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One might argue that there is no "meant to be"—that we simply construct narratives for ourselves that seem to make sense, that we confirm the existence of things we want to believe and deny the existence of that which we dislike. And that may be true—especially for one such as myself, who daily takes small superstitions in hand.

But that said, here's another truth: Perhaps the most important predictor of any relationship's continued success is the shared creation of a positive narrative. The balance of the positive must outweigh the negative. This factor alone can predict the dissolution or continued union of two individuals.

So here's what I think: Imagination helps. Romanticism. As depressives will tell you, part of being positive is suspension of disbelief. Similarly, comics will tell you the key to improv is to always say "yes"—to forge ahead by imagining the path into being. It's the key to a good interview, too, that zing of the sharp, imaginative follow-up. Richard Bach always noted that you can bring anything into your life by imagining it there, by brazenly and confidently proceeding as if it already were. And as anyone who's met my parents knows, you can drive just about anyone away by unimaginatively and endlessly rehashing small transgressions.

I think that's the key here. Disagreements will occur. Two people inevitably hurt each other. For all our similarities, we'll forever remain apart in experience. But a positive, forgiving outlook renders all of that unimportant.

Narrative, like anything, can become dangerous—delusory—when we believe in it so fervently that we're unwilling to see the truth beyond it. And that's always a question, whether we're just deluding ourselves, acting out a soap-bubble, ephemeral script to avoid putting ourselves out there again. As one said to another in When Harry Met Sally: "Tell me I'll never have to be out there again."

"You'll never have to be out there again."

Love. Security. Delusion. Whatever the reasons behind it may be, the belief that there's a greater narrative and context for our actions can inspire us to be better to each other, to forgive more and dwell less and keep things in proper perspective.

That's as good a reason as any to believe that perhaps it's meant to be.

- - -

"She's the one that keeps the dream alive, from the morning, past the evening, 'til the end of the light..."
—Cornershop, "Brimful of Asha"

7:09 pm, July 12, 2007 :: erstwhile

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