I like to think in my 28 (almost 29!) years during this life cycle I've gained some insight into this crazy wild world. I'm no expert on any subject by any means, but the one underlying theme in my life is relationships. Relationships with family, friends, lovers, and self. I'm pretty sure my soul was created and centered on love. It kind of sounds wild when I say (or type) it out loud like that, but doesn't make it any less true.
I've been obsessed with the idea of love since I was a kid. Not in the traditional "I want to be a Disney Princess and be rescued by a handsome prince" kind of way; but more of a "Why? Why do our lives and so many stories center on this intangible, non quantifiable THING?" Obviously I didn't use words like intangible or quantifiable when I was 6, but I was OBSESSED non the less. This obsession was magnified by the strained relationship with my mother, non existent relationship with my father, and a string of unsuccessful relationships with men (boys) over the years. I used to joke with my friends that I could tell within the first time of meeting their new "boo" whether or not he was a keeper. "Trust me," I would say, "I've done the leg work."
All relationships, especially romantic relationships, became somewhat of a fascination to me. A study really. I would date guys and when it wouldn't work out I would try and figure out WHY? Why didn't it work? I did everything I was supposed to. I was loving and kind and supportive. I helped them work towards their dreams, I learned about things they liked so we could talk more about it. I loved their family like they were my own. It just didn't make sense. How could this not work?
Some of these relationships weren't all that serious, and a few of them really were. The few that were I can tell you when they ended, it was devastating. I felt like I had lost an entire family, an entire life. It took years to recover from one in particular, and it wasn't a clear break or recovery.
I would play these relationships over and over in my head to figure out what I did wrong. How I could be a better partner. Then, something amazing happened. I started to look inward instead of outward. Why did I want these relationships to work out? What was so great about them? Further more, maybe nothing was "wrong" but instead things just weren't right. Most importantly, there was nothing wrong with me.
One of my exes used to argue that a person cannot change. I would in turn respond that a person could change. People changed all the time. What I didn't understand at the time was that he was talking about the core of a person. And he was right.
Through all the life experiences and changes, our cores remain the same. Our truths, our authentic selves, remain the same. The way we project those truths may change, but the truths themselves do not change. In a relationship, these truths are what really determine if this is a relationship for a lifetime or just a season.
Our core truths deserve to be honored and we deserve to be with someone that honors those truths the way we honor theirs. This applies to both men and women. I find that the people who when in love respect the authentic core within their partner, often find themselves without a mutual respect. Or in the very least, allow themselves to respect the core of their partner more than they respect their own. So I ask: What makes your truth, your core, less important than your partners?
The same way we are supportive of our lovers core and truths, we have to ensure that we are supportive of our own as well. Sometimes that means realizing that the partner we are choosing, might not be the best choice to celebrate and live our truths out loud. This is a hard realization, but it's one we need to come to terms with.
It's not to say that our partner is not a good human being, or a soulful creature. It just means that maybe it's not the best fit. Further more, it means we're still not done working on ourselves. We need to find that balance between being true to our partner and being true to ourselves. We need to understand that we deserve someone who serves our core truth the way we serve theirs. And we need to learn to accept the love we give and nothing less.
I had a similar conversation with my younger brother last night in the car. He expressed to me how the girl he was seeing was still caught up in her ex who wasn't treating her right. He said she was chasing someone who didn't value her, who didn't respect her feelings. So I asked him, wasn't he doing the same thing by chasing her? It took him a second to think about it, and looked at me as if a light-bulb went off. I smiled and dropped him off at his destination.
I'm not sure where he'll go from here, I can only hope he honors his own core truths; realizing that he deserves someone who values him as much as he values them. Because at the end of the day we all deserve someone like ourselves. Someone who respects, elevates, and nurtures our core truths.
Published by Nancy Jane