Those We Seek to Imprison We Do Not Love...
A simple enough quote yet rarely is this beautiful nugget of wisdom ever expanded upon in a way that reaches us within our lives or our interpersonal relationships.
Media, romance books (fictional and non), television, film (me as an actress playing a role) all work to propagate and perpetuate the belief that "if you love me you 'should'..." Which implies that we believe: "I love you, so, I 'should'..."
The major flaw in this thought system is the fact that it is entirely based on the antithesis of love. Love has NO REQUIREMENTS. Love NEVER SACRIFICES. Love does out of the goodness of itself and needs not remember having ever done so as it keeps no record.
Example: COMMON RELATIONSHIP FLAW
Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. Butterflies. Excitement. Time spent. Hugs. Kisses. Gifts. Trips. Eager helpfulness. Lots of sharing.
3 years later... 2 years... 1...
Then the 'shoulds' begin. "Well, he's my boyfriend so he 'should'..." "I'm with her, it's serious, so she 'shouldn't'..."
YOU HAVE BEGUN THE DEMISE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
Before it's too late...
Now I know this goes against everything ever taught... ever, but let's look at some facts for a second. You know-- based on the status quo who believe doing the same thing can create different results. (Webster's definition of 'insanity')
America had a statistic of 4.95 divorces per thousand in 2012. That means a minimum of 148,500 divorces. 297,000 people who decided they have tried everything and they had no other option but to end it all.
More interesting still, apparently 65% of dating relationships break up and make up multiple times. (I used to think it was just me).
So I have a theory... I'm no scientist. I'm certainly not patient enough to collect data and write a "what happens if" statistics sheet, but I genuinely believe if one were to delve into the 'heart' of these matters common ground would be found.
I imagine the list of 'shoulds' in any or all of those failed relationships was so long that eventually it broke one or both parties. You see, those we seek to imprison we do NOT love. If love had been the true epicenter the relationship could not fail because love never fails.
Now don't get me wrong ending and failing are two very different things. For example my relationship with my first boyfriend 'ended', but it did not fail. I still love him to this day. We still talk and my current man knows him and knows our relationship is based on true care for each other and it's a really lovely thing. But, I will admit I went into that relationship with love, and yet I let "shoulds" take over. I was 16 so society had a lot to do with the choices I thought I 'had' to make. I did not know how to exercise free will as I thought I was already doing so. In fact, I was a slave to the system.
In my current relationship there are no requirements. We both do only what we want to do when we want to do it. We are radical in this sense because most people think "how abhorrently selfish?" But, Dom and I disagree. We see our actions as preservation. We don't care to be a statistic, and the both of us have had our share of divorce affecting us either directly or indirectly, so we (not wanting to be the dictionary defined form of insane) are trying a different approach.
Dom doesn't like events. I go alone (or with a girlfriend) to pretty much all of mine because I would rather my man be comfortable and happy than to try to "force him" to do something for what...? So he can be miserable and we can take a photo together and appear to be happy? We don't give a f$&! about appearances. There are plenty of people who aren't truly living yet, we leave that to them. Not in a judgmental way... We just accept that that is their journey, but just because "they" do it that way, doesn't mean we have to. And... It doesn't mean you have to either.
I have a neurosis when it comes to sand. (Cray-cray, I know) I love the beach, but hate sand. Hate it on my towel. Hate it on my skin. Hate it stuck to my bags or water bottles. Just can't stand it. Then there's Dom. For the sake of this let's just call him The Sand Monster. My worst night mare.
I perfectly tip toe about the beach, spreading my towel, placing items one by one onto it so it doesn't blow up and thus attract those trillions of evil little gritty particles. I, then step out of my sandals onto my towel and am cautious to avoid any dramatic movement as I pivot in place and then gracefully find myself in a lying position perfect for tanning.
That's when... WHAMMMM!!! A surfboard gets plopped an inch from my head causing a tidal wave of sand to splatter my face.
SWWWISHHHH!!! That's Dom kicking off his flip-flops and making sure to dig up a couple pounds of sand that spray perfectly over my neatly places towel.
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! That's me. Having a nervous break down.
So needless to say "acceptance" (which is love in its truest form) is a key word in our relationship. Dom doesn't try not to get sand on my things (now) because I am a crazy person and I demand it. He tries not to because he loves me. Of course, (he's a bit absent minded) he forgets sometimes and I love him so I smile and get up and begin tediously rolling under the towel's corners and dumping sand from my sheet. He realizes instantly and usually backs away slowly. Haha!
We don't share the sand neurosis, but we are so much alike in so many ways. And, we have been with others in the past who we weren't similar to who sought to alter our way of being. (We are probably guilty of the same - I know I am), but now, in our connection, we let the other 'be'. Be crazy. Be a loner. Be silent. Be loud. Be angry. Be happy. Just 'be', and it has freed us to such a point that loving each other is fun because we feel the same comfort with one another's company as we do with our own. We. Are. Free. We do not imprison because we DO truly love.
Perhaps the sand bit is an odd analogy but we've found in allowing full expression... it's something that just works. It is tried and true and I dare you to give it a spin. Take a chance. Why not? What do you have to lose? Let the people you "love" truly be loved by you... FOR WHO THEY ARE. But, even more important and of higher urgency: remove the "shoulds" from your way of living. Let YOURSELF be. Genuinely ask yourself "do I want to do this or am I doing it because someone or society says this is what I'm supposed to do?" The more you ask that question the more you will be able to determine if you, like me in years past, are squelching your own free will. And, then you can begin the journey home, to your true self. And I promise you, there is someone out there who doesn't need you to be anything other than your true self because it just so happens their true self is a lot like you.