In relationship, one must bend. It’s either that or break, let me tell ya. My friend Steve has the perfect analogy to sum it all up. In his backyard, in the mountains, where both aspen & lodgepole pines provide a stellar view out his bay window–an aspen and a pine wound together as they grew. An aspen grove will break the wind enough to allow for lodgepole pines to take root. But then the lodgepole pines grow taller than the aspen and eventually choke them out. But without the aspen the lodgepole pines wouldn’t have succeeded. I’m no botanist but that’s my understanding of it. So the fact that an aspen and a lodgepole pine wound together to support each other against the wind and the elements seems odd indeed, since normally both species ultimately compete with the other. It’s like dating: I think I’m right, she thinks she’s right. And when we clash we both prove to be stubborn. And if we both stand firmly and hold our ground, one of us gets choked out. A single victor does not a romance make. So both of us lose.

Really, it’s best when we both yield and compromise. Or at least take turns bending to the other’s wishes. Otherwise there will only be one alone instead of two together. And I don’t wish to brace myself against life’s cold winds solo. I’ve been there, done that. “When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.” Saint Francis de Sales

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