©2012 Joan Newcomb
Much has been written about true love. It's been the catalyst for wars and adventures. It's been the seed for countless stories and movies. It's been the reason for much heartache and misery as well.
We all have this urge to search for true love, this idea that our lives won't be fulfilled without it. But very few of use know exactly what it is or what to look for. Often it's right under our noses and we don't recognize it.
Instead, movies and books and plays popularize the myth, which is fantasy, not real. It's instant attraction, at 'first sight', it's based on looks, it's superficial. It's needy, it's approval seeking. That kind of "love", if you can even call it that, cannot last, because it is so shallow and often selfish.
In relationships, the first few months are the 'honeymoon' period, characterized by fantasy love. People say the nicest things to each other during this time. They're trying to get on each other's good side, and in the early days trying to get into each other's pants.
Once the pink cloud dissipates, reality sets in. Our expectations start showing. The other person has to start matching our perfect picture of a long term partner. Conflicts arise, as an opportunity for growth. Relationships are strengthened or destroyed by them.
When we get married, it seems as if all the relationship work we did to get to that level of commitment goes right out the window. All our family issues, our childhood experiences, our parents' "stuff", show up. The person you married transforms into their parent and you don't know who they are! We bring our own relationship 'dance steps' to our engagements and marriages and discover the other person salsas when we like to waltz.
If we don't figure out a new dance with our partner, a unique blend of each of our favorite moves, the relationship becomes vulnerable.
When we have children, our focus changes. They become the center of our attention and rightly so as their survival is dependent on our responding to their needs.
If we don't figure out how to have our couples relationship even while our family relationship is developing, the marriage becomes vulnerable.
Some spouses start to look to someone other than their partner to fulfill their emotional needs. It's all too easy to make friends at work, find someone to talk to about what's happening at home. This person listens to them. This person always looks good (because they're dressed for work)! Lines get crossed which may seem innocent and in actuality create betrayal and pain worse than rape, worse than the death of a child.
Some partners turn to alcohol, pot, or drugs to alleviate the emotional void in their lives. What seems like recreational use insidiously becomes addiction. The addict loves their substance more than any relationship in their life. Overuse ruins marriages, families, friendships, finances, and always, if not checked, is fatal.
So much of the world's woes could be rectified if only we understood what Real Love is.
Real love is a full body experience. You have to be grounded and present in order to have it. Real love appreciates. Real love sees clearly. Real love accepts.
What gets you to the place of Real Love? Sometimes it is the experience of caring for someone who is dependent on you for survival. The voluntary self sacrifice of sleepless nights and changing diapers is ego transforming. Sometimes it has to be the loss of superficial things, status symbols, jobs, houses, trophy spouses, to wake you up to what truly is important.
It is decidedly unromantic. It is a soul decision, a soul choice, to show up and take responsibility. To accept the things you cannot change that are outside of yourself, and to courageously change the things you can that are within.
It is a simple change of focus. Take your sights off your fantasy and look at your reality. What you've asked for, what you desire, is often right in front of you. Hair uncombed, dirty sweats, nursing your child. Standing by you during your second layoff in as many years. Quietly supporting you as you decide to *not* go to your family reunion.
What may seem like hardship to get to this place is actually a gift. So many people in this world stay at a superficial, one dimensional level and don't get to have this. You have to let go of your resentments, let go of whatever you're using to escape reality, face yourself in order to get to Yourself.
Real love is a full body experience. It feels like there's no blockages. It's all Truth shining through all your chakras, your pores, all aspects of your heart, body and mind. It's not conditional, not holding back, not judgmental. It's standing in that bright light of Love/Truth. Your entire being is conduit this energy.
You still may have all the same problems, but you have an inner sense that all is well. Within, you have a greater sense of capacity, a renewed sense of self.
To one dimensional people this may seem boring. To them, commitment on this level feels like being trapped. But growing up is actually exhilarating and empowering.
It's the difference between choosing sugar water and choosing a full, three course meal. Of fresh fruits, vegetables, grass fed meats, lovingly prepared for you by the Universe.
What do you choose?