Affairs of the Heart: Foresight isn’t Always Helpful

“It doesn’t always pay to see things one step ahead, especially if it involves someone else’s heart.”

I think this is the one of those things that everyone always struggle with in life. Whether as a parent who sees a child who is about to make a mistake, a boss who sees an employee who is about to leave for what is truly a worse situation, or a friend who sees someone they care for about to fall in love with the “wrong person”. We always have that moment when we want to shield and protect, and often get in the way, making things more complicated than it needs to be.

Can we really prevent people from going after what they feel they really want?

As much as we claim to respect the decision-making process, shouldn’t we be allowed still to yell and scream and curse at the other person, hoping that our emotions will be enough to pull them from the precipice of colossal heartbreak?

Well, we often do try, and the yelling doesn’t really help. In that case, all we really are doing is piling on our own frustration and lack of acceptance of the other person’s decision in a last-minute attempt to sway them. Of course, more often than not the reverse happens – it pushes the person away. Sometime things go awry as you had feared and the person returns. Sometimes things go awry to the point that they never come back, even though your observation was right”. There are times when you were off base and things worked out for them. The point is that a bridge gets burnt in most of those scenarios, most times needlessly.

Sometimes we simply cannot stop or protect the other person. The person has to go through the experience and we can only hope that they get the lesson they are intended to get, and not be stuck with the baggage from the experience itself. We all have our own processes, ways of thinking and how we handle experiences. While many of the lessons we need to learn are common themes applicable to everyone, it is the HOW we go about that journey of learning that is unique to each person.

“If yuh cyan hear, yuh will feel.” – that was always the phrase used when I was growing up with folks were frustrated when someone made a choice they didn’t like and they washed themselves clean of the situation, and the person emotionally. This phrase always bothered me because it sent the message that is  more about right and wrong  in the choice they are making. This is ignores the much-needed support, which most people want when they make a choice that is difficult for them.

Case in point. I knew of a situation where two guys were pursuing a particular woman. One liked her, but she liked the other one a whole lot more. She ended up falling for the dude that the first guy thought “wasn’t up to snuff”. So when the first guy saw he lost her affections, he berated the other dude to the girl. The tirade wasn’t about the guy he lost to – it was his way of saying “If I don’t get you, no one should have you, or you cannot be happy with this fool either.”

So what do you think this guy would say if he heard that the girl and the other guy didn’t work out? “She was better off with me” is exactly what he would say, even though in the girl’s eyes, the first guy was STILL a lousy choice – the failed relationship didn’t change that.

Someone once said to me: “you cannot build a solid foundation if the spot you picked is mud”.  While they are correct, you cannot build a solid foundation on a great spot if the materials you use are faulty either.

It is always about seeing the whole elephant as the five yogis would say, not just focusing solely on the trunk, tusks, legs, ears or back of the animal.

Cassandra in Greek mythology would tell you, “seeing one step ahead ain’t always what is it cracked out to be”. No matter how you choose to express it, there is no guarantee the other person will see your perspective. If you really mean them well, all you can do is to make sure you have the right intent when you express yourself, and be supportive as they go through the process. After all, the choice (and the subsequent consequences and rewards) is ultimately theirs to make, not yours.


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