When you want a relationship to be different it is.

I asked boyfriend where my anxiety went.  He said it ran off with his fear.

We had a good laugh. 

We both agreed those two, fear and anxiety running off together, helped us be in the relationship we have now.  The picture that popped in my head was two cartoon characters holding hands and running side-by-side off into the sunset.  I smiled and enjoyed the present moment, life was perfect.

We were out to eat, sitting in a cool restaurant with great seats.  We had spent the day together, walking thru an art fair.  I was wearing a new necklace.  Boyfriend saw me admiring it.  I was going to walk away, think it over, it was nearly $80.  I thought if I had the feeling I can’t live without and it’s still here when I come back, then maybe.  He interupted my thoughts and concentration and invited me to try it on.  The brown, green heart shaped center stone looked right at home on me.  I asked the artist about the stone.  It was Turquoise, from China, that’s why it had the brown and green look.  He said “I’ll get that for you”.

It was one of those times in life when I lost my words.  I was stunned, I was touched.  He’s not ever done anything like that before.  But then our relationship has never been here before.

Boyfriend and I have history.  To say we “butted heads” in the past would be an understatement.  Not as boyfriend/girlfriend, as professionals.  I think we both lacked some professionalism at the time.  Our conflicted relationship was well known.   As boyfriend says often these days “that was then, this is now”.  We somehow got past, that past conflicted work relationship, it took about 3 years and then we started dating.  Dating was rocky, we were off and on.

Then boyfriend gave me a speech.  Maybe even a lecture.  He was tired of the dancing around.  He told me we belong together.  He cited several key points, shussh-ing me every time I tried to speak.  He asked me if I would marry him, then said he didn’t mean it like that.  He declared himself and his position.  He left me a little confused about some analogy to a Rocky movie that ended with two people punching each other.  That part I chalked up to the beer, he had been drinking.  I think he was referencing the ‘dancing around each other’ part.  Then the sky opened up and started pouring rain.  We had to make a run for it.  I remember thinking that was some sort of sign.

Since that time, we’ve been together.  It’s been fantastic.  We both see each other differently.  I feel like he treats me differently.  I am different.

You have the power to change your relationships.  If boyfriend and I can do it, anyone can.

Restorative Jusitce is all about relationships.  Changing relationships between victims and their community.  The relationship between victims and offenders, offenders and their parents, victims and the families of offenders.  You can even change the ‘system’ and ‘victim’ relationship.  Sometimes the criminal justice system leaves victims feeling more harmed.  As a facilitator of this process, I’ve seen the worse parts for each person get exposed in Circle and then healed.  Moms share grief, victims share pain.  Offenders share remorse, community members share concerns.  These pieces get aired, and get set free.  Naming them, explaining them makes room for them to heal.  It’s almost like they evaporate at the acknowledgement.  Maybe not gone forever, but transformed enough to make it liveable, and leave people feeling better.  Feeling good about doing restorative justice anyway.

What you see in the relationship, what you want from the relationship can be transformed.  You just have to pay attention and put into it what you would like to get out of it.  You might want to find what you and the other person have in common and let those parts run off together.