect any kind of romantic connection-merely that he would acknowledge me as a human being and a friend. I know he has many other female friends, and I know he it was that took advantage of me, not the other way around. Nevertheless, he will not even be a friend.

Maybe the main difference is that the men in the first paragraph are Orthodox christians while the second man is not? I don't know... But I've always felt there's no way we can have too many friends, and I appreciate it SO much that these Orthodox men do not forget me, that they still care about me as a sister...

Sorry to ramble...
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+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 07:42:28 PM »

Love is a fearsome thing with the Power of a God.
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