afflizione

alfie’s dating philosophy: couples should never split up between thanksgiving and january 2nd. always have a relationship to see you through the holidays, always.

there should be a law for that.
so i’ve been thinking a bit about separation (not on a personal level :P) just.. recently i seem to have read so many books and watched too many movies that portray separation, divorce, breakups as an inevitable part of any relationship. at least, inevitable before the next relationship establishes the happy ending because that’s just how romantic comedies work.

here’s how The End of a great love begins. the couple almost always find themselves getting into frequent arguments that
a) make them emotionally exhausted – to the point of becoming willing to forego all their previous investment in the rship just to make the fights stop, make the feeling stop
b) are usually about the most trifling things
c) reveal to each other how little they’ve understood the other’s and their own fundamental priorities
d) show how something that worked (well) in the past usually doesn’t keep functioning with the passage of time, with each person growing into different people
e) show how quickly the excitement and infatuation of young love fades off.

always, always, the fights with increasing frequency that make people so tired, and forget the love they shared. and i can see how that would happen. it’s not something that is unexpected, in fact it’s so predictable as to be cliché. but what does that mean? is it impossible for people to stick together? that can’t be right. or i’d be wasting my time right now.

perhaps what all these characters in my books and movies don’t get is that suffering produces endurance. that they aren’t just fighting about nothing, for nothing, no matter how pointless the fight may seem at that time. (i’m a firm proponent of how trivial sounding fights belie greater, unaddressed emotional tensions that motivated the fight in the first place. one should never discount a trivial grievance.) suffering is meant to bring about endurance, greater toleration for and greater patience with the Other. perhaps all the fighting wouldn’t seem so futile then.

when ze and i fight (for we do fight, for anyone who thinks it’s all sweet and lovey-dovey or whatever. amrita was so surprised when i told her we fought) it thus far has ended pretty well. by my standards at least. which means to say i win i mean we find out more about what gets on the other’s nerves and well, attempt to stop it. probably he accommodates me more than i do him, but that is not surprising. more gets on my nerves because i’m a grumpy old bugger.

one thing about the christian religion is that it always manages to put a good spin on bad things. Christ’s death = salvation for us all. suffering = character building. death = gain. you can always put things in perspective. and not one of those self-serving perspectives that we concoct to help us to better cope with a situation, but a perspective that’s bigger than us, bigger than life itself. how else could we keep on facing life and its affiliate turds without knowing there’s a divine purpose for everything?

Ci gloriamo nelle afflizioni, sapendo che l’afflizione opera pazienza. E la pazienza sperienza, e la sperienza speranza. Or la speranza non confonde, perciocchè l’amor di Dio è sparso ne’ cuori nostri per lo Spirito Santo che ci è stato dato.

— on suffering in a ministry that extends far beyond the couple but is nevertheless true in love.

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