Friday, November 26, 2010

Unequally Yoked

"Be ye not unequally yoked together..."

I am starting to talk to my friends and family more deeply about my recent breakup and along the way I am learning a lot about myself.  I have learned that the process of self discovery sounds very different when spoken aloud than it does spoken in my own head.

I was speaking with a good friend recently about my situation and he said something to me that has stuck with me ever since.  It is a phrase from the Bible.  I feel the need to preface the rest of this post with the information that I am not a religious person.  That said, I think there a lot of lessons that can be learned from the Bible (and from good friends over a pint of beer).  The phrase he used to describe my relationship was "unequally yoked".   He explained that if two oxen are connected to the same yoke and one is stronger than the other then they will not be able to work together to plow a straight line. 

I think this is a brilliant metaphor for my situation or any failed relationship.  The reality is we want our partner to be by our side, helping each other work towards a common goal.  We don't want our partner to be plowing ahead and leaving us in their dust or dragging behind and holding us back.  If each person is going in a different direction with a different goal then it will be impossible to "plow straight". 

I realized during our discussion that the things in my life that were really important to me were not really that important to my partner.  I have made some pretty significant discoveries about myself in the past year and a half and the more I look back the more I realize these important aspects of my life were not even on my partner's radar.  So, no matter how hard we tried we were always heading in different directions. 

Now, do not get me wrong, I do not think that my way was the right way and his way was the wrong way.  We were simply headed in different directions with different goals.  We were unequally yoked.  If anyone out there watches Oprah you know what I mean when I said this was an "ah ha" moment for me.  When you are in a relationship it is sometimes hard to see what is really going on because you are blinded by your love.  But the reality is that love is not enough.  There must also be a balance and an equality between the partners.  This must sound pretty obvious to many of you and to be honest as I write it, it sounds pretty obvious to me too.  But it wasn't until that moment that I really was able to understand and articulate the imbalance that was in my relationship.

So, armed with this new information I feel empowered and there is even a sense of calmness I am starting to feel that I haven't felt in a long, long time.  I think I am starting to get it.  I think I am going to be OK. 

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