There’s a lot of talk that goes on about “not changing who you are” to be in a relationship. About staying true to yourself, your loves, your dreams, about being supported in them as a requirement for a relationship. But then people say things like, it’s normal to let go of those things, to spend every waking moment thinking about and being with that person in the beginning. And then what?
I’m not saying things won’t change, oh they will. Your circles may change, how you spend some of your time. You will grow, your perspectives will expand. And those are great things, you want to change, you want to embrace that expansion. But why would you set aside the things that fill you? That nourish you in the name of love?
I’ve been there, turning myself into a pretzel a myriad of times in the name of love. It never made me any happier. It only made me emptier. I always thought I had to fit that box. I just, without question adopted those beliefs. I like you therefore I have to compromise that which I love in order to give you alot of myself, more specifically my time. As if time was an indicator of love. I love some people I haven’t spoken to in years. I love some people I meet instantaneously. The truth is, I’ve NEVER been a person with the potential to be tamed into being boxed in. I have a deep rooted sense of commitment to the people I love. I have a deep love for routine. But I abhor being forced to be with others at the expense of time spent doing things that I love. Or doing nothing. I have always cringed with fear at the thought of my freedom being taken from me. In all relationships, friendship or romantic. In my romantic ones, it’s never been a question of freedom to seek elsewhere, but simply freedom to just be, to have breathing space bewteen myself and the other. I have tried to hammer myself into the status quo, to the expense of my own physical well being, only to realize that I’m much happier when I have room to breath. I have that much more of myself to give. It’s so much easier for me to be joyful when I am with others. The friends and lovers whom will respect that, let me come and go like the ebb and flow of the waves against the shoreline, have, or will, experience the deep and abiding love that I have to give. I’ve recently given up on the hammer. Maybe I’m not even a nail to be put in a rightful place.
And I can tell you that it’s freeing to stop measuring up to a status quo that feels completely insane and irrational to me. I want to be able to give the same freedom to someone that I seek for myself. Because love is a synonym for freedom.
What way of being are you trying to hammer yourself into ? What do you think is out reach, that might just be in the palm of your hand if you just shifted the way you expected to show up?
In many ways, Khalil Gibran sums up my credo for relationships:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.But let there be spaces in your togetherness,And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loafSing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.And stand together yet not too near together:For the pillars of the temple stand apart,And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.