No Straight Lines
Recently I was speaking to an older relative that was getting married after several failed marriages and he was concerned about how many times he had tried to find the perfect partner and how sad it was to have to have ‘failed’ so many times.
I listened as he explained.
However it occurred to me, later, that life is never a straight line between birth to our perfect partner and it takes many twists and turns and it is not other people’s opinions about when and where we find someone that matters.
One of the complications many people seem to overlook is that as we grow and age we are rarely the same person and our needs and who we are changes with us. The person that might have been a good fit many years ago may not be that person anymore. Sometimes we don’t know what we want for many years until we learn more about who we are and what we value.
Self awareness seems to be a large factor in what suits us best and who we can find a comfortable fit with. This is never easy. Sometimes it can feel almost impossible.
Speaking personally I can honestly say that every relationship I have been in there was always a level of love and affection for them all, but that never guaranteed a happy ending. Far from it. The truth is I have a very loving heart and can love almost anyone for who they are. Being a caring person also made me commit to someone who I was not to be well suited for and ultimately we both had to go our own way, with the baggage we collected from the failed relationship. It’s not easy breaking up, even from those we know we should leave.
Through all the relationships I have had I can honestly say that I am no expert in relationships but I have become very good at knowing myself from each experience and become more self aware of all my needs, strengths and weaknesses. This has often been the silver lining in the most painful of circumstances.
I learned to know what my core values were and the things I wanted and those that I needed.
I no longer feel guilty or remorseful for who I am and the mistakes I have made along the way!
Sadly, we may also stay in situations because we feel guilty or because we don’t want to let the other person down. I am sure that there are many millions of people who today find themselves settling for relationships that aren’t really filling them up and we find we simply exist in a state of ‘this is ok’ and ‘it will do’.
I wish I could be like that. Sometimes I truly wish that I could see the world like that. But being who I am I realize that I have a very limited time on this earth and I want to make the most of that time and the opportunities it presents me.
When illness visited me and changed my world forever there is a predominant view that we become less or should be grateful for whatever we can get. We become undesirable as a partner by most of the world. This is perhaps the hardest and cruelest assumptions of all. Despite our health changing I fail to see how this diminishes us as people. Often we become stronger, kinder, more loving and see things we never saw before.
I found myself unable to stop wanting, reaching, pushing, fighting and reaching for the things I wanted, despite the fact that my body was often difficult to manage and hard to utilize. I couldn’t help but become more aware of the person I really was and the person who still lived inside. My spirit has been unbreakable. Despite my body breaking down often!
I have fought hard to let who I am out and show her to the world. I have more needs, desires, hopes and feelings now more than I ever had before. And to be honest I love that about myself. Completely.
Several months ago I realized that I have a few decades left to do all the things I want to do, feel the things I want to feel and see the things I am deeply curious about. I want to take advantage of every opportunity!
The perfect relationship for me is someone who recognizes how I see myself now, loves the person I have become and needs the woman I truly am. All my weaknesses and my strengths.
I once discussed the topic of love with my mother and I said I believe the person who means the most is the person you want to share your best news with and your worst news with and also the person you want to share most of you with. Unconditionally.
The one who makes you laugh, makes you think, makes you try and makes you dream. They are the one you don’t want to live without. Not merely someone who you can simply live with.
Years ago, in my early twenties, I used to have a notion of what being in love was, how it should feel and how it should look and it stayed that way until the day I actually fell in love for the first time and from that day it changed me forever. Like the way my illness changed me. I was never the same again.
Life changing events change us forever and there is no predicting when or where they will happen.
As for my relative who seemed saddened that his life had had many twists and turns and finding love has been a difficult road to walk I think that no one should ever judge us for where our hearts take us or condemn us for where we find love as it is not their life to live or their hearts to fill. We all have different paths to walk and when we realize that it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but us is the day we learn to love ourselves better too.