JJ wanted me to be powerful. Well, his concept of powerful. Every time I pushed, he did not push back. Every time I moved forward, he ran away. If I took the lead on anything he would go limp, like a rag doll in body and spirit. Or fall quiet. The only way he ever became bold was when I gave in, when I began to agree, concede. Actually, it was more like annoyance than boldness. At some point, I just gave up. That was not the best tack. I just didn’t know how to help him understand that he needed balance in himself if he wanted it in our relationship.
I don’t see relationships in terms of power. I’ve thought about it a lot, about flexing my “strong woman, Ayn Rand” muscles again. I’ve done it before, however it never really worked. It just silly. Sometimes it better to lead quietly, gently. But in our brash, narcissistic youth, we often see this as having a lack of self confidence. We don’t really see kindness, compassion or flexibility as power. But, the truth is, these qualities take a lot more strength and practice. And they are needed for balance.
He told me once he wanted me to walk away and let him come to me, but I knew he never would. His actions spoke differently than his words. I knew if I walked away quietly it would be over. I would have had to fight with him, be angry, storm away so that he could see my “power’ and come for the chase. Just like every man who is looking for a ‘strong’ woman, he will never come to me because I have been kind, patient, forgiving, understanding, or (god forbid) loving in spite of his shortcomings. Without an appreciation for my softness I will never be able to share with anyone my strengths.
Balance requires effort on both sides. Cooking requires that too. Acidic needs to be balanced with basic that’s why balsalmic vinegar and cheese go well together. Sweet needs to be balanced with savory or salty. Think chocolate dipped pretzels. When I need a simple, reliable, flavor-balanced meal I go for the tried and true Caprese.
Capellini Caprese (VG)
Spike to Buffy: “When I say, “I love you,” it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman.” – Joss Whedon