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Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

Written by:
Wendi Friend

The topic of conversation was relationships, and Celso had a firm grasp (so he thought) on why relationships have the potential to turn into awful, ugly, dreadful, heart-wrenching battles. His philosophy in life was if something adds more pleasure than pain, you should fight with everything you are and have to hold on to it; but if something adds more pain than pleasure, you need to let go. Most people, according to Celso, didn’t know when to say when. When a relationship begins to go sour, there’s a certain amount of effort one can put forth to try to reign in what’s salvageable. Once you’ve put forth all your effort and nothing changes, then ties need to be cut. In theory, his concepts sounded wonderful. In fact, during the two years I was with him, I learned many things. Unfortunately for us, one of those things was when to say when.

I’ve never been one to let go of things too easily. I may fight to hold on because I feel there’s hope left. More often than not, I’m holding on for falsified reasons such as control, fear of failure, or the ability to remain in a comfort zone. Such was my way in relationships past, which left me exhausted emotionally and spiritually.

In past relationships, when a “loud discussion” would break loose, I didn’t debate issues to find a common ground. I debated with the intent to win the argument. I wanted to be right — and that was that. But with Celso, that habit changed. I’m not sure what it was about him that helped me evolve as a person, but being right became less important than keeping the peace or finding compromise. We were able to negotiate rather than argue. We truly communicated instead of having “loud discussions.” Celso had a way about him, through intellect, reason and compassion – a way that taught me what was acceptable and what was not acceptable when it came to dealing with others. He’d feed me quotes, read poetry, and play music to reach me on various levels. He was good for me. He was pure pleasure.

The course of time played a negative role in my relationship with Celso. Through drugs, alcohol, and other addictions, Celso began to lose himself. Believe me when I tell you I tried to reach him. I used his tactics — quotes, poetry, and music to try to hold on to him. I used my own tactics of writing letters or having late night chats under full moon skies. I was patient. I tried everything I knew; everything within my power — but nothing penetrated his shields to ward off his downward spiral. I couldn’t make him quit drinking. I couldn’t help him let go of drugs. I couldn’t help him repair the relationships he had with ex-wives, ex-girlfriends or his lost children. I couldn’t be his Angel. Before long, I saw my own life beginning to deteriorate. That’s when I realized I had two choices. I could either save myself, or go down with Celso’s ship.

It was June 13th, 1996. Following a horrific event between us at a concert, I knew the scales were tipped. After the show, we drove to an isolated area where I’d repeat words to him that he taught me. “I’m sorry, Celso, but being with you is adding more pain than pleasure to my life. I’ve fought to hold on, but now I know it’s time to let go.”

Nothing ever happened in our two years together to make me stop loving Celso. I didn’t hate him, although I would have if I’d stayed with him any longer than I did. I just knew we were no longer productive as a couple — and he knew I was right. He didn’t like it, but he couldn’t argue with his own logic.

The fact that I didn’t stop loving him is the same fact that keeps most people together longer than what is healthy. You can love someone with all your heart and soul, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to maintain a healthy relationship. To hold on after things have become so negative that everyone involved is miserable, in my opinion, is to hold on for one of three reasons: control, fear of failure, or desire to remain in a comfort zone.

Loving someone isn’t a solid enough reason to stay together when being together is hurting everyone involved. Separating from someone doesn’t mean you have to stop loving him or her. Hearts will feel what they will, regardless of what our minds tell them. But it is important to recognize the point where you’ve put forth every effort in your power and yet you still can’t generate change. You can’t force another person to grow with you or evolve with you. When the bow of the relation-ship begins to sink, you have to make a choice: sink or swim.

How do you recognize when it’s time to say when? Easy — if something adds more pain than pleasure, despite your efforts to salvage what’s left, it’s time to let go. Celso’s downward spiral never improved. In fact, it escalated to the point that he became so absorbed in alcohol and drugs that he got himself in trouble with the law in the worst kind of way. Rather than pay the consequences of going to prison, he took his own life on October 6, 1996. That’s when I realized that I did the right thing by knowing when to say when, even though doing it hurt. Leaving him hurt me, but staying with him would have hurt me more.

I never stopped loving him. May he rest in peace.

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