Thumbnail portrait of a man at sea by Mubariz Mehdizadeh.

Aedgar’s words are written this way.

Nerida, David and Miguel’s words are written this way.

Nerida: How about you, dear?

David: Hi Aedgar.

Hello.

D: Just wanted to know about my brother. He’s going through a process, having a lot of struggle. I’m wanting to know if you can give me an insight into the outcome of his process.

This process is going on for quite some more time. It is painful already, what he’s going through.

It will last a bit longer. He’s gonna make it a bit less painful. He has chosen to have this experience, so you need to give him some time.

People are on an experience to learn something that they need to learn, you can’t take it off them. The more support you put into it, the less he will learn, the less of an experience he will have.

It is his way of learning, not yours.

Do you understand?

‘It is painful already, what he’s going through.’ Photo by  John Fornander .

‘It is painful already, what he’s going through.’ Photo by John Fornander.

D: Yes.

You can be there and watch. You can be there to talk to him. But don’t try to give too much support because he won’t learn what he has to learn.

N: And that would prolong his suffering?

Yes.

N: Because he has to learn.

You understand?

D: Yes.

It will turn out fine.

But it will take longer than you expect at the moment because that’s what he has chosen to do.

If it were quicker, it would be so much more painful.

N: Did you hear that, my dear?

D: Yes.

And if it’s too quick, we don’t like to say it. But if it’s too quick—

—there might be an ‘exit’ somewhere. That’s when people look for an exit, too.

He had a look at some exits, but he passed them. Changed his mind. But it will take a while to go through it.

We know it’s very hard for you. But it’s his experience. You can be there as a brother. Don’t take on his experience, trying to help him. You understand?

You can be there as a brother. Photo courtesy  Antonino Visalli .

You can be there as a brother. Photo courtesy Antonino Visalli.

Pause.

Is there anything else we could help with?

N: Miguel do you have a question?

Miguel: Well, I have a short question. Will I stay in my current relationship, with all of its challenges and difficulties?

No.

I’m sorry.

N: [Laughs nervously] Pretty simple, direct answer.

M: Okay.

N: Okay. [To Miguel} Sorry, I was a little shocked.

One way goes here, the other way goes there. [Uses the hands to show branching paths moving in opposite directions].

You are on this path. The other one’s on that path. The paths are going off in different directions.

And, as we sense, it’s not worth the fight.

If it doesn’t come easy, we said it before, it’s not for you.

If it’s too much struggle, too much work, too much of all of these things, it’s not for you. There are things about this relationship that might have been a perfect match before, you know?

But then, you decide to take on new experiences. Even so, you might still be on the same way.

But in your case, we can clearly see, your paths go in different directions.

One way goes here, the other goes there. Photo by  Jens Lelie .

One way goes here, the other goes there. Photo by Jens Lelie.

M: [Sighs]

You understand?

M: I think so. How will that affect the children we share?

The children will have a better experience. Each of you will be much freer, much more open. There will be more peace around.

So the children will have a better experience of both of you.

M: Thank you.

You are very welcome. You, too, have good things ahead.

Pause.

[Addressing the group] I am sorry we do not talk in little unicorn language.

Laughter.

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