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The Value of Destruction

Image of brick house with large broken tree branch in the yard. Raleigh Psychotherapy, counseling, Katherine Broadway, destruction

I love you, I hate you

I can’t live without you, I can't live with you

What am I to do?

We often think of the above words only applying to a romantic relationship, but if you look closely at all your relationships you will find that it applies to all of them at on time or another.

Sandra found an adorable dog. He was year old. Sandra was told that he was housebroken and had learned his basic commands. At their first meeting, the dog sat quietly in her lap. When she held him, he would put his head on her shoulder. This was the perfect dog for her; she had always wanted an affectionate dog.

Sandra was delighted she had found her dream dog. She took him home with joy in her heart. When they arrived at home, the dog turned into a terror. He was running around the house, jumping from one piece of furniture to another and would not sit in her lap. The destruction of Sandra’s dream was complete when she discovered the dog would not obey any command and he was not house broken.

Anna found her dream job. She had great benefits, interesting and challenging work, and just enough travel to give variety to her schedule. Soon after she began her job, she discovered the project she was hired to do was far more complicated than expected. It was behind schedule. The people she was hired to manage were

accustomed to working without a manager and were not cooperative. While she

loved the project, the working conditions were far different from expected and her dream job had turned into a nightmare. Her hope for an ideal job was destroyed.

Mike and Emily met while participating in a favorite hobby. They were happy to have found a fellow enthusiast. It was a dream come true. They spent many happy hours in pursuit of this shared interest. The problem was, there was more to life that just this hobby. As they got to know one another better, they found aspects of each other that were not so appealing. Another dream is destroyed.

In each of these situations, is there any hope of saving the relationship? I would

suggest that it is the destruction of the dream that will make it possible for these

relationships not only to be saved, but also to grow and last. Being forced to confront the issues and re-imagining the dream will create a real relationship with staying power.

Destruction has value in that it leads to lasting love and satisfaction in a relationship. There are five steps in this process.

1. An Ideal Beginning:

We find that perfect match, whether it is a person, job, hobby, pet, or house. The dream comes true.

After spending time with your dream, you start to see cracks in the perfect exterior. These expose aspects you don't like. The job has hidden stresses we did not expect. The pet turns out to be work. That perfect house has unknown repairs that need to be done.

3. Disillusionment and Disappointment:

The dream is destroyed. This is not what we expected, but we can't leave because we remember that perfect beginning. It is during this period that we learn more about ourselves-our personal boundaries and our tolerance for conflict-and from that we grow.

4. The Relationship Survives the Destruction of the Dream:

We learn that perfect is not necessary to have a satisfying life. Relationships are full of many experiences. Life is like the title of an old movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Life contains things we believe we cannot survive. It is made of experiences, including ones we do not want, yet it is through these experiences that life becomes interesting. We build resiliency.

5. The Real Relationship Begins:

It is through surviving the destruction of the dream that we find security in the relationship. It is no longer necessary for that which we love to meet our ideal of perfection or desire. We can face conflict and know that we will survive. We learn that our relationships will last. We can have the worst day ever at work and know that tomorrow is an other day filled with different experiences. Everyday is not going to be bad because we had one bad day, or even a bad month.

In the long run, perfect is not possible or even interesting. It is when we allow ourselves to look past the dream, in essence destroying it, that we begin to recognize and honor the greater value that imperfection can bring to our lives.

Having trouble handling the distraction of your dreams? I can help you get the other side and find contentment. Call me (919)8812001.

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