When it’s time to leave…

My last post was about the fact, that sometimes you just have to hold on in a difficult situation. But in some situations it’s also important to face the reality and you have to go on, wether you like it or not. To stay would just make it worse or keep you in a cage, so whatever is the result of you leaving, you should decide this for yourself.

For me there are some signs, when it’s time to pack up and leave:

1. Stagnation

When I get the feeling, that nothing keeps moving, that my heartbeat is too slow, that I have the feeling to shout out loud, but I stay quiet… I know something needs to change. When this feelings has been there already for a while and is getting a habit, it’s time to leave.

2. Everything is taken for granted

The small things you do for your love are taken for granted, is another one. If I do something for my love, because it’s him and I wouldn’t necessarily do it without him – but it’s not appreciated, a feeling is conquering me slowly. Drop it. Respecting each other for me means also to appreciate, what you are doing for each other in daily life.

3. Loosing the ability to “see you”

If your partner looses the ability to “see you” the way you are, with all your sorrows, your feelings, your thought, your little yours – because you become a fixed image of what you are used to be, it’s time to leave. Your love should always be somehow a reflection of you as well, and if just in reflecting you for yourself (while talking). But if he or she is reflecting a fixed image, it’s not helping yourself to see you. It creates a blurred picture of you, which keeps you captured. You should never fixe your partner in one image, let it flow and follow how it is changing everyday.

4. “I love you” become empty words

If you don’t feel the need to say “I love you” anymore or the moment you say it, you also could say “We need to buy milk”, it’s better to stay quiet. Just to reply because your love tells you “I love you” is already bad. However, if you say it without filling up this words with emotions, don’t use them.

If you notice this signs, it doesn’t mean necessarily, that your relationship should be ended or your love is over. But I think, it’s time to confront yourself with the situation and change somethings about it. Once in a while it’s good to leave, to give yourself space to breath, to see yourself again as an individual. Sometimes it’s time to pack up and leave, because love disappeared. The more you will keep your heart quiet, as it’s still not too bad, the more you will feel the need of a change. Sometimes your partner just got carried away by daily life and it’s good to focus again on what you share. Sometimes you keep on going for too long, than just one door is still open.

Summary: 

There are moments when we should come to a stop and analyze a situation. We should look careful, if we still behave like a lover and partner to our love and check on his or her behaviour as well. To state some things we don’t like or can’t stand is not the end of a relationship, but it should get us worried. Hence, we should start thinking about change, without being afraid of the outcome.

It’s worth to stay…

I hold on to the things I believe in, my faith, your love, our freedom.

Our society is determined by innovation, by the latest trends, by the day after tomorrow… Sometimes we loose the focus, because everybody and everything tries to catch our eye. Things are created the way, that you can’t stay satisfied for long, without going for the next thing. I refuse to always run for the next thing, just because the one I have, is a little old already or uncomfortable for the moment.

It’s not easy to stay on one thing, wether it’s love, relationship, your principles or your way of life. Very often the best advice from people is: “You should know what you want and how long you can take this.” … “You should know, what’s best for yourself!” … “Don’t forget about yourself.” This is not enough.

Difficult times always come in life. Difficult times always come in relationship. And I am not talking about the difficulties between two people (but it also could be that), but the one coming from outside. Times where you have to hang on and know it will get better, just not right now. Myself-therapy is to talk about it with friends. I need to share to get rid of negativ feelings and ideas. Unfortunately a lot of times I just get this kind of advices, which point out, that I should not stand the situation, but change it or drop it. Mostly I get quiet, as for me: It’s worth to stay. That means, you can’t always just decide what’s best for yourself. It’s not always about the very moment, but about a longer distance you have to endure. To hang on is also an effort, which is not easy to do.

I learned in Cameroon that it’s worth to stay, though you don’t know when things get better. Till now, it always was worth staying. Seeing people running restless from one new thing to another, playing the same games again and again, wasting energy on the never ending story… I just can be cool about it, because I compare for myself what I create with exactly that energy. And it’s beautiful. I see what I can get back from it and I just know: It’s worth to stay.

Summary:

Point out for yourself, what you want. Don’t let the outside come to your heart and determine you to change or to go and catch the next thing. Have faith, that holding on to something will pay in future times. You don’t need to think about a better option or the non plus ultra – just because everybody else does. Stay focused on what your life and love is really about. 

 

Like a bird and the wind

What picture do you have in mind, when you think about your love? Maybe a growing flower, a tree full of fruits, a thunderous river, a fragil heart…

I always think about a bird, which enjoys his covey a the very moment. It’s a sunny day, small good-weather clouds are there, but not disturbing the birds direction. The bird is beautiful and happy for the very moment, not chased, not chasing – just being. At the same moment there is wind surrounding the bird. The wind is the other component of the relationship. And at this very beautiful day the wind is taking the same direction like the bird. It’s strength is supporting the upswing of the bird and makes the covey easy and unique. Very important is the fact, that both are not depending on each other, but they are part of the one fragment of love and make it grow. The bird at the same moment is not an obstacle to the wind… We could continue to draw that picture… same direction… same moment… different experiences… powerful fragment of love…

Summary:

Create your own idea of love and partnership, but don’t fix it to hold it tight. Let it be an always changing picture of the love you carry inside yourself.

Love is a creating power!

 

„Love is the shaping of the chaos. Eros is the power to create beauty out of the unformed material.“ Plato freely translated.

(Ficino Marsilio: De amore. 2004, p. 23)

Plato describes love as the light, which turns the chaos to God as the good power. The chaos is turning into shapes and beauty is created by the good power of love. The classical (european) example: The sculptor is working on an unformed rock. He or she is creating beauty in forming the rock to a sculpture.

Another example which I really love… Imagine all the instruments, melodies and possibilities of creating a song. Imagine all the sounds and influences, voices and texts you could put in one song. Our Artist would be the one forming power in this example. Full of love for music or for somebody he could create a song out of all this, which is pure beauty. It’s this kind of song which is playing endlessly in your playlist. It’s that kind of song which is moving something inside your heart, which could make you cry, which you maybe share with one loved person, which brings you in just one second a lot of good memories or makes you feel love for your love – the very moment you are listening to the song. You have such a song, right? I have a lot. And it’s a wonderful fragment of love in my life.

Create something between you and a person you love. It overcomes any distance as it’s one thing you share.

Summary:

Share your love in creating beauty out of the chaos. It’s completely up to you, how to creat, just try to feel the love in your creation.

Sweet memories

“Loving can hurt

You know it can hurt sometimes (…)

You know it can get hard sometimes”

Ed Sheeran  “Photograph”

Ed Sheeran is talking not about the feeling of a first love or of falling in love, but about the reality in a serious relationship. Sometimes love hurts… when you are separated for too long, when you fight, when you have hard times. Somehow you survive, sometimes you don’t.

Challenges in a love between cultures can be as simple as in any other relationship: distance, to bring two lives together, having your first baby or some annoying people to disturb your love, facing yourself and so on…

How to get through this hard times: Photographs helped me through the times of separation (two years in whole). I had one wall for just myself in my sleeping room with a lot of pictures of good memories. All of them showing small moments from the good times with my love. Sometimes I talked to them in the morning, sometimes I took them to bed, sometimes I just remembered the whole moment around this one shot, once in a while I shared my day with them. People may call me insane talking to a piece of colored paper, but who cares as long as it gives you strength to overcome hard times.

I guess, this is what Ed Sheeran is talking about, too.

“It’s the only thing that makes us feel alive.

So you can keep me inside the pocked of your ripped jeans…”

Summary: 

Do whatever makes you feel good. Don’t forget the good moments when it gets hard. Keep a smile around you, if it is on a picture or in the face of your love – it will help you, when hard times come. 

Racism and Love?

„The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; i did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried the will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being to sensitive.“ 

(Adichie: Americanah 2013, p. 290)

Adichie is describing love between two human beings, between an American and a Nigerian, between a black and a white person, between a man and a woman, between people from two different cultures. Her point of few is the Nigerian girl in America.

Your origin is a topic, especially when you are obviously from different cultures. (That means people see it with their eyes!) The quotation says very well, that the topic might not matter between the lovers as long as they are alone, but the moment you step out, it becomes an issue. Wether we are in Cameroon or in Germany, with friends or family, at work or in the neighborhood – the topic is there. People have cliches in their minds, people are interested in your story, people heard something about “such” couples, people are happy to see something different, people like to gossip, people like to share.

Being from two obvious different cultures gives you sometimes more possibilities to define yourselves and your love, sometimes it demands a lot of strength to keep racism outside of your emotional sphere.

Positiv is…

A lot of people don’t measure your relationship and judge as they do with others. Because they don’t know what is normal or strange for your situation.

Family just observes first, to get to know the new member. You are not necessarily forced into same traditional rituals and if you miss a nice gesture, probably you didn’t know about it. That’s the good case. If you have your family behind you, you are already an a good way…

You really get into another culture. It’s not just a visit to a new place, but if you open up you will be invited to enter the other culture. And than you should also talk about the things, which piss you off.

Negativ:

Already in bureaucracy you meet a lot of problems. A Cameroonian needs a visa for Germany, which is not as easy to get as a Visa for Cameroon. While I just need to send my documents and for sure I have to pay the visa, my love has to fill in a lot of documents, fight for a date to apply for the visa, he has to feel that he is not really wanted in our country and that he will be considered as a suspect from the moment he crosses the border.

Sometimes when he comes to Germany people ask him, if they can send something to his family like cloths or drugs. They don’t mean to be rude, but it is. It’s the only idea a lot of people have about Africans, that they are poor.

It gets really dirty, when people approach you with the prejudices: You are just a couple because of the papers for Europe. The white person brings the money and gets sex. Actually I read once that about 80% of marriages in Europe are motivated by the financial aspect. And I mean white-white couples.

 

Summary: 

Don’t let it get to you! Don’t let it get between you! Talk about your feelings, even the littlest feeling! Don’t attack your partner!

Talk to each other and talk to people about how it feels. In my eyes, there is no other way to overcome the cliches and prejudices which come with such a love. However it should never rule your relationship. 

To measure your treasure…

Sometimes we are too deep and too close in our relationship. You start fighting about the small things: Who has to buy water or how to wash dishes… These little fights are not essential for the love between two people, although they become the most important things in some relationships after a while. If you start fighting about those things, you have lost the main focus. I would say, you need to step back.

In a binational relationship you are forced once in a while to stand longer distances, though you don’t always want it. Wether it’s for work, family or visits you leave for your “home country” for some weeks, a month or half a year. These separations are not always easy, but most of the times worth it.

The moment I leave my love and find myself in another place alone for days and nights, just in contact via “what’s app” or “skype” I realize a lot of things. It’s like a bench, where you sit down to look back on the path you have already taken and to estimate the next challenges coming soon. I sometimes loose the main focus with all these things going on in my daily life, but being forced to sit down on this bench for a while always helps me to get it back. While people around me pity me once in a while, one part inside of me is also looking forward to those moments. Why?

The moment I prepare for leaving and the first days and weeks, I just enjoy the longing for my love. These very intense moments show me every time that our love still grows. The first days I am alone I find myself in some situations in which I burst out laughing about the last stupid fight we had.Sometimes I even start missing the little things I complained about before. (I also enjoy watching a whole day my favorite season, sitting crying in front of my laptop without being disturbed.)

Finally I am able to look back and appreciate what I have. I let go of these small things which are not essential in my relationship and I get back to the main focus. I have a lot of time for myself and thus has my love. After those periods we just enjoy each other with a new pinch of the charm of first love.

SONY DSC
pictures by Carolina E.

Summary:

A change of perspective is helpful in every situation of life. Especially for things we consider negative or difficult in the beginning, it could help us or give us a new point of view. 

Distance in a relationship sometimes brings you closer than you have been before. It’s also necessary to stay yourself and become aware of your priorities or your own life (in the relationship). 

Distance and love are not two different things. They are emphasizing each other. 

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein.

This quotation gave me a lot of inspiration. Actually the limits of our language are the limits of our world. At least under the conditions that we share our world with other people. To share your ideas, your dreams, your feelings and your inner world – you need words to describe this world to somebody. And everybody knows the very moment you try to catch a feeling or an idea you want to express, but you lack the words. At these very moments I mostly feel very uncomfortable, that I am not able to put it in to words, and the person I am talking to stays somehow in a foggy land, trying to follow but not really sure about taking the right path.

So in a relationship between cultures you have to be very attentive in listening to your love, as both people mostly don’t use the same language or expressions. You may be describing the same thing, but using different styles and expressions to paint the same picture with respect to your language. You may be drawing the same image but with different colors and finally you don’t understand each other rightly. Nevertheless, this is not a bad thing. If you are dealing even with two languages, I don’t think that your world is limited where your “language” stops, but where both languages stop. That means your range is growing.

(Not just for the fact, that you learn a second language well.)

To get back to Wittgensteins quotiation – at the same moment  there is something missing. A spoken language is one side of communication, but there is also the unspoken language, which crosses the limits exactly at the point where you lack words to express. Everybody knows the following situation: You enter a party with many people. At the very first moment there will be at least one person catching your attention and maybe one person you don’t want to talk to at all. This phenomenon is just part of the wide range of unspoken communication. There is more, we can’t put into words. And maybe we don’t have to put it into words.

How would you describe in words that feeling when your lover takes your hand and presses it strongly, to let you know that he or she is there for you in a difficult moment. Would you call it support, love, comfort … etc” Is there really a word good enough to explain the feeling in it’s entirety? Well I don’t think so. How would you describe the feeling of a hug after two months without your partner? That one hug which tells you more about the time he or she spent alone and the joy to see you again, than anything else:  Would it be enough to say “I missed you badly!” or “Good to see you again!”… etc.

Summary:

Understanding what your lover tells you is important, so listen well and talk about your understanding. Sometimes it is even more worth to talk about expressions and what they mean, because by so doing, you find out whether or not you are speaking the same “language”, though you are not speaking the same language.

At the same moment, try to feel what’s going on and trust your feelings. There is so much more in that unspoken language, that you can’t catch from words so stay attentive and find ways to express yourself, so that your language is not an absolute limit to your world.

 

face yourself

 

Pic: By Tina Marohn: Multiperspektive

A relationship becomes a mirror, if we really open up to love. The picture we have to face in the mirror is not steady, it’s changing every time we face the mirror. And it’s reflecting all the fragments of our personality.

If you are really into love, you open up. The very beautiful parts of your personality come out to show up, because you don’t hide anymore. But also the very ugly sides show up, the very moment you could be hurt or attacked in exactly this nakedness.

” all of me loves all of you with all the curves and all the edges, all your perfect imperfections” John Ledgend: All of me.

Continue reading “face yourself”