Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mourning the Mirage

I believe in love. I believe that two people can stay together for a very long time and truly remain in love with each other. I also believe that finding this kind of love is a birthright, but that most people jump the gun and miss the mark. I don't know about there being just one... I tend to see romantic relationships as a progression, and an opportunity for growth, perhaps ending up at one that works for the long haul... or perhaps just relationships of varying lengths throughout our lifetime... the answer to this probably varies for each person's life story.

Most, if not all, people have the strong urge to pair up- to find someone, a partner, to share life with. We all want someone to love us just the way we are, through thick and thin, someone to have fun with, to be intimate with, to curl up with, a friend, but so much more. And no one wants to get old alone, right? We want a partner in life especially perhaps so that we are not lonely when we are old and so that we do not die alone.

I think all too often, because we are so excited to find this someone or a someone that fits the bill, we take our good intentions and excitement too far and we meet someone that we like alright, and in our heads we try to make the square peg fit into the round hole. We kind of convince ourselves that this person is exactly what we want and need, because, well, they are here now. We sell ourselves a dream, we compromise, or settle as people often say.

Human beings are very excellent at rationalizing things. We can even rationalize ourselves into love. My theory on falling in love is that we see this person we have met, and we know or perceive some things about them, but there are many gaps where we simply do not have information. Our mind superimposes our own feelings, wishes and views upon them, filling in these gaps and creating a connection to them as being who and what we perceive them to be- filled with our own ideas as much as or more then the reality of who they actually are.

When the "honeymoon stage" wears off, I think we begin to see someone as a little bit closer to what or who they are, as opposed to the image we have built in our minds of who we imagined them to be that we actually fell in love with. Then we may fall in love with the more real version of who they are, or we may say to ourselves, maybe even to them, "you've changed. I wish you would be the same as when we first fell in love.", "Why are things so different?", "What changed?" We may be pleasantly surprized, and form a solid relationship based on two people caring about each other, growing as individuals and growing together.  This is the ideal scenario, and it certainly can and does happen.

Sadly, more often we are incredibly let down when we reach this point. But because we had such a strong connection and investment in who we thought they were, we stay. We also stay often times because no one wants to be lonely, or be the bad guy or girl that breaks a heart. So we drag out a relationship that we are not happy in well past the point of realization that this is not working and is over. This describes a lot of marriages and relationships, unfortunately. We have all seen it and or been there: the couple that bickers over nothing, shows no signs of being in love, caring, touching or even intimacy. It is the zombie-ghost-image of a couple. No one wants it, but so many people settle for it for fear of social disapproval, for fear of hurting the other (even though nothing would hurt me worse then being unwanted and strung along), for fear of being alone (as if there are no other people in the universe or as if sleeping alone might kill you instantly).

People are clingers, we are. We get attached to an idea of reality and like to stick to that better then owning up to real truth because we are scared little beings. We seem so mighty when we raze a landscape of trees to build a strip mall, or when we kill each other with giant, crazy weapons for very archaic or materialistic motives, but when it comes to the one-on-one scale, and our inner workings, we are very fragile and frightened creatures.

Many break-ups and divorces are a long time coming before they come, and this whole experience is why... we were never in love with each other, but in love with the idea we had of who the other was. When we woke up and saw this other person for who they actually were, we realized we weren't really connected.

Knowing this can help make handling break-ups easier. We begin to see that instead of losing "the one" we are moving forward and one step closer to finding someone we are genuinely in love with. We have to recognize the image we had of our partner is what we were in love with and who we are missing. We can have great fondness or even love for the person we actually were with... in time we may develop a very deep friendship. And we can move forward, and with great care we can listen deeply and honestly to our hearts and let ourselves fall in love naturally, instead of rushing it or forcing it.

Even very conscious people will most likely superimpose some of their own wishes upon the reality of the being they are with at the start, but when that image fades, it is possible to recognize the difference between fantasy and reality and love reality when it sets in. It takes discernment, patience, and compassion. It takes honesty and strength to be upfront with ourselves, because love is an interesting thing. We can choose to be loving people, and to widen our circle of compassion to include all beings, all life, the entire universe, but romantic love is a fickle thing. True romantic compatability, being "in love" as it is called, I believe is a very subtle thing. It is based on energy and vibrations... either two beings are harmonious or not, and the depth of their harmony determines the depth of their relationship. If as two beings progress through life, as both evolve and change, if their energetic vibrations remain harmonious through all of the transformations, then they will happily be able to stay together. There are likely to be times when they are not harmonious here and there, but harmony can be cultivated, and these patches where they do not resonate beautifully should be brief. Too many people remain trapped and held back out of fear, when this is actually stunting both people tremendously; mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually....

We can strive to become as aware as possible, to avoid these pitfalls, to own the truth of our life situation with strength and integrity, out of respect for ourselves and for each other. We can let go of trying to change the other person to fit the ideas and images we projected onto them or wished for them to fulfill and we can allow ourselves to either move on or fall in love with the actual person we are with. Any move made in honesty, compassion and integrity with reality will enrich both people's lives for the better, even if pain is part of the process.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight with us Laura.