By the age of seventeen I began a long foray into romantic love that I thought I had pretty well nailed. In that time I had 4 partners, spanning from 3 to 10 years each in duration – nobody could call me superficial or flighty, I was an ‘in for the long haul’ type of woman. I knew what love was!
I completely subscribed to the attraction and honeymoon period as being ‘in love’ – the excitement, the lack of sleep, the want to spend my every waking hour with this person, pushing aside friends, my own interests, suddenly finding myself eating, drinking, (taking drugs in some instances) in a manner I would not choose of my own accord, and all to be party to what I considered to be love.
For many, the excitement of this beginning is the pinnacle of the experience of love, only to either go sour and fall apart some time later (something we still don’t stop to question), or to progress into something we also call love, as a deeper, more sustainable arrangement.
And then perhaps we try that on for size for a while, as I did on numerous occasions, only to find that down the track, it still didn’t feel like ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ was.
In my case, and for many others l’m sure, it means this person is not ‘the one’, that magical one who ticks all your boxes, wants what you want, the way you want it and with whom you can stay in alignment in this way for the rest of your lives… the happily ever after.
We all know these types of relationships, though now it seems they belong more to the generations of the past, living out their fiftieth and sixtieth wedding anniversaries in retirement villages or nursing homes, silently but perhaps rather tellingly without inspiration to the younger generations. We still (in theory) hold them up as the end result of a true love match, yet their bodies are riddled with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, their minds muddled through Alzheimer’s and dementia, amidst a plethora of other chronic and debilitating (so-called old age) ill health conditions.
Something in this reality makes no sense!
If love is who we are, and is our essence, then why does a body end up this way if it is love that has ‘run it’, just as premium fuel keeps your prestige car running optimally but 91 Unleaded will definitely not.
What it meant in reality for me to stick it out and work at these so-called love relationships, was in fact a great deal of compromise. And aren’t we told that the very key to a successful relationship IS compromise? Well yes as I discovered, if that relationship is an arrangement based on what is in fact not love at all, but an ideal we have decided to make love to be.
So I became a chameleon… albeit attractive, attentive, committed and what I considered then to be… very loving! I was a pretty good prospect, a very appealing package.
But I discovered many years on that my health was the tell-tale sign, that it was not love that was running this body: I was never 100% well and vital as I enjoy today (many years older), I had a myriad of niggling health issues, I was relatively uncommitted to life, worked only part-time as I found it very draining, I exercised a lot as it gave me a sense of relief (from what I never questioned!) and it served its purpose of keeping my body looking the part. I never felt good about myself, despite everything I had, I was never enough, you know, that old nugget for us women!
On reflection, those relationships were central to my life, seemingly the answer to life’s purpose, which included how I felt about myself and whether I felt complete in the world. But deep down, I never felt anything close to the completeness I came to know as part of true love – I just never allowed myself a moment to stop and acknowledge with honesty the truth of what that feeling reflected.
So for me… love was simply something I felt that existed between me and my partner, it was an exchange, conditional in the sense that if he did not behave in a way that reflected my idea of what love was, l’d feel hurt. Unconditional love was something reserved for parents or your children, oh and the dog!
My ailing health, my poor sense of self, my lack of commitment to life and to working hard, had nothing to do with it… or so I wanted to believe.
But love is not any of that. When love is experienced in truth, it is a state of being, something that exists within us first. It is a profound stillness that is complete and whole in itself. Once known, it is not possible to entertain the romantic version again without feeling the immense disturbance to the natural harmony of the body as it departs that stillness.
Once feeling that love, it is possible to take a deep and honest review of what we have considered love to be and what it is in fact not, and it becomes clear in an instant why the false versions of love are in themselves so destructive, reflected to us constantly in every aspect of our lives, in particular reflected by the state of our health.
In effect I lived what I considered love as something outside of me, granted by virtue of it being reciprocated in this case. Love without reciprocation was agonisingly painful… doesn’t that in itself expose the lie we’ve bought about what love is?
The love I’ve learnt and now embody cannot be taken away (because it’s mine). It cannot be more by virtue of another ‘loving me’, because mine is already complete. As it can’t be taken away, it can’t be hurt because it’s up to me if I reject my own love, now THAT does hurt, but someone else rejecting me… well, in truth, that doesn’t change mine for an instant.
Love can’t feel or be anything but love, because it IS love. The moment I step away from that love, what I feel and express is no longer love, however loving I might like to think I make it.
You see love is an energetic state of being, therefore it can only be felt and expressed in the quality that is what love is. If it is not the quality of vibration of what love is, then it is not love. It is that simple!
I now have the real true love in my life, within me first, but existing as something I also share with my husband, who through experiencing the love I held when we met was willing to take responsibility to connect, deepen and find his own love, complete within himself.
And I can tell you that when true love is met by another who is willing to connect to their own true love, the recipe is infallible, for how can love do anything but love… the love in each another.