I can’t help but look around and see people who are struggling in their relationships; couples divorcing after years of parenthood; couples just married and consciously choosing to compromise on a daily basis; people loving their partner and yet still craving freedom.
I had my lot of relationships. I enjoyed the motorcycle rides on the weekends, the restaurants and seduction games, the getting to know his friends and family, the listening to symphonic music, the reading together, the hikes in nature, the museum visits... However, I hated the organization of meals, the political debates, the repetition of “what do we do this weekend,” and the TV before sleeping. I have been needy and jealous. I have trusted abusive boyfriends. I accepted the unacceptable. I expected a lot, gave a lot and forgave a lot. Being single can be a true blessing, but that might be the subject of another article.
I still believe in a happy and everlasting love. I dare to say that I believe in love more than ever, despite it all. No, I actually believe in love more than ever thanks to all of it!
The truth about relationships is that one needs to enjoy alone time – a lot – before being able to move smoothly within the context of a relationship. Couples, relationships, romance… It is the Holy Grail we are all running after. For many, relationships are the way to escape the anxiety of the void. The problem is that in doing so, the anxiety is simply transferred onto the third entity that the couple becomes. But truly, relationships are an amazing opportunity to grow, to heal, and be renewed. But how many of us are truly ready for this underlying commitment?
Whether you like or not, that is the most important. The notion of “love yourself first” works only if you can understand and accept what it is that “yourself” is. How could you love yourself if you don’t know what to love? However, such unconditional love and self-acceptance can only come with experience. It takes pain, ordeals and challenges to start sensing our limitations and strengths. The tenant you choose for your heart is an opportunity to get feedback, but you are the only one who can actually know who you are. The funny thing about this process is that it is an endless journey. Every day is a new opportunity for self-discovery, if you dare to accept the challenge. A lot of people – and I was one of them – want to settle into a relationship without starting the journey of meeting themselves first. I tend to believe that this is the most common cause of divorces.
Relationships – healthy or toxic – are a catalyst to move into self-discovery and personal growth. Since we get so involved emotionally, it acts upon us like a transformative mirror. If the relationship crashes, we will get to know ourselves in the rebuilding process. This is because healing comes through a process of self-love and self-respect. As we get to know ourselves, we start to clearly identify our core values and what we want and don’t want. With the right partner, we can become a trinity; it is the path to elevation. Both individual experiences and couple experiences as a unit are an opportunity to grow and create. It always comes back to this one question: what can we create from where we are and where we come from? Notions of who you are becoming, who your partner is becoming, and what the couple is becoming are all three nurturing each other as a result. The third entity – the couple – can then grow into a multidimensional love. Such love is most powerful if the two ever-changing beings that you and your partner are decide to collectively seek and create something higher. Such love spreads hope and healing joy into the world.
Love truly is a choice. I am not talking here about the first stages of love. When you are lucky, you meet someone with an instant connection, and here you have the choice to open your heart. This is when the journey really begins. Real love is about opening your heart to the unknown, to the new, to get to know someone without expectations and – probably the most difficult – without projections. Choosing love is about opening one’s heart on a daily basis and a lot more. True love grows its roots over time, blooms its flowers and produces its fruits over seasons in the ever-changing process that life is. Choosing love really is about embracing what you learn about the other person on a daily basis, such as his strengths and weaknesses, or her values and dreams. Knowing what you know, do you still choose to love this person? And if you are not ready to accept and love it all, will you then choose to respect yourself and the other person by walking away and making space for the new? In both cases, it does require courage. Love is brave. Acts of love are probably the bravest acts on Earth. In relationships, choosing love from moment to moment is the real commitment. Every day, embrace with gratitude and curiosity the ever-changing being at your side. Dare to share the truth of who you are. Commit to guidance: not only by offering your support, but by receiving it; as sometimes the latter is the most challenging. Commit to respect. Forgive the difference. Give each other the freedom to be your true selves.
- Know yourself and choose love -
The truth is that when we are fully aware of our true desires, there is no coming back. Those cannot be silenced. Honor the truth of who you are and choose love if you dare, for yourself and for your partner. Love is brave. Love is patient. Romantic love is a journey to take when you’ve committed to yourself.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish you that kind of love.