Picking Your People: Avoid Green Teeth and Tennis Ball Lobbers

Photo credit: Martyn Fletcher

I want to explore relationship a little more, based on conversations I’ve had with people this last week and insights I’ve had about myself and how I’ve done relationship over the course of my life. I don’t expect I’ll impart any amazing new knowledge in this post, but I do want to play with a couple of metaphors that I’ve been mulling over quite a bit, that might be helpful to you as well.

I was talking to a friend of mine this last week who has been a therapist for a long time. (I love having friends who are therapists, because they just can’t help but leak their wisdom, and I get to soak it up by being in close proximity. I know there are some horrible therapists out there, but so far I’ve been pretty lucky in the ones that have orbited through my life). Anyway…..this particular person appears to me to have navigated life amazingly well. She has had plenty of her own difficult obstacles and tragedies, yet she has come out with this amazing certainty of who she is, what she wants, and what she is worthy of. Furthermore, she has a wicked awesome ability to see and call out those things in me,, and I come away from our times together always feeling like I just had a long, refreshing drink of cold water. She’s one of the game changers in my life, for sure.

This week I was asking my friend about romantic relationships she had been in, and how she seemed to be so good at finding the solid people who were capable of being in committed, generous , balanced relationships. She responded by using a metaphor of getting out on the dance floor. I wish I had recorded her so I could write out verbatim what she said, because it was really good. Basically, she told me that if you sit on the side of the dance floor and wait for someone to ask you to dance, you’re going to get alot of the guys (or women, depending on your personal leanings) with green teeth to ask you to dance. And if you keep saying yes over and over to the guys with green teeth, that’s all you’re going to end up dancing with, and you’ll end up in this constant cycle of frustration…with bruised toes and a strained back. So, she said….first, you’ve got to stop waiting for the people to come ask you to dance, and get the hell out there and start dancing on your own. Second, when the guys with green teeth come up to ask you to dance, you’ve got to stop accepting their requests. And finally, if you get out on the dance floor and show the world you can dance like hell solo, the people who can also dance well on their own will see you and come to dance with you.

This visual made me pretty happy, and I think my therapist friend is right. And she’s done well because she’s extremely picky about which men she’ll bother to dance with, and if no one asks her to dance, she has no reservation about staying out on the dance floor busting wicked moves all by herself. She might be the most empowered woman I know. What a badass.


After my friend gave me this metaphor, my mind immediately went to another metaphor….which is actually kind of funny because it is seemingly unrelated to her comments. My brain works in mysterious ways. I tell myself this ability to connect completely unrelated ideas adds to my charm. 😀

I really love to play tennis. I mean LOVE to play tennis. Out of all the sports I’ve played or been involved in, tennis is the one that I’m probably the best at. Which is still setting the bar pretty low. Nevertheless, I can generally hold my own, and I’ve had a pretty decent serve at times. The problem is: it has been SO hard to find people to play tennis with. I have no clue why this is, unless most people in my demographic just don’t play tennis anymore. The people I do know who are willing to play with me live towns or states away and so setting up a regular schedule is impossible. For one short summer when I lived south of Boston, I met my best friend weekly in the city to play…that was a really good summer….never mind the hot muggy weather, or having to mind my three little boys in between volleys as they ran around the park.

Since it has been so hard to find people who enjoy tennis, I’m not always that discriminating when it comes to who I’ll agree to play with. If they have a little bit of interest, and a modicum of skill, I’m up for a match. BUT….I do have one strict rule when choosing an opponent: I do not play against ball lobbers. By that I mean, if every other shot they make catapults over the court fence, or even flies over my head into the fence behind me time after time….nope. I have no patience for that. Anyone I play tennis with has to be able to keep the ball at a reasonable altitude and within the court at least 75% of the time.

This lobbing issue is where my metaphor comes in: there are people who are skilled at navigating and being in relationship, and then there are the lobbers. This is not a statement of judgment, but just of stating facts. I would venture to say that most of us are probably lobbers at certain points in our lives, or in certain areas of our relationships from time to time. And, we are all at different points in our journeys and have all had our own struggles, so I’m not judging the lobbers. I will straight up front say that I was a hard core lobber for at least the first 30 years of my life….not at all because I wanted to be a lobber that annoyed the hell out of or hurt others, but because I just didn’t have good relationship skills for a lot of reasons.

Maybe I should back up a bit and explain what I mean by a relationship lobber. I haven’t exactly mapped this out, so I’ll just toss out a few ideas that come to mind when I think of this. Relationship lobbers are people who have very little sense of who they are, and so they rely on external validation the majority of the time. They need other people, and their relationship partners, to constantly reinforce that they are OK. Lobbers also are so focused on their own needs that they either can’t see the needs of the person they are in relationship with, or they have no capacity to try and meet those needs, and so the relationship ends up being completely unbalanced. Lobbers can be people who will love bomb the hell out of you and do grand romantic gestures, but they aren’t capable of showing up consistently or when it really counts.

Lobbers can be people who keep relationship boundaries vague and ambiguous because they don’t really know what they want, and so you are running around the relationship court frantically, constantly, trying to catch up with shifting court lines, never knowing if you are in or out of bounds….or even if you’re actually involved in a match. Lobbers can be people who have so many needs, demands, and expectations of their own that also keep you running frantically from one side of the court to the other, like you’re playing against one of those automatic tennis ball launchers that has gone haywire. And they can often be very good at convincing you that they need you to fix them or meet all their needs.

The worst relationship lobbing, though, is when the ball is rocketed high and over the fence, and you are left to chase after it. ESPECIALLY when your partner is content to laze on their side of the court while you run off to find and retrieve the ball that THEY slammed into orbit. These are the lobs that require us to really abandon ourselves…where we forget who we are, our personal values, and what we want….to go chasing after something in a vain or misguided attempt to “prove ourselves” or “save the relationship” or “make them stay.”


Why and how do we end up in relationshp with green teeth guys and tennis ball lobbers? In my “ahem”, expert, opinion…it’s because of poor attachment styles from our childhoods, thinking we can’t “do” better, being addicted to people pleasing, and somehow being really adept at attracting people who are in pain. Especially if you are an empath and hate to see people hurt…..hurting people can spot you from a mile away and if they’re not emotionally healthy, they come running.

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid tennis ball lobbers even if you want to. Sometimes they’re just hot or charming or interesting….or you’ve been in a stagnated relationship lull for a long time and literally no one decent has come along, so you lower your standards…..or the worst case scenario: you can see their potential and so you hang around indefinitely, chasing ball after ball that is launched over the fence, exhausting and frustrating yourself, while you wait for them to improve.

The thing about tennis is that it’s true you need to play with stronger players in order to improve. But, you also have to put in alot of your own individual time in order to build fundamental skills….like hitting balls against those damn, wooden walls over and over, or hitting serve after serve to perfect your aim and velocity, or allowing yourself to be objectively coached from the side of the court by people watching your stance and swing.

The same is with relationship. Like I talked about in my last post, you have to practice in relationships to get better at relationships. But more importantly at times, you have to do the hard, behind-the-scenes work on yourself, your weaknesses, and your pain in order to see improvement in the actual relationship….and to make yourself a partner worth the other person’s time.

Lobbing balls across the fence occasionally happens in good relationships. Life can get overwhelming and stressful, and we always have our own hurts and issues that need to be worked on. And sometimes, for short periods of time, relationships will shift from a place of mutual 50/50 giving to 20/80 or 80/20. But they can’t stay like that to be sustainable or healthy. One person can’t be chasing all the balls all the freaking time. During those times of imbalance, the person who isn’t in a place of balanced giving has got to be actively owning and working on their stuff. At some point, the imbalance has to shift back to a midline.


Another one of my friends and I have discussed how you should evaluate relationships you’re in based on how they affect your life. She has asked me in the past: “Is this relationship worth letting go of your peace and solitude?” Meaning, is any stress or anxiety or whatever that you’re dealing with in this situation worth it? Or, would the peace that comes from the solitude of not being in this situation be a better thing? I think we are all way to quick to give away our peace, and often we stay in unbalanced relationships because we are afraid of solitude. Chasing lobbed tennis balls on a never ending basis, where we only get an intermittent reward of a solid, returned volley….I’m pretty convinced the anxiety and exhaustion that comes with that is way worse than the fear or boredom that can come from being alone. I just tend to forget this fact occasionally.

I think the tennis metaphor can also apply to good, healthy relationships. Strong relationships will help both people grow, keep them moving, and require work from both parties. It might even be a little bit of controlled chaos. But they won’t be a matter of one person constantly having to bear the burden of lobs going this way and that.

This is hard, I’m an expert. I’ve said yes to green teeth guys because I didn’t think anyone else would ask me to dance. And I”ve agreed to play with lobbers because they showed up dressed in all the right gear and “looked” like they knew what they were doing. I’ve also been lonely enough in the past that I was desperate to play with people that would just show up. We should NEVER be in relationship with people just because they are there and nothing better has come along. That is the first step that happens in a slippery slope of abandoning ourselves.


So there you have it. My two latest, favorite relationship metaphors offered through my informal, off the cuff, pontification. And with them, a call to myself and all of you….to stop abandoning ourselves to go chase after other people’s lobbed tennis balls all the time, or accepting dance requests from people that are not well matched with us because we are too afraid to light up the dance floor alone. If we are willing to put time and effort into our own shadow work and relationship skills, then by God we have the right to only choose to be in relationship with people who are doing their own work and who honor our work, evidenced by how they show up for us, and communicate and interact with us.

If it’s something you’re not willing to accept on the tennis court, then DON’T accept it in your close and romantic relationships.

Getting Better At Relationship, Through Relationship

Photo credit: Koen Jacobs

I’ve got three boys….one is a teenager and the other two aren’t far behind. They are by far three of the best things that have ever happened to me. But, they are also the hardest things that have ever happened to me. Like so hard, that I will say that if I had known all those years ago how hard parenting would be, I can’t honestly say I would have chosen it. That’s not saying that I don’t love my boys to the moon and back, and it’s not saying that they aren’t amazing people. It’s saying that the human-est side of me is not always as woke as I’d like to be, and being a parent involves sacrifice, difficult decisions (meaning having to pick the least of several terrible options sometimes), and it’s a wicked painful experience of these little people holding up a mirror to you and pointing out all the stuff about yourself you’d really rather just avoid or pretend wasn’t there.

The damned thing about parenting is that you have to parent to learn how to parent.

There are some really great parenting books out there (there are also a plethora of shitty ones), and there are wonderful people that have mentored me along the way and shared from their own parenting journeys. But the thing is, no one ever has the same type of kids, and every parent is trying to parent from their own individual backgrounds, which includes all the good and bad stuff. So, there has never been and will never be a one size fits all approach to parenting. Parenting is all about general principles, I think. And every so often one of those principles is to tell everyone judging your parenting to fuck off while you keep doing what you feel your gut is telling you is best for your kids. A key point is learning when it is appropriate to fall on this principle and when you’re just fooling yourself.

Like the dumb FB meme says about adulting: Parenting is like flying a helicopter. I don’t know how to fly a helicopter.

When I was in college, I was required to take two semesters of organic chemistry for my science degree. I liked the class in general, but most of the concepts took a while to actually click in my head. On so many occasions I would finally “get” the material, but it usually happened after I had already bombed a test and the ink of my grade was then dry in the gradebook. This is the way I frequently feel about parenting. I learn how to do things better way after the fact, and by then, there is little to do but store it in my back pocket for the off chance I end up being a grandparent, or when some younger parent comes to me desperate for any kind of advice. But I feel so bad for my kids….and everyone’s kids for that matter….that the universe evolved in such a way that children are raised by people who are trying to grow up themselves. (As a side note: I don’t trust parenting books written by anyone with kids under the age of 10. I’m sure there are plenty of authors out there who were super enlightened and rocked it from day one, but I’m pretty suspicious about all that. Sharing anecdotes or routines or whatever…that’s cool, but claiming to have a corner on parenting before puberty even hits….nope. Don’t buy it at all.)

Parenting means having to make spur of the moment decisions for things that you never saw coming or weren’t sure you were equipped to speak well to. Like the time my youngest barfed on one of those moving walkways in the Boston airport. Or the time I didn’t have a diaper bag and my kid pooped inside a covered slide at a playground…leaving poop behind on the actual slide. Or when one of my kids came to me questioning his sexuality and needing support. Or having to help the one kid struggle through public school that wasn’t designed for souls like his. Or trying to comfort a son who locks himself into the dog crate crying after you tell him that you and his dad are getting a divorce.

And so many other questions and dilemmas….do I push hard on this? Do I let it go? How do I handle it when an angry child yells at me and says I’m a fucking piece of bullshit? When do I let my kids experience failure, and when do I save them? This learning to parent while being a parent is so very hard. I’m starting to think that at some level you absolutely have to let go of outcomes in order to save your sanity….because there’s no way to parent perfectly, or even at a certain point, know how you’re doing as a parent. Although, this is what many spiritual teachers and Zen Buddhists would say is the point of everything….to give yourself wholeheartedly to the process at hand, but detach from the outcomes. Easier said than done, for sure. Ultimately, I just hope I’m a “good enough” parent.

***********************************************************************************************************************This post is meant to be a bit of a sequel to the last post I wrote, titled Bass Notes, Resonance, and Additive Relationship. It’s likely going to be a meandering mess. I ponder relationship all the time because it’s one of those core fundamentals of existence and not something we can entirely avoid, nor do I want to. But, I recognize that I grew up with some really jacked up relationships, learned some horrible ways to be in relationship, and then unconsciously created my own unhealthy relationship patterns while stumbling along trying to cope and deal with the life situations that were handed me. Just like everyone else.

And like I mentioned above, I’m trying to parent and teach my kids how to do relationship well, right when I’m trying to learn how to do relationship well. God help them.

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BUT….I am now, thankfully, aware that I don’t have to keep living the same patterns and hurts over and over and over again, so I’m doing my darndest to unearth and examine all my neuroses and unhealthy patterns so that I can make necessary changes and continue to improve in my relationships…with the aim of loving people well and hurting them AND me less.

***********************************************************************************************************************The older I get, the more that it feels like life is full of paradox….two or more things that are true at the same time, and it seems impossible for them to be true at the same time, and yet, there it is. I’ve decided that learning to be comfortable with paradox is one of the big secrets to making it through this life with less suffering. When we insist on only one option being correct all the time, we end up just bloodying ourselves senseless with confusion and anxiety, because we are arguing with reality. Reality always wins. Always.

Beyond the idea of paradox is the concept of living on “the edge”. By that, I don’t mean that you’re necessarily living dangerously or out in the margins of society or something….but rather, that you’re constantly trying to balance on a razor-thin way of being, because that thin place is truest, most life-giving place to be at. And within this itself is a paradox….because to live on this razor-thin edge takes alot of work, but that work typically consists of letting go and accepting what is. This is exactly the type of work that most of us are terrible at because we want to logic and willpower and intellectualize our way through everything. Buddhists talk about the Middle Way, away from extremes, and Jesus talked about how the true path is a narrow way. I totally don’t interpret that as a path as a means to heaven and not hell, but rather that way of doing things that gives life, but you have to search for it, and it does not always come easy.

So, why am I even talking about paradox in this post? It’s because I think that relationship is, at it’s core, a matter of two things being true at once, and to do relationship really, really well, maybe we have to walk a razor thin edge where it is easy to slip and fall one way or the other….it requires awareness and extreme presence. I don’t know……maybe this just feels like a razor thin edge to me, and it comes easy to everyone else.

The paradox I see is that we (each of us and the people we are in relationship with) both need each other, and at the same time we are complete in ourselves, each as individuals. We are unique waves, but we are all part of a bigger ocean. And the line we have to walk when we do relationship with people is to not fall one way into codependence, and yet to also not fall the other way into ultra-indepedence.

Interdepedence is a key word. Humans are interdependent on each other; we need each other at some fundamental level….even those people who say that they hate all things peopley. This has been proven just on the level of basic science…..do a quick google search about babies and young children who were isolated when they were young and denied affection and genuine attachment. The outcomes for those little ones is never great. But even beyond that, the COVID pandemic has helped alot of us remember how very important quality relationship and human interaction is. During those early months of the pandemic, I had plenty of days where I ugly cried because I missed genuine, authentic relational interactions with important people in my life. And now, even though the pandemic is still with us, I have eschewed housework and other responsibilities so many times for chances to hang out with friends and loved ones. The pandemic made it abundantly clear how very imporant they are to me.

Relationship and interdependence is a big theme in much of both spirituality and science. Things exist in relation to each other, and many times can’t really be spoken of or described when they are separate. We in the West like to think of things in a causal, linear fashion, but this concept breaks down at some points. Subatomic particles are a good example of this. Classical Newtonian physics would say that with the right equipment, we should be able to measure all the variables of a particle. But quantum mechanics, at the atomic and subatomic levels, reveals the uncertainty that arises in one variable of a particle when we try to definitively measure a different variable. You can really only understand the system when you look at it as a relationship. And on a more psychological level, we can’t really talk about the Self in isolation from others. The Self doesn’t really exist by itself, as Alan Watts has said. We can only see it and describe it based on it’s relationship with other “Selfs”.

One of my favorite teachers, Richard Rohr, wrote a book several years back called The Divine Dance. In it, he discussed the Christian concept of the Trinity, and the relationship that lies therein. People can get really hung up on (and angry about) this notion of one God but in three persons. I think there’s all kinds of interesting cultural and theological rabbit trails concerning that I could explore, but I’ll save those for another day. Point being, the idea of the Trinity explains how existence is about relationship. We are inidivudal, yet we are not. We are all interconnected, and yet we have our own individual qualities when in physical form. Life is about this dance that we do with each other….indepedent and yet depedent. Since this is my blog and I get to say what I want, I’ve decided that my definition of the Trinity is not really about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I like to think of it more in terms of Truth, Action, and the “Magic Sauce”. All of these have to be present, or things in life go awry. And while I no longer believe in a theistic Christian God, the concept of the Trinity still completely works for me, especially based on my definition. I might explore all of this another time in another post.


So, going back to learning how to do relationship while being in relationship….

When you grow up not knowing how to do relationship well, things can get pretty painful, and there is the real temptation to take one of two easy ways out:

  1. You just completely check out and insist on minimizing interactions with people entirely, or you put up huge walls in your relationships to protect yourself from further hurt. Either you only let people that are closest to you have access to very select parts of you, or you refuse to commit, or you leave yourself wide-open escape routes in case things start to go south.
  2. You start to feel hopeless that things will get better, so you just turn the tables and start doing relationship with the arbitrary rules you learned growing up, getting whatever you need out of relationship even if you have to exploit others to do it.

The third option, which is really difficult to do, is learning to ask the right questions, uncover patterns and hurts and belief systems, and to endeavor to sit with the pain and tough feelings and try again and again in hopes that things will improve. The third option is the hardest, because it asks you to be vulnerable over and over again, to keep your heart soft, and to attempt to trust people that come into your life. As you who have relationship PTSD know, those trust triggers die hard….and when you are hurt to your core by people you love and trust, trying again with new people is freaking scary.

There’s a concept called the wheel of samsara, or the wheel of suffering. This is an area that I really have no business talking about, but I’m going to appropriate it anyway for my purposes of needing a metaphor. The basic concept, as I understand it, is that the wheel is the cycle of birth and rebirth to work out old karma, until you eventually spin off into Nirvana. I only bring this up because it came to mind the other day when I was talking to my therapist about these relationship cycles I seem to go through. It seems like, espeically in romantic relationships, I repeat the same damn cycles again and again, only each time I do it with better people (by better, I typically mean kinder or more awake) or I do it with someone who helps me learn a particiular lesson. I was bemoaning this to my therapist, and she surprised me by saying that this was sort of the point. You have an insight about yourself, or learn a lesson, and so you go back and try again at a relationship….either with the same person (if they are safe and open and also wanting to grow), or with someone new. Theoretically, at some point, maybe one would spin off the wheel? Doubtful probably, but maybe you get to the point where you spin yourself into a solid, healthy relationship with a safe person.

My therapist affirming this pattern of spiraling cycles, instead of voicing concern, was really helpful for me. I realized that I had slipped into this mindset where I believed that if I just did all the right work beforehand, if I met the right person I could just slam dunk it and immediately have a great relationship free of my old neuroses. But like parenting, that doesn’t make any sense. You don’t entirely learn to be a parent by reading the right books or babysitting other people’s kids once in a while. You have to jump in and actually truly parent yourself….doing the practice….to improve. The same thing with other kinds of relationships: you take what you have learned, and you keep practicing until it gets easier to do the hard things and you are able to replace unhelpful patterns and dynamics with new, healthy ones.


As a slight segue to my last point, I just want to talk about the importance of safe people. NOT everyone is safe. Some people may think they are safe, but they are not safe. Some people may pretend to be safe, but aren’t really. Some people are absolutely not safe and make no attempts to hide it….but these are the people we typically know right away to stay away from. Ultimate takeaway: we don’t have to….and shouldn’t….try to learn how to do relationship with unsafe people. We don’t owe them anything, and we do owe it to ourselves and deserve to be in relationship with people that genuinely care about us, want to be present with us, and are working on growing themselves.

The problem with growing up surrounded by and involved in dysfunctional relationships is that you don’t always stop to think about whether or not someone is truly safe, or even what that actually means. Sometimes we confuse “safe” with “famliar”. And we like famliar and tend to stick with it even if it is not really “good” for us. It took me a very long time to realize what safe people look like, and every once in a while I still get fooled. This has required alot of therapy on my end, and learning what healthy relationships are supposed to look like.

Here is my personal definition of what safe people are. It is not formal or referenced from anyone smart. A safe person is somone who:

  1. Will stay in the room with you when things get hard and communication feels uncomfortable, but growing the relationship feels more important to them than escaping discomfort
  2. Will attempt to communicate even when they don’t really know how, or fumble their words
  3. Will accept your own fumbles at communication, and assume you’re coming with good intentions, no matter how your words come out
  4. Recognizes that they are hearing you through a filter and vice versa, but really attempts to hear and understand you
  5. Wants what is best for you and does their best to not exploit you to serve their own purposes
  6. Is willing to wholeheartedly apolgize and make amends for when they’ve wronged you or see that you’ve been hurt by them in some way

Maybe it would be easier to point out safe people by pointing out what unsafe people do (and I can say these from having experienced and trusted plenty of unsafe people). Here are just a handful:

  1. Someone is unsafe is they gaslight you or keep you constantly questioning what you thought to be true, or making you feel crazy all the time
  2. Someone is unsafe if they are forever telling you how you should feel about things, or that you don’t have the right to feel certain ways
  3. People who refuse to sincerely apologize or acknowledge their part in anything, are unsafe
  4. People who constantly ditch you when a better “alternative” is available, are unsafe
  5. People who are constantly badmouthing other people when they are with you, are unsafe. Because they are more than likely talking about you behind your back, too.
  6. People who are constantly popping your balloons (i.e. poo-pooing your successes or excitements or dreams or great ideas) are unsafe.
  7. If someone repeatedly comes at you aggressively with a blaming “You” statement, you should probably be wary of their ultimate safety.


On the flip side of learning to spot unsafe people, is the important job of learning to be safe people ourselves This is where, for me especially, walking that razor thin edge is important. I’m pretty sure that I’m not unsafe for people in a malevolent way. I do my very best to not hurt people. But, we can also unintentionally be unsafe towards those we are trying to do relationship with when we are blind to our own hurts and unconscious patterns.

When I was growing up, I was immeshed in multiple codependent relationships…through really no fault of my own. I was a kid employing coping mechanisms to try and just get by. But, I’m also a 2 on the enneagram, meaning I naturally tend toward people pleasing and way over the top self-sacrificing. And let’s just be honest….I can play a great martyr role when I really want.

I know from my weird attachment styles and codependent dynamics as a kid that I can slip into those roles again with people if I’m not careful. I have to be very mindful that I’m not grasping onto anyone out of my own insecurities or sense of unworthiness. And yes, to a degree we all do this to each other all the time….being in relationship with people that make you feel good about yourself, but I personally have to be really careful not to abandon myself and become too reliant on others. I’m prety convinced that being overreliant on someone, espeically for emotional needs and if they aren’t able to set up their own strong boundaries, is just as unsafe for them as actually being mean and hurtful. But again, this is walking that narrow path….attaching and committing to people, and being interdepdent, without going too far in an unhealthy way.

************************************************************************************************************************I’ve probably rambled on enough incoherently about this topic. My big take-away, my own personal “aha!”, is that learning to do rleationship well is like everything else…..the obstacle is the path. You can’t learn how be in relationship in a vacuum from reading a book or watching others from the sidelines. You have to jump in yourself and just do it. And then do it again with someone else. And then someone else. Only through these interactions do you really have mirrors that help show you who you are, which are necessary to help you grow and let go of attachments, and actually realize that you are whole and complete apart from being in relationship. It’s like the saying: “you have a guru to teach you that you don’t NEED a guru.”

We need each other to learn that we are just fine on our own.

It’s a beautiful, mysterious paradox.