It is a topic that sounds so simple, but is yet so complex. I have heard the phrase unconditional love, but in reality does it always work? When I think of myself, how I have thought: How should this person that I fall in love with be? Then suddenly I remember the times when I have started creating an image on how they should be for me and what they should give. The list gets longer and longer. Then, suddenly I am hit by this thought: Am I as good as this person that I want to have? Can I return the things that I expect of them?
So, then I give myself a moment of self-examination and as I begin to examine myself I have to start telling myself the truth. What can I offer this image I have created of a woman? Can I offer back the same perfection? I laugh when I begin to lie to myself: Of course you can, says the ego. But, suddenly I realise, to meet the demands of this mythical figure that I have created I have to be as perfect as them. Then, alas, I realise that I could not make the grade. I have to admit I fail the test, I cannot live up to the expectations I have created, because I do not have the same attributes that I demand. Is it not amazing? We demand of others things that we cannot give or be ourselves. And then I laugh at myself, I did not pass the test!
Of course I am no expert on love. Love in itself is a very simple word to say, but in essence it is a very complex thing. So what is love for me? I think we are always students in that area. Slowly I have begun to realise, the only perfection you can find in love is where you both have to find that middle ground and work from there. That middle ground is the place I call the place of compromise, learning about one another, recognising the strengths and weaknesses and somehow piecing together the strengths and weaknesses equally on both partners, so the bond can be created. To create that bond is an ongoing process. That process goes through many different phases in a lifetime of a relationship. None of us are perfect, we each have our luggage.
‘Do any of us really understand the meaning of love?
Somebody gave me a mug for my tea many years ago. The script on the mug read something like: “Love does not demand its own way.” Now I understand it, but to practise it is a completely different story. For me love is not about control. Yes, healthy boundaries must maintain in order for us to maintain respect and create that middle ground so that you can communicate with one another honestly. But, my god, does not that take some time and practice!
So many of us waste so much time in trying to change our partner into the image we want them to be. I believe it is a fruitless exercise that does not lead anywhere. Surely, when we speak about being in love, we have to create that fertile ground so that it can grow and not remain static? If not allowed to grow, it becomes stagnant and before we know it, that magic feeling slowly dies. The need to control creates a cage and whatever it is we are controlling, our partner becomes like a butterfly that is given no freedom, so it cannot fly and show its’ beauty. It becomes entrapped in a prison created by control and demand. In my own lifetime I have had to learn to relinquish the need for control and that was hard, but the more I let go the more freedom I find – freedom to be who I really am. So, if you give freedom to your partner to be who they really are, whether it is sincere love that will be the guiding factor.
Do any of us really understand the meaning of love? I cannot say that I do. I do not think we ever reach a point when we truly understand it. It is a subject that is endless and can take us to dimensions that has yet to be visited. We have to be open and ready to learn and understand.