Even now, as I step out on to the verandah of the beach house to see the last of the storm clouds departing on the horizon, the air feels muggy. It weighs down on me like a woollen blanket on a hot summer’s day. In an instant, it occurs to me how clearly the early morning storm mirrored the way I feel after our heated exchange late last night. I sigh deeply in an attempt to soothe my heavy heart and start walking on my own through the rain-drenched sand towards the water’s edge.
The waves rippling gently around my ankles help me to relax a little and I begin to ponder the events that culminated in our quarrel. It was a long time coming. Looking back on my life with you, it’s no surprise we keep reacting to each other in this way. Somehow, I nearly always shove my own needs aside and go along with yours. Now I mention it, my lungs are sounding wheezy again. A sign of how restricted and trapped I feel. However, what happened last night marks a turning point. With refreshing clarity, I’m now able to see the true nature of our relationship.
George Benson – This Masquerade
I compare our relationship to a real-life masquerade in which neither of us is open about our thoughts and feelings. We move in circles around each other. More precisely, I move in circles around you. My life revolves around your demands, which you express with such drama that it makes it hard for me to decline. I constantly find myself saying ‘yes’ to what you want, to avoid hurting or angering you. As a result, I end up disappointing myself, because I rarely do what really pleases me.
Meanwhile, while I amble back to the house, I spot a pair of parrots a stone’s throw to my right, in the narrow strip of rainforest tracing the shoreline. They seem to be a classic pair of lovebirds fussing over each other and being affectionate in a way that would make Romeo and Juliet turn green with envy. A hint of melancholy comes over me and reminds me of our beginnings. With a tear in my eye, I wonder how it got to this. We went together like salt and pepper. One always knew what the other was thinking or feeling, and how to fulfil the other’s needs. It was like we were made for each other.
I can’t remember there being any friction in those days. It was all milk and honey. That was until you stopped listening to me and I stopped talking. Now I realize that I wasn’t taking care of myself properly and I guess that’s where it went wrong. We stopped communicating with each other. Seemingly overnight, our connection became weaker and weaker until we began avoiding each other. And this is the point we’ve arrived at now. Still, I long to reunite with you and start over again. With a little luck we can work it out.
Wings – With A Little Luck
“Here goes,” I mutter under my breath as I open the screen door, enter the house and make my way to the kitchen. I wonder how you’ll react to the proposal I’m about to make and am comforted by the strong smell of coffee spreading out across the kitchen from the coffee machine that I forgot to switch off. I stand still for a moment, close my eyes and take a deep breath. Then I walk over to the machine, switch it off and pour some of the steaming, dark brown liquid into a big mug. “Ahhh,” I sigh after taking a big swig, “just the way I like it.” It takes me a few more gulps to down it all to the very last drop.
I slowly look up and stare into the distance to avoid direct contact.
“Me too,” I reply, slightly surprised by the huskiness in my voice.
This introduction is followed by a brief silence, in which I rack my mind for the right words to say. I clear my throat and begin to speak. I repeat the memories that had come to me only minutes ago on the beach, and the accompanying thoughts and feelings.
“So, what do you think? Shall we give it another go?”
“Yes, I would love to,” is the unhesitant reply.
Arriving at this mutual decision, I am at loss for words. But that doesn’t matter, because in the ensuing loving embrace, I have found an instant reconnection with you. With my eyes closed and the serenest of smiles on my face, I sit and relish a deep and innate love within me. Now I remember the purpose of our deep and eternal connection. It is through you and our relationship that I can fully experience myself.
You’re the reason why the opera is in me – U2
U2 – Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Later that day, I find myself strolling through the beautiful garden alone. I can hear the palm leaves rustling in the wind and look up into a clear, deep blue sky. In the same way that the sky has let the clouds pass by, my mind has cleared itself of restrictive beliefs. Fear and lack of trust have made way for love and faith. And honesty. I realize that the most important relationship in my life is not with you but with myself, and the key to turning this relationship into a success is honesty. I need to be honest with myself and find out what my purpose is in life. What are my needs and desires? What will fulfil me? The more I listen to my heart, the better I will get to know myself. I shall no longer focus my attention solely on your or other people’s needs, but mainly on my own instead. I shall stay true to myself and love myself unconditionally, regardless of what you or anyone else believes.
I smile a smile of contentment, not only because of these moments of personal wisdom, but because of the bedazzling scent coming from the frangipani flowering gloriously by the fence. I move closer, stick my nose as deep as possible inside one of these breathtakingly beautiful, tropical flowers and breathe in deeply. In Polynesian culture, the frangipani symbolizes intense love and a lasting bond. Its scent makes me realize how much I love being with you. When I am together with you as one, heart and mind blend in harmony. My relationship with you makes me whole. Realizing this fills me with such a wonderful and warm sensation. It overwhelms me and within seconds, I drift off into a daydream.
Suddenly, I come to my senses again and find myself standing in front of the steamy mirror in my bathroom back home. It is then that I realize that it was all a dream. The storm and our late night row, my contemplative moments on the beach the next morning, our healing conversation and my walk through the garden were all a figure of my imagination. They weren’t real at all. Or were they?
As I gaze at my reflection in the mirror and look deep into my own eyes, I realize that what turned out to be an internal dialogue between my true self and my ego is still very real to me. You may not be flesh and blood but you are definitely personal. You are a part of me, you are my ego. However, living with you can be very trying if I don’t listen to myself. At the same time, a life without you would be meaningless and lacking the self-reflection that enables me to experience myself in my physical form and to fully understand myself. I understand why you behaved the way you did. You gave into fear and let yourself be led by your childhood survival mechanisms. But you don’t need these anymore. Just listen to your heart and I will be there for you. I will look after you.
Then I stop gazing and look at my reflection again. Tears of love roll down my cheeks as I read the note that I must have scribbled absentmindedly in the condensation on the mirror:
I’ve missed you, you know. Welcome back.
Your true self X
George Benson – Being With You
‘A Stormy Paradis’‘ by Fabrizio Turco on Freeimages.com
‘Key Largo Palms And Sky’ by Winterdove on Freeimages.com
‘Parrots’ by Edmondlafoto on Pixabay
‘Plumeria’ by DiversePixels on Pixabay
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