About a Lyric…

“You’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above”

Ever hear a lyric in a song, or even sing it aloud, so many times, and not really think about what it means?  That’s what happens to me…and occasionally, I’ll suddenly get it, get what it means in the context of that song.  Rarely though, does a lyric hit me and be so relevant to what’s going on in my life.

“You’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above”

That lyric from Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Tunnel of Love” hit me today.  I’ve been working on myself for years…to better myself, to get rid of nearly a lifetime of mental baggage, the sum total of years of doubt, regret, and worry.  And yet…this week, all of that, and how still not being able to deal with it properly, once again cost me greatly.

Can someone learn to live with the things that they can’t improve about themselves?  And, relevant to this week’s mess, can someone’s significant other learn to live with those things?  Perhaps that lyric refers to compromising.  But is compromising – again, and again – fair to them?  Or is compromising, finding a middle ground, what a partnership is all about (suddenly, another song and its lyric popped into my head: cue Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me”)?  That it can’t be totally incumbent on one person to only change and improve themselves?  Perhaps…but if one person’s baggage is far greater than the other’s that’s too much to ask.

Is learning to live with what you lack in interpersonal relationships just a way to quit, to give up the work and the learning?  There’s moments I feel like I’m resigned to the status quo. To just “own it” because this is who I am. Because, despite the work, and despite what was on the line…the same behaviors occurred as did the outcome. Again.

But with apologies to Bruce, I can’t stay with the status quo. Not when I  am a father.  Not when it’s cost me so damn much. I’ve been living with these things for far too long and I’m exhausted from it.  With what its wrought.  The work is not finished.

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