Love is a funny little thing and as we transition, our love relationships hold many lessons.
Our love relationships, the people we hold close to our hearts, offer us many lessons about ourselves. They aren’t easy lessons, but they do give us a chance to more deeply connect with who we are and who we want to be. They also, if we let them, help us to build empathy and compassion. We understand only too well how difficult the turmoil and tension is between what was and what is.
One of our main fears is a loss of love. I can say that this fear has kept me quiet when I should have spoken up, still when I should have moved and resisting when I should have accepted.
As I have learned to love myself and set boundaries, I have seen how uncomfortable it is for those I love. No longer willing to engage in their drama I have been able to step back and be more clear about what it is I need and expect in my relationship with them. This comes with the awareness the relationship could become more distant. Perhaps even the usual expressions of love, lost.
Make no mistake, this is painful. There is a pull to keep it as it always was, but the pain is what brought about the change in the first place.
I think it’s fair to say that most of us want to be seen and accepted for who we are. What happens though, as we pull away the shroud? Sometimes people will mutter they don’t recognize who you are or understand your actions. As I continue to invite change and to transition, I want to say, “thank god, the real me is emerging!”
Change can create blame and I have had my share of that too. Both as the blamer and the “blamee”. I blamed when I didn’t take responsibility for what was occurring in my life and wanted to put that on someone else. I accepted being blamed when I wasn’t standing up for myself and voicing my needs.
Until we have learned otherwise, the only perspective we hold is our own. This is true of the parent/child relationship. Just as I can’t know their lived experience, they can’t know the factors that would cause me to create huge, life changing actions.
Learning about love from our children
The parent/child relationship has been one of great growth for me. It has taught me about love and setting boundaries, for them and for myself. It has taught me about where I have given too much and where I have not asked for enough. Finally, it has helped me understand the importance of being more than a parent. To show myself an individual too, unapologetic.
Unconditional love does not mean accepting all behaviour as acceptable. Self love obliges us to step forward and ask for respect and courtesy. This is a two way street. While we may not understand their actions, nor them ours, this is the foundation of any relationship.
Love at its most plain and important place of existence, is within ourselves. As author Byron Katie says “ We don’t have to wait for our children to change before we can be happy. We may even come to discover that the very situation we dislike is what we’ve been looking for-the entrance into ourselves.”
I can be hurt, and have shed tears as I have moved from what I want, to accepting what is. As I do so I find my centre and place of calm. I choose to continue on even within the storm of change.
I know that for true happiness, I must move away from the subconscious tally sheet of love. If I do this, then I deserve this. Instead, I live my life with the understanding it won’t always be in line with where others are in their lives. I can only continue to move forward while I practice empathy and compassion for those around me trying to make sense of it all.
Love is a funny little thing, and we all need it. The lesson, throughout our lives, is how will we allow and express it.