Tuesday, September 05, 2006

When is enough really enough?

Like that recent Craigslist poster, I find myself up in the middle of the night, wondering what love is and what it's all about. Not like him though; not eros, because that's mostly absent in my life, but agape, the Greek word for brotherly love as differentiated from romantic love.

Used to think I had it all figured out, and then everything fell spectacularly to pieces. . .and I find myself wondering if it's all just too elusive, or if we can only really love our familes in theory. It's so much more difficult when demands are made, when the people you love really need you and you're failing them. Also spectacularly.

I've overlooked a lot for people who mean something in my life, and there aren't really many such people. Have probably given family the benefit of the doubt much more often than I lend it to myself.

Warts, flaws, failures, we all have them, and I tend to care in direct proportion to a person's failings, always rooting for the underdogs among us, including me. But how much is forgivable, and how much are we all willing to give up, if it means sacrificing ourselves? And what happens when you know everyone's aware that what they're asking for far exceeds your own capabilities, but they keep asking, or worse, keep using guilt and your own better nature against you?

This is it, what keeps me awake at night, the impasse between obligation to self and obligation to the people you really care about, and what it all means when those issues conflict. It's probably best not to ask these kinds of unanswerable questions, or try and address issues that will likely contribute more harm than good. But that's what's on my mind. Before it's completely gone, that is.
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