Over two exquisite desserts, my friend tells me about how a man with whom she had been contemplating sharing her heart and life has - in his own words - made a dumb a** move.
I find his description euphemistic.
I agree that he definitely messed up and I am pretty sure that in doing so, he has lost my friend's trust - a loss which when occurred in the early stages of a relationship can be tough to regain.
In my experience, without the foundation of trust, whether in friendship or a romantic relationship, we are soon building on quicksand.
And yet, in his own way, he makes an attempt at explaining.
Pressure, he says. He has felt under so much pressure lately that his compass got wobbly. Or something like that.
Yes, I get pressure.
I get the pressure of bills stacking up, the pressure of illness and fear, the pressure of being exhausted from taking care of others - often the very young or the very old — the pressure of being invited to grow up, too.
Navigating life with a beating heart is likely to make us bump up against pressure, more than once.
The question is not so much whether that will happen or not; the question is more: who are we, when the pressure hits?
As Oriah Mountain Dreamer says:
"I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children."
So yes, I am less than impressed by this man's ways under pressure - but I am also grateful for the opportunity to ask myself: what about me?
Who am I, when I am low on reserves, and the light at the end of the tunnel seems very far away?
Do I become more of who I am, or do I betray myself? Do I like who I am being, and if not, how can I adjust the course?
Today, I invite you to join me and gently take a look at these questions.
I am so glad we had two desserts.