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relational bungee jumping

I thought I had written this blog before, but couldn’t find it in my search through the 20 bajillion drafts I have. Anyway, so it’s something I’ve thought a lot about when it comes to relationships – not just romantic ones, though obviously that applies too.

Relationships are like bungee jumping from a bridge. I’ve actually used this analogy before in a different sense that being married you can take leaps knowing that you are tied to each other. Like how you should be the bridge for each other, so to speak. and when life gets really crazy, you always snap back to each other as your kind of home base. This is why it’s important to tether yourself to something structurally sound when jumping, and in this analogy to someONE sound.

But in all relationships we are connected to each other – friends, family, coworkers. What if we saw our lives intricately entwined with every specific person we interact with – as if their, and our, entire livelihood and happiness were completely and totally dependent on each other? As if every single action we take, or don’t take as the case may be, directly and specifically and intensely affects the next person and their wellbeing? You know, like a human body which functions as a whole but when something goes wrong, it affects everything else… cue Christianese here…

My friend Joe wrote this the other day about being isolated…

Who doesn’t feel, at times, really alone? It is part of the human experience to feel that I am the only one who feels exactly the way I feel at this moment and I cannot fathom that anyone else can truly understand. No one else has had the exact experience I have had. No one else is made up of the same sum of parts I am made up of. And therefore I am alone.

And this is where my social cues come in. People want to be heard and empathized with, not always understood per se. Being understood is great, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing like telling someone something of your story and struggle in life to hear that they are in the same boat.

Sometimes we get stuck in that mode of support group where we really just want to rehash all the pain and frustration and sorrow and bitterness and jealousy and strife and general badness. We want to wallow and we want someone to wallow with who won’t try to (1) make it better as if s/he could or (2) tell us we’re lame as if s/he isn’t just as lame in some way.

But then you get to a point where you need the support to jump and if someone jumps with you, all the better. And the analogy can go two ways – the other person is tied to the same bridge as you, or the other person IS the bridge for you. Either way, we are in it together. And that’s why we are here on this earth and not meant for isolation. Like how you can’t really bungee jump alone. I mean, crazy.


3 thoughts on “relational bungee jumping

  1. TECHNICALLY, scientifically AND spiritualy speaking, we are all part of each other. I find comfort in this, expecially when I am feeling particularly isolated, which I try to avoid doing. Finding my bridge/harness/cord/buddy when I really need them, that seems to be the hardest part, especially when all of my *true* friends have scattered, and I keep moving.

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