I like to go running and instead of Richmond I decided to run to Teddington Lock, down to Kingston and then back along the other side of the river. I often run to music (see this post) and as a subscriber to a well-known music streaming service I get a curated list every Monday morning of music that they think I’ll like. Let’s say their choice is a developing relationship – I’m giving it time.
And so it was a track called ‘The Moth & The Flame’, by Les Deux Love Orchestra came on and as I listened to the lyrics it made me think about relationships and how we can end up chasing the flame. ‘The moth and the flame’ being a well-known metaphor for self-destructive behaviour.
We can find ourselves in relationships that aren’t helpful, or worse, are bad for us. Why are we attracted to these relationships? Is it because the flame burns so brightly that makes the heat and light so attractive? Perhaps we know or at least sense that on some level that the relationship isn’t ‘right’, or that it won’t provide us with what we truly need. But we go ahead despite this knowledge. Why? I believe there are many reasons why we go ahead. Perhaps we don’t feel we deserve a healthy relationship that is based on mutual trust and respect. Or we are scared that if we don’t return the interest somebody has shown in us we won’t get another opportunity. We fear being alone. And even if at the beginning it all seems great so often we begin to see behaviours, in ourselves and in others that we don’t like, or don’t make us happy and yet we accept them, or excuse them. The truth is our most important relationship is with ourselves and that’s the relationship we need to address and work on. Until we can truly accept and love ourselves then we might find it all too easy to be drawn to the immediacy and heat of the flame, and yet another instance of where we find ourselves burned by the experience.