PROJECT R – I think best when I think with others – Where R stands for Relationship
Dear WordPress Bloggers,
We’ve all known heartache as well as fulfilment in relationships.
From the 14th to the 31st of October I will dedicate vicbriggs’ blog-screen to pieces on Relationships. Please send your contribution to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on what motivated me to start this project and for the questions to answer follow this link: https://shardsofsilence.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/project-r-i-think-best-when-i-think-with-others/ . Alternatively, you can scroll down for the questions and my sample answers.
The deadline for submissions is Sunday, the 13th of October. It’s all for a good cause: friend in dire-dire need.
Submissions will be posted on my blog starting Monday, the 14th of October. One day for each submission if there are seventeen or fewer. If there is a lot of interest and the project takes off then we’ll timeshare vicbriggs’ blog-screen accordingly.
Since I am asking you to delve deep and share a piece of yourself with me and others, it seems only fair that I should lead by example.
I will answer both the questions and offer a commentary to LL’s insights. In today’s piece I will answer the questions. In tomorrow’s I will add the commentary – just trying to keep it short(ish) and simple.
For your piece, feel free to do both, but it is absolutely fine if you’d rather focus on the questions at hand, or choose to formulate your answer against LL’s. Whatever works for you!
It is also ok to share personal experiences as examples for your answers, if you are comfortable doing so. There really is no right or wrong way to approach this.
And don’t forget to add your info at the start so that other bloggers know where to find you to follow you! A short bio could be helpful too, if you feel like it, or where you think it would enhance your overall contribution.
So, here I am, baring all for you.
PROJECT R – Q&A – SAMPLE
Name: vicbriggs / Website: www.shardsofsilence.wordpress.com
In many ways my blog is a confessional. My ‘About’ page says it all. It is an attempt to rethink the past – some of which was painful, some happy – and refashion it into a new set of truths. And love? Love and death – eros and its thanatos – were the engine that fuelled the beginnings of this blog and, if I have to make a guess, they will be with me till the latter takes its toll.
1. On Failure. What does love mean to you? What constitutes a failed relationship? What about a successful one? Did you ever think of yourself as a failure because a relationship came to an end?
Call me Sisyphus.
Love is ecstasy. It is bottomless abyss. It is Icarus in flight. It is the wings of despair. Fire. Air. Earth. I cannot exist without it. It bursts forth with every attempt to supress it.
I love. In loving I am myself. It is never contentment, yet it is also never not that.
A failed relationship to me is a dishonest relationship, whether terminated or on-going. A dishonest relationship is one where the mask stays on. Can you love if you do not give yourself to the other? A part will always remain occluded. The veil never fully removed. But it has to be drawn, a little at least.
A successful relationship to me is one in which I am comfortable being myself; where I am not made to feel like I’ve come short in some way. I reciprocate that acceptance in kind. I am many things, and I may never fully reveal all, but when I am not judged for what I reveal, then there is more to give, share, reveal.
My self-worth has never been connected to ‘romantic’ relationships. I have been lucky to be loved so fully as a child as to never doubt myself when relationships have ended. I have always taken ends to be a necessary (if painful) part of life.
2. On Being Flawed. Are you more comfortable on your own or in a relationship? Do you think there is something wrong with people who cannot or would not sustain long-term relationships?
Call me Venus.
Just because my arms are missing, it doesn’t make me any less beautiful. I am happy alone. I am happy with others. I love. I am beloved. Whether alone or with my beloved, the only one I can never do without is myself.
3. On Eros. Do you require a romantic relationship to feel fulfilled?
Call me Dionysus.
I find pleasure in many things. Life is a pleasure-ground for me. I find fulfilment in others, yes. People, their minds, the way they make sense of the world, I am endlessly curious about. Relationships matter to me. Romance too. But I am not dependent on either for my fulfilment.
4. On Soul-mates. Do you believe that there is a soul-mate for everyone out there? Do you ever feel that you are only half of the equation, and will be ‘lacking’ something until you find someone to share your everyday life with?
Call me Pandora.
Hope stays with us to the last. I used to believe in soul-mates. Now I believe that the possibility of their being only one person for us to share our lives with is just… too restrictive a concept. There are many people we could be happy with, many people we can feel at home with, many who can give us contentment and love. I do not lack. I overflow… with so much love and laughter that I never tire of sharing it.
5. On Self-Love. Do you think that to be loved by others you have to love yourself? What does self-love mean to you? To love, can it sometimes mean letting go?
Call me Nike.
To love is to let go. Let go of yourself, give yourself fully – as fully as you can. When it is over, you will realise that you have more, not less to give.
Let go of pain and resentment. They are not your friends. Let go of love which has run its course. Another will come soon enough. And when it does… have the courage to let go once again.
To love is to conquer. Conquer your insecurities. We all have them. Don’t let them hold you back. Conquer that little voice in your head telling you that you are not enough. You are! There is so much of you that you can share it ad infinitum and still have enough left over for another life, or two, or nine.
Every time you love, you also love yourself. Do not be afraid. Love. Let go. Love again. You will win every time.
6. On Fulfilment. Can we only find fulfilment in others, or is it possible to be happy and find contentment in our other accomplishments, whatever our relationship status?
Call me Athena.
I think best when I think with others. Remember to celebrate what you have achieved. It is so easy to let your accomplishments pass unacknowledged. Take time to ponder over them. You have arrived. Every little step is worth the while.
Every time you break through a ceiling, you are worthy of the goddess’s title.
And as for love?
Aphrodite is never too far, but she is unpredictable and sometimes temperamental… so do not linger too long over it whenever she forgets to smile on you. She has her own messy affairs to attend to. You will get her attention soon enough.
If all fails, I hear she is quite fond of apples.
7. On Interpersonal Skills. Are people in relationships simply better at ‘people skills’ than those who are not?
Call me Hera.
Whether you are or not in a relationship, neither says anything about your ability to communicate and relate to people.
There is really not much else I can add on the matter.
Perhaps one more thing… Although Hera was the goddess of marriage, Zeus’s many infidelities drove her to jealousy and vengefulness. If even in our idealised Olympus, a relationship can fall on hard times (no pun intended) then I think we ought to cut ourselves some slack too!
8. On Project R. Do you think this a worthwhile project? In what way, if at all, did this project help you think through the question of “relationships”? Feel free to add here any other thoughts you may have on the subject that was not covered by the above questions.
Call me Hermes (and I really do hope that you found these references humorous rather than tiresome).
Project R is born of fire and pain. A friend in need. This is the only way (other than going through again and again over the same ground with no visible result as yet) that I could think of helping.
Relationships can be the greatest source of happiness, as well as the greatest source of pain in our lives. I always hope that the first would outbalance the latter. Either way, I would rather go through the pain of loss, than not love at all. When the pain of loss is fresh however… I can see that it is a difficult truth to take.
The way I figure things out is by talking things through. I can only do that much on my own. I need you, my dears, for I think best when I think with others.
I did not think of the answers to these questions before writing them. I found the exercise a rewarding one. Will find it even more rewarding if it finds some resonance with you as well as with the person for who’s sake I started it all.
I hope you will find it rewarding too.
Look forward to your pieces!
Thank you for turning in
I hope you will become a part of Project R too!
Project R’s “they” section was inspired by Lucia Lorenzi’s On Being Alone: Rethinking the Single Life.
To read her post, follow this link: http://lucialorenzi.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/on-being-alone-rethinking-the-single-life/
It is a beautifully written and insightful piece. Perhaps it may help you with your own.
Project R is also somewhat of a nod and wink to AOpinionatedMan’s Project O, a project on Opinion hosted on his blog during September. Follow this link to view contributions to this project: http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/08/26/project-o
Finally, it is a reply to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Exhale. “Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright. Photographers, artists, poets: show us SAFETY.”
I thought it a pertinent prompt to the subject of relationships and alone-ness, since both can offer us safety and the reverse in equal measure.