The Rest of Your Life
Figuring out how “being in love” worked was a more complicated lesson for me than it needed to be. Turns out love is simple, although, possibly different than we might traditionally expect.
Oh, to “fall in love.”
Spend endless moments getting to know the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with.
Spend time learning what they love. What makes them laugh. The music that moves them. The passions that sparks fire in their eyes.
Look at how they treat others, if their words are kind, if they speak their truth or air others’ laundry.
Spend time being real about their weaknesses. Their insecurities. Accept those “weaknesses” and do not allow your judgment to define them by those weaknesses. Remember that everyone will have baggage and theirs is theirs to do what they will with it. Allow imperfection, while setting a high bar for effort.
Call them out on their bull crap, while supplying strong supportive footing for them to lean on.
Forgive them. More than once if needed as they work through their struggles.
Love them. Even when you are mad at them, or disappointed. ESPECIALLY when you are mad or disappointed.
Listen to how they tell their story. Is it a story of triumph and overcoming, or of damnation and constant blame on every other character in the tale?
Know that this person may or may not ever change. It’s completely up to them. Any personal development cannot be forced. And, if change and growth is exhibited, allow and embrace that growth, for a human who takes on the challenge of growth deserves that respect to move into a new place and to leave behind any hurt and shame from the past.
And when you realize the person you are getting to know; that wonderful mess of a human who you will spend every last day of this life with is YOU, then, and only then, can you understand how to allow another person to enter into your space of certainty, of self-love, of evolution. And, be IN that love together.
What I Thought About “Relationships” in the Past
I used to think that relationships were only when more than one person was involved. And, that I was somehow incomplete if I wasn’t IN a relationship with someone. Turns out, I simply hadn’t appreciated the person I needed to get to know and love the most.
During a span of years where I traveled a LOT, and usually alone, I found my adventurous-self sitting bored in hotels.
I was in new cities or towns every few weeks. Places I’d never been before and may never have another opportunity to visit ever again!
I started to go to comedy shows, concerts, plays, museums, national monuments, amusement parks, and sometimes just take long walks to nowhere in particular. I’d take myself out to cool local restaurants and enjoy nice dinners by myself. I saw wonderful things, felt a wide range of temperatures on my skin, tasted amazing foods, and watched how now matter where I was, people tend to pretty much look the same. Just people living life as normal all over the country.
Nobody cared that I was alone. In so many cases I met people who were just out having a great time and I felt okay just sharing space with others. And sometimes, I kept to myself and immersed my mind in the moment to further clarify, for myself, the things I truly love and enjoy and the things I could do without.
If I would have only gone out to do things if other people were available to come along, I would have missed out on so many incredible memories and personal experiences.
Do something alone. Do many things alone! Go places. See things.
Sometimes we find ourselves going to do things only if we have someone to be with. Even if we are often compromising and going where they want to, when it’s not our jam. Obviously, when we love others and care about their interests, we want to be supportive of that and participate, ensuring that it remains reciprocal.
Trying to Get to Know Others
People show us only what they want to. Figuring out HOW to get to know someone can be tricky because so much of life can be totally contrived.
I know what it might sound like, and yes, I do have trust issues currently. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt and love people and honor their path, while reminding myself that I will only ever know what someone is willing to share with me. Even then, I’ll never be inside their mind, feel the pounding of their heart, or the hurt and shame of things they’ve experienced.
I’ll never know them like they do, and you’ll never know me the way I do.
It has taken a lot of time to finally become myself again after some challenging, yet valuable detours. I’ve taken inventory the things that I enjoy doing and make me feel good, along with acknowledging the things that hurt my feelings or cause me to revisit triggers from my past. I’ve learned how to recognize which kind of people make me feel supported, and which make me feel sad.
I’ve been able to come into such a consistent, stable alignment with what I want in my life than I can be more objective about non-negotiables, and other opinions/things that I can remain open to exploring as I search out my future romantic, yet self-assured, confident, dedicated man-mate because I WANT to, not because I NEED to.
A Little of What I’ve Learned So Far
I’ve lost track of the number of mistakes I’ve made. People I’ve hurt in the name of love. Along the bumpy path of trial and error, I lost the ability to love and respect myself.
After doling out apologies to everyone I could pinpoint or connect with, including the toughest critic, and the woman I’d let down the most, the one staring back at me in the mirror, I’ve been able to learn that I am worthy of love. In every way. And it had to start with me.
Inside my own mind, inside my own skin. I’m the one who knows me completely. The darkest moments and the brightest sparks of power.
I wish I’d listened to my own heart, my intuition more consistently in the past. Our guts know best what fuels us and warns us of what might be poison, if we listen closely.
Allowing myself to LOVE ME changed everything. It made me proud of who I am and what I can offer the world. In doing so, it honestly shifted the way I look at others, and craved for everyone else to know that we are ALL OKAY.
It takes a daily, sometimes even minute-to-minute effort to stay in the space of self-love so that I can step out of a mindset of judgment towards others or wishing anything other than love for every other person who walks among us.
Loving myself keeps strong boundaries for how others can treat me and helps me to recognize people who are still struggling to love themselves.
I’ve learned that love is every expanding, and one of the most wonderfully healing and exciting things that can connect humanity and heal hurts.
I stopped feeling ALONE when I began loving this kooky woman I am ALWAYS with. I’m WHOLE on my own and I’m enjoying the prospect of finding someone who is WHOLE on their own, to walk by my side. To love and respect ourselves, as the whole individuals we are, and offer that same love and respect to each other.