Society has a constant need to tell us that our happiness and our self worth are dependent on another person (i.e. "soul mate"). Now, I'm not saying that being in a relationship can't be fantastic (I mean, relationships can be so incredibly fantastic and mutually beneficial) but the Need to be with someone is where the flaw comes in. "Need" can never be anything more than a fear based relationship, and fear is not a good state of mind to be in on a daily basis. Fear can create paranoid behaviours, neediness for attention and constant reassurance, jealousy, and a general lack of respect towards both involved. The truth is that you don't need someone else to make you happy, you only need You. Happiness comes from within. If you are not happy with yourself then you will never be happy inside a relationship either.
Why is that, you ask?
Because, as human beings, when we look at other people we most often see a reflection of ourselves. So, if we are feeling good about ourselves then we will tend to see the things in the other person that we like about ourselves; and when we feel badly towards ourself then we will pick apart the other person because we are really just picking apart ourselves. This is why finding your own happiness, becoming comfortable with yourself and loving yourself, need to become a priority.
Today's topic is really focussing on Real Love versus a Need for it, and the general paradoxes that society has taught us about Love and Relationships--and, of course, what we can do to fix them.
We are told that we must be with someone (soul mate) or else we are not happy. We are taught that the great life purpose is to find your soul mate, get married, have a family and a career and die (happy?). Society teaches us that we must be with someone in order for anything good to come to our lives. That happiness IS our soul mate. By this we are, essentially, told that we ourselves are worthless without another human being there beside us. When putting it in blatant terms as this, I am sure you can see how utterly wrong and negative this mentality is? But this is simply the way that we are raised into this perplexed society that is constantly teaching us to devalue ourselves. Society devalues our sense of self because if we are unhappy then we will be more materialistic and follow everything like perfect little herds of sheep--because we will be too busy trying to fix ourselves to even notice what else is going wrong in the world. That being said, the point today is to tell you that your value does not decrease based on someone else's inability to see your worth. If you are only worthy because someone else assures you that you are, you will never truly be happy and you will never truly feel good or confident in your own skin and mind. However, if you can realize how Perfect you are (just the way you are) then you will see that your happiness does not, in fact, depend on another person being "the love of your life". You will come to see that you already Are Worthy, and that you already are Valuable--and that is something that no one can take away from you but your own self allowing it to be taken.
Now, again, I'm not saying that marriage, having a soul mate, or having children, etc. is bad, I'm simply saying that the mentality we carry when pursuing and entering those relationships can often be a not so great way, and can lead to many more unnecessary problems later on--because it is coming from Need and Fear instead of a place of unconditional love.
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
The other problem with "Love" is that we are usually constantly trying to change the person we are with. Change is good, change itself isn't the problem (change helps us grow as individuals and in relationships and allows us to become even better people). The problem is our Need to change the person we are with. It is not up to us to change the people around us, the only person we are in charge of changing is ourselves. The people around us have their own path, their own personalities, their own lives and paths of their own to pave and to make changes at their own accord. Being in a relationship means accepting the person we're with just as they are; otherwise we are only loving the reflection of ourselves we see in them instead of loving the person actually in front of us.
This concept goes both ways, and it is important to remember. The person you are with needs to accept You as You Are as well. It comes back to a matter of respect and being honest with yourself; do you really love this person for who they are? Or are you trying to mould them into something you want them to be?
Love is unconditional, through and through. Love is accepting our partners, and our partners accepting us, just the way we are. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement on either side, for there is always room for change and improvement, but those changes need to come from a place of working together instead of against each other. Those changes also need to come only when we are able to accept and love the person we are with (and ourselves) as we already are. You can't make changes without first having gratitude for what you already have and are.
A Note on Sacrifice
True love does not require sacrifice. The idea that in order to be with some that we must give up on our own dreams, interests, and even relationships is an absolute recipe for disaster. Never should sacrificing your own joys and passions enter into a relationship. If it does, then you will find resentment surface and boil for the remainder of your time together. Resentment is a breeding ground for tension, for no longer appreciating the other person, and for feeding a lack of respect for your own self (in other words, producing a lack of love and sense of rejection towards your own self). This is not good, for obvious reasons. If there are dreams and plans you have then pursue them and don't hit the pause button on life. Either your partner will be on board and be supportive, or they won't; and if they aren't, then it becomes a power struggle in the relationship--another recipe for disaster.
Relationships and love shouldn't be a constant battle against one another; you should be working as a team, helping, understanding, and supporting one another. If your plans and dreams cause a temporary split, then that is better than sacrificing and regretting your dreams and carrying resent with you. If you are meant to be together, then the world will bring you back together again. Have enough respect for yourself to do what you need to do for You--because if you are with the right person, then they will understand and be supportive regardless.
Love Who You Are
Perhaps even more important than accepting one another is learning to accept yourself. Through and through, the most important lesson you can gain from life is to Love Yourself. Gratitude for yourself is the key to unlock happiness and the doors to unconditional love. When we learn to love and accept and respect ourselves then we stop picking apart the people around us, we allow ourselves to be happy, and we allow good things to come into our lives. And, we learn to love the way love is intended: without judgement, criticism, and with the fullest acceptance, respect, understanding and gratitude.
Accept your inner and outer beauty. Accept that you are perfectly imperfect, with all your flaws and all your talents and all your lovely personality quirks. All of these things are what make you uniquely and wonderfully You. And, remember, there is no one else in the world exactly like you, and that is a beautiful thing! Be Who You Are, without being ashamed and without holding back.
When we first enter relationships we often feel the need to censor ourselves, to hold back on parts of who we actually are. This comes back to society teaching us that we are never good enough and that we should only fit into this one ideal and one personality type. This is, once again, devaluing yourself. Don't censor yourself, and don't pretend to be someone you're not. In a relationship, then you are just wasting time on someone who doesn't see who you really are or might not be compatible with you. On a personal level, you are feeding a lack of self acceptance and love for yourself--very counter-productive. Be unashamed and openly the person you Are; do this and you will attract the right "love" and the right friendships to you who will fit your unique self perfectly imperfectly. And life will be much more free and honest and happy.
Nourish yourself, nurture and fill yourself with love and gratitude for your own self. Do this and your world will be filled with genuine and true love all around.
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