The Infinite Loop
A girl once decided to confront infinity.
She found herself standing in the center
Two loops coalescing into eternity.
Around and around
She felt consumed.
Until she looked again and understood
she was also Infinite.
Family has such weight during this time of year. Holiday celebrations, burying of old wounds as everyone comes together and so on.
I have been lost in the sense of family as of late. I have used the analogy with my husband that I feel I am standing in the center of an infinity loop that represents “family” and I am being crushed by the weight of it all.
On the one side of the loop is my family of origin. Two parents, 3 daughters, including me. Take me out of the loop and no one else talks to one another. A falling out happened three years ago. My parents and one daughter on one side, a daughter, brother-in-law and nephew on the other.
Want to know who stays in contact with them all? Me. I hold onto that infinity loop with both hands, hoping it does not fly apart. Early on, during all of this, I had the hope that my family would come back together. I naively believed that if I, at least, kept open communication with everyone, that somehow I could be a conduit for reconnection.
How well do you think that has worked out? On the one hand, I still get to enjoy everyone. On the other hand, I am completely fractured. We have to take separate trips if we want to see my family- as they can not be together. There is no meeting up with everyone for a holiday. If we want to see my parents that is one trip. If we want to see my sister, that is a completely different trip. Our “double travel” throughout the years has cost us $1,000’s.
Of course, conversations with this group is built upon lies. Do my parents still consider they have 3 daughters or is it 2 now to them??
And then there is the other half of the loop- my current “family” – husband and 2 stepchildren. We have the children 1/2 the time- every 2 weeks for 2 weeks. I felt hope for this family. I committed to it fully. Now, though, I am not so sure.
I see their mistreatment of me countered with my continued desire to fit in and have them love me as if I mattered. In some ways it has worked, in some ways it has not.
I see myself as the girl in the picture, staring up at the infinity loop wondering “Why?”, followed by “What lesson can I learn here?” (I am always asking this question, confirming that yes, God does have a sense of humor, as I have become a teacher in this life.)
I decide I must transform my relationship to this analogy I created. Rather than being crushed by the infinity loop of family – perhaps I am the infinite one here. Maybe I can see beyond all of this and use this sense of infinity as inspiration. Perhaps I am learning to question what family truly means to me and what boundaries such commitment to family may or may not imply.
So, I see myself as the girl who played with infinity and came out O.K. I am learning to repair my fractured self through seeing this situation differently. Does this remove all the pain? Of course not, but it allows me to heal some cracks that have been running deep for some time.
I think this is what we are frequently asked to do. We may not be able to change situations that cause of pain, but we can see into the cracks of our fractured selves and think differently. We can focus on healing ourselves.