In a previous blog ("Dreamers vs. Realists: Magic or Toxic", 5/24/13) I reflected on the magnetic draw between dreamers and realists. Since completing my novel I have come to believe that that we are all seeking a balance in our relationships. We are initially attracted to those who fill a void in our personalities so that our lives can achieve equilibrium that we believe will bring us happiness.
Relationships can be likened to a child’s seesaw in that they are balanced as long as the weight at both ends is equally distributed. Sometimes one end might be up, sometimes the opposite end might be up, but in order for it to work at all, there has to be equal weight on each end. In relationships we are magnetized to each other because we see in the other person something that we need to achieve the balance. We strive to meet someone’s need and fulfill our own need at the same time. This is true of friendships, work situations, and partnerships of all kinds.
In our attempt at balance, we often attract others that are on the same continuum as we are. If someone is aggressive, he may attract someone who is meek. In fact the meekness may bring out the aggression in that person. To achieve balance, one needs to learn to set boundaries and the other to respect boundaries. Holding on to resentments only causes them to build until, finally, the relationship breaks.
In the case of dreamers and realists, the balance is often achieved when both parties move toward the center or the extreme together. However, if one party begins to move toward the center and the other does not, the balance is thrown off and the relationship begins to tilt to one side resulting in disharmony and disillusionment.
When relationships are in full bloom, there is energy about it. There is enthusiasm and communication as each party learns what the relationship has to teach them. Then sometimes, for no apparent reason, all the energy goes out of the relationship. There is no enthusiasm for the job, the people at the job, a particular friend, or partner. This seems to indicate that we may have learned all we can from that relationship, and it may be time to move on to another one of life’s lessons.
In Windborne, the three women who are the central focus of the novel are also seeking this balance in their relationships. When the relationships end, they must reflect on what really makes them happy and what doesn’t. They must learn to apply the lessons they learned from their relationships and pay attention to any red flags that come up in the future.
They must learn not to be afraid to be alone for a while if that’s what life has in store. In spending time alone, they are actually giving themselves the opportunity to get to know themselves as individuals and to incorporate and integrate the experiences they have had into their new sense of self. They must learn that one of the most important relationships they will ever have is the one they have with themselves.