a journey of life choices regarding our relationships
I love the look on this woman’s face. She appears peaceful and comfortable in her own skin— the look of someone content with their life choices.
Earlier this week, I read Ashley Neese’s post about the pain of moving on from a good friend/loved one.
At 67, I’ve begun and ended enough relationships to understand the angst Ashley speaks about in her post. Even if they are in the best interest of all involved, endings evoke tremendous grief, anger, sadness, regret, and guilt, just a few emotions. Not to mention, in most cases, we will not understand that the falling away is in our best interest until in many cases years down the line. In the meantime, we are left to comb through the wreckage over and over again long before we ever recycle it, i.e., learn from it.
Much like an archeological dig, it is only through our painstaking careful sifting that we uncover the gems.
What were we meant to learn from this person?
It’s easy to get lost in the muck, dwelling on the drama. But at the end of the day, we DID take something of value away. We wouldn’t have devoted the time otherwise. Once we have decidedly traveled down the path titled AWAY, our task is to claim the gifts we are leaving with, as opposed to concentrating on the negatives. If we can do that, we can forgive ourselves and ohers.
With acceptance, we open ourselves to the new adventures awaiting us with our angels impatiently waiting in the wings.
After reading Ashley’s post, I commented on her site with my thoughts about a book written by Lillian Hellman titled Pentimento which I read in my early 20’s.
The book became controversial, and the movie “Julia” was produced based on one of the chapters. But what made an impression on me wasn’t so much the story, but the title of the book and the definitions for the word Pentimento, which all these years later entered my mind after reading Ashley’s post. Here are two of my favorite examples.
Pentimento is a change made by the artist during the process of painting. These changes are usually hidden beneath a subsequent paint layer. In some instances they become visible because the paint layer above has become transparent with time.
This definition points out that the artist chose to change midstream. Our choices in life may be passive or active, but a decision to stop trying is also a choice.
The second definition worded slightly different casts a new light on the word.
A visible trace of an earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.
This definition partners perfectly with the knowledge that friendships will come and go, leaving a visible trace beneath the paint on the canvas of our lives, which we hopefully in time turn into masterpieces.