Moral Dilemnitude

Yeah it's not a real word. So what!

We often face moral dilemmas in our life, moments of hypocrisy, or times when we work counter to some rule or measure. So the question becomes how do we define what's right... and what's wrong. Do we believe there is a fixed right or wrong, like there is a black and white; Fixed coordinates on a scale. Or like color are there shades of more wrong or more right and do some things look more wrong or more right based on the proximity of other colors (contexts)?

My moral dilemma lately is two fold. First is about forgiveness. Do I take the radical forgiveness point of view, that forgiveness isn't about what I'm giving to other people, but instead about what I'm giving to myself. And the second part of that is do you give up a core belief toward one person, even though it's the same core belief that you want to reinforce as true with another person.

To put it more simply... do I forgive my wife for the things she's done to me simply because I am better off for having let go of those issues? Or instead do I hold a grudge and hold off forgiveness until certain and specific milestones are met?

And secondly... do I continue to promote the idea that I will love my ex forever, as promised or do I break that promise and if I break that promise what does it say against other promises I make to Kelly. Can she then have a right to see my promises as shoddy and this as a precedence for not meaning that I'll love her forever also.

The foundation of these two problems kind of came to me in a dream. In it I was in a room with my "ex" wife and my ex-girlfriend Denise. My ex-girlfriend looked as pretty as she was in high school... which is impossible since she's 40 now. They both wanted to reconcile with me. However, Denise had started smoking, and Kat had a list of stipulations already started about how things would work if I took her back. I could feel this draw to the familiar and still starting over with Denise but the smoking was a huge "Nope!" And I could feel the desire and need from Kat, but the list of a demands was almost on par with the smoking.

So the question comes to mind of how much am I willing to put up with and what's the benefit of putting up with it. VERSUS, what is someone else willing to change about themselves to conform to my ideals and be part of my life.

That seems somewhat ego-centric... saying that someone should conform to my view in order to be with me, but relationships are about compromise. You make your list and you should be ready for half of it to get shot down and for the other person to come at you with their own list of expectations. Where you are going to land is them generally doing half of what you want them to do and you doing half of what they want to do over time.

So everyone changes a little, and some people change a lot. Change is generally good. People need to change and grow and become better. The question is, how.

If I'm radically forgiving and I hold to my promises, does it give Kat the incentive to become better of her own accord. Has she learned enough these past few months to understand not only the damage she's done to herself but also to her closest friends, to her children, and to her big F FULL family? Is it my responsibility to provide that understanding or the foundation for that understanding. Or do I do what I am at my core supposed to do and then if she hasn't learned, her own natural consequences will sideline her again.

Is criticism even the best way to tackle these issues, or should the void where criticism was and compliments should be going into, enough to spark someone's self-assessment to say "why aren't compliments going in this whole, what am I doing wrong here?"

Ideally that's the way I would want it to work for myself as well. It would be nice to hear "I love that you open the door for me, thank you" and "You're such a gentleman buying me flowers" or "I love how you treat me with kindness" or "It's sweet that you think about my feelings first" and then if there's some area where normally "Man you were such a jerk today" would go, instead there would just be silence. And I'd want to fill that silence with something nice like "You were such a great guy today, I'm so lucky". That's the kind of life I want to strive toward. No more tearing each other down. No more commentary or criticism on each other's decisions or choice in clothes. Just the constant striving toward grabbing that next rung on the ladder of compliments. How can I be more awesome today than I was yesterday. How can I love you more than I did yesterday. How can I show you my love better than I did yesterday.

That's the challenge when it all comes down to it. Kat is uber jealous of Kelly. UBER! Kelly's younger, skinnier, prettier, nicer, cleaner, has longer hair, perkier boobs, a nicer natural smile, unblemished skin, all the better thans that make Kat feel inferior. Kelly has jealousy over proximity because Kat has history and closeness and opportunity. Kat feels the need to assert her ownership and Kelly feels the need to defend her ownership. Kat's not focused on "how can I help Kelly today" or "How can I help Kelly and Michael today". It's all about her either laying claim or defending a claim or her feeling like Kelly is taking over.

But what about my feelings? There's so much talk about Kat losing some part of herself or what I might be taking away. But what about losing myself in the shuffle. I won't lose myself.

I have two clear objectives 1) NO MATTER WHAT I'm not giving up Kelly. I have been proactive in making it clear (without being asked or prompted) that ending my relationship with Kelly is off the table. I have fought long and hard to be by her side and have her by mine and my plans will include her for the rest of my life. She's part of me and I don't want to ever lose that. 2) I don't want to give up the core of who I am to anyone. I feel like I am a big-hearted person who loves people very easily and eagerly. I don't have any desire to curtail that. I don't let go of people, people are not disposable to me, I cannot just pick up and leave people behind and consider them persona non-grate because they aren't fulfilling me in the moment.

My feeling is that everything is fixable. There's an ideal state that I'm striving for out here and I feel like with enough time and attention and caring and working to uplift each other with positivism that I can, that WE CAN, all make it there together.

I think that's really the biggest life lesson I've learned from Kelly, try to find the positives in a situation. They are becoming easier and easier with every passing day. When she's here by my side they get even easier to find and my patience has sky-rocketed.

I had fun at the Magic House (which I love), despite the fact that I hate crowds and loud noises. Later I was told how much I was loved. I put up with some yelling by Kat the next day and some rehashing of old wounds without snapping or feeling the need to defend myself. I was later told that my patience and listening skills were really appreciated. Koree cut her hair and I didn't flip my lid like I normally do, but focused on how cute she looked and how I'm sure she's more comfortable. I also didn't flip my lid when I found out Alia's boyfriend was over at her friend's house with her without a parent around. Alia's a smart girl and knows where the boundaries should be kept. Plus she promised to not let that happen again.

My favorite thing about this weekend though was watching my girl work on her homework and playing some small part in her ongoing education. I love seeing her sit there so intent, learning new things and in turn I learn new things through her. She's so amazingly organized and I'm so envious of that ability to focus and get things done. I hope that in time her abilities will rub off on me and I can grow in that respect. But really I took pictures of her and everything to remember how awesome that feeling is to see someone bettering themselves.

That's what I want. I want to live in a house where we are constantly bettering ourselves. We are constantly looking for ways to say or do the right thing by one another. That's what's ultimately important in our house; that we all feel love and respected by one another and not who is whose property. I don't want to be someone's property or prize. I want to be someone awesome that people want to be around and that people love desperately. I want to be a person who inspires everyone around him to be better people and give love too.

That's what I want.