Tuesday, February 14, 2006

# 112 A TENDER VALENTINE

Today with the Olympics out front and centre, I couldn’t help thinking how determined and strong-willed athletes must be to win. But that is in the field of physical competition and the rule is not the same when the competition is to find solace, comfort, and contentment in relationships with mates, family, or friends.

When it comes to rules of winning relationships the whole approach needs to be much more circumspect than that of physical competitions. In emotional matters no one is ripping down a well-groomed and well-marked track. Emotional turmoil must take into account how others are feeling. And to resolve matters, one must blindly root out the real problem rather than just attacking what is on the surface.

It’s complicated. Complicated enough to cause me a severe skull cramp if I try to flesh it out. So for now, I’ll just give you the rule and let you form your own assessment of the meaning of it.

The rule with respect to emotional matters is of particular interest to those too strong to weep. Too stubborn to cry. And in that respect I want to say sometimes it is better to cry although the ease and refreshment of that veil of tears won’t come until later, when the lump in the throat has dissolved and you’ve pieced yourself back together.

So getting to the rule for mending relationships. The rule is, although maybe not always a hard and fast rule, that in emotional battles sometimes the greater prize is attained through a demonstration of weakness rather than strength. Perhaps because when every situation is approached with an iron determination and a stiff lip, this in no way endears us to the other. Stubbornness in one eradicates the compassion that is the primeval inheritance of the other.

But, on the other hand, oft times when one openly wears sadness and discouragement on their sleeve, the other begins to empathize, begins to seek to understand, and definitely begins to care. It is easy to feel compassionate care for the helpless; but much more difficult to feel that way about the iron-willed.

So I can already hear some of you saying. "Are you suggesting that to win we should allow ourselves to be victimized?" No, I am most definitely not suggesting that. I am suggesting that because human nature is what it is, sometimes helplessness wins, and sometimes strength and determination wins. Not in Athletic competitions, but in emotional battles.

The tender of heart win by being treated with more tenderness. The dogged and determined may get their way but not without severing a big piece of the wiring of a good relationship. That component that links the circuitry of emotional support and concerned affection of the other.

I am acutely aware that today is Valentine’s Day. A day to entertain thoughts of Romance. And anyone who has read their share of Romance novels will know that it is the soft, tender heart that always wins the greater love, the greater joy, the best of all things hoped and dreamed for. But since we no longer live in the era of Romance, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe ‘tender hearts’ are no longer in vogue and it’s time for me to catch up with what is.

2 Comments:

Blogger Eleanor said...

In an ideal world, tender hearts would always be in vogue. Which, of course, is why it would be an ideal world.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi eleanor. I have never thought of myself as a idealist, but I certainly know I am a dreamer. And it was nice to know there are other dreamers. Thanks for your support for the Association of Dreamers or Idealists, whichever it may be.

2:49 PM  

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