When does the past cease to be a lesson? The correct answer is never, but all to often, we forget to remember that. Why do we feel the need to define every relationship as being "different," anyway? How many times have we used this as the end-all excuse in trying to explain away our feelings or justify feeling a way that others may not understand? "I'm telling you, I can't explain it, but THIS time, it's DIFFERENT." Who are we kidding anyway?
I suppose that if I knew the answers, I wouldn't be writing this blog. Most likely, I'd be richer than Oprah and selling more self-help books than Dr. Phil, Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren put together. But although we don't profess to know all the answers -- well, most of us don't, but this is Washington and there are many people here who firmly believe that they fully grasp the truth -- does that mean we shouldn't ask the questions?
How many times have we really taken the time to examine the pieces of our shattered pasts? Have we really considered the causes or extracted the necessary lessons we should have learned? Or have we been content to repeat them, believing that eventually we'd learn our lessons, resigning ourselves to the notion that we really only learn the hard way anyway?
Sad to say, but true, this is often the case, and it is often this willingness to forgo deep "dwelling" over the past that safeguards us from becoming cynical in the face of new possibilities. "This time it really WILL be different." But has there been change? Have we really come away from the past with anything of substance to aid us in the present or possibly carry us through to the future? Or have we accepted the vicious circle that our lives have become, throwing ourselves without caution into relationship after relationship in the hope that eventually the madness will end?
I'm learning daily that love is a rollercoaster with downs as intense as ups, and that, no, it does not get any easier. Whether we accept how clueless we are, or are convinced that we have it all figured out, we are still being educated. Only now, we risk being proven wrong or foolish -- but do so in favor of extracting all the joy we can from the moment, because the moment may be all we've got and is the precious little we can really hold on to.
Why do we - who've healed after having been hurt - continue to play Russian Roulette with our hearts? Probably because the pay-off is so great -- and the game is so exciting.
Isn't that what it's all about anyway?