There are disturbing elements to life, and many of them are spawned from our own supposed need to categorize and organize our lives. What bothers me most in life is how so many seem to require labels and definitions for the people in their lives, as well as those who have been a part of their lives or perhaps will become a part. Doing so only imposes restrictions on the development of our interpersonal relationships. A person who is defined as a friend with whom we discuss and do specialized things with is unable to grow past a definition once it is imposed upon him or her. A person who, while we are "with" them is defined as "the love of our life" becomes dirt when that label is not lived up to for the eternity we imagine it will. We tend to permanently mark people and then have trouble washing away those marks when life evolves, we evolve, and everything changes. Everything will change.

The compartmentalization of life is generally done as a way to keep things simple and not lose control of the little patch of garden soil we feel safe on. We enter into a romantic relationship with a new person and immediately devalue the relationships of the past in order to increase the value of this particular connection. On the line of time, everything blooms in its own season and in its own time. The tendency is to value the present more than the past because it is here now. The value of people from the past or people with whom our relationships have evolved does not need to be wiped out in the new context of the present. Too often I see people who are with a new lover for several months and are quick to say that a ten year relationship they had with another means nothing now. They often do it to boost their current partner and their commitment to them, but why aren't we strong enough to admit that other people play important and equally relevant roles in our lives and the lives of those who are close to us?

Perspective shapes reality, and we allow ourselves to believe and change the nature of experiences we have by microscoping them in the light of "new information." Everyone wants to believe they are the best you have ever had, the true love, the one that really matters. The reality is, unless we force it to change through altered perception, that everyone matters and there will always be more than one great love just as there will always be more than one best friend and more than one life changing mentor. The romantic ideal of "The One" is self-destructive, even when "The One" is with us and stays with us. We tend to believe if it erodes, we erode with it. Growth in our lives puts us with different people and changes the nature of our relationships. Too often we let people slip out of our lives because we aren't able to adjust to the changes. We fail to reinterpret the changes in relationships and lose people in the translation.

We lose so many people in our lives when we believe that once we have slept with someone there is a chasm that develops when we stop banging them. Was that all there was? Sometimes, yes. More often, no. Especially when this was a lasting time in our lives. There was more to it than really good head, wasn't there? There was a connection and we sever those connections so quickly. Sex is such a powerful dividing line, but only because we let it become one. If we allow ourselves to pull out and continue talking and understanding, then we can continue and let it evolve. Why don't we?

Love. Jealousy. Possessiveness. Anger. Spite. Hate.

Let people continue to be a part of your life unless they create an unhealthy environment for you. If you had a reason to let them in, determine if the reasons for sending them packing is reasonable and worth the loss. Don't let new people in your life tell you that existing or past people don't belong in your life. It is your right to surround yourself with people who mean things to you and who have helped guide you on your journey through life. People should not be so disposable that we have to drop them off at the next rest area on the highway of life and drive on through. Just because they don't hold the answer we are looking for at the time or the answers we seek does not mean they don't play a part in our lives. "I want a person I can have a long lasting relationship where we fulfill all of each other's needs" is no reason to stop having coffee with that person you talk about art and metaphysics with, and it is certainly no reason to stop loving them.

Never stop loving people
just because they don't fit the glass slipper.

In other news, why hasn't anyone thought about doing a Diff'rent Strokes: The Next Generation? Gary Coleman could be the dad this time, have a biological daughter and then adopt and raise two funny young caucasian boys from Alabama. Conrad Bain/Mr. Drummund could visit Gary as a ghost of sorts, like Obi-Wan with Luke. I mean, come on, isn't it time to shake up the stagnant television a little bit?