Over an amazing dinner at a quaint resto in the Tremblant village, 4 ladies intensely discussed the subject of relationships. The platform for the launch of our discussion stemmed from a recent short lived, but particular romance I had with a charming and solid man who owned the resto we were dining at.

The conversation (and many others we shared on  this 4 day ladies getaway) was packed with information that would have my mind and heart spinning for days.

Rolling out of bed and into my running shoes this morning, that evening’s conversation came back to me and I pondered as my feet hit the pavement under the light rain. I came back to so many blog posts I have written that explored freedom in contrast to love.  I came home to sift through my own words, The Joy of Freedom hit home.  In our patio dinner under the stars conversation, I had mentioned how easy it was to relate to this person, that I had been authentic on a level I had almost never experienced before.   I didn’t feel the need to wow him, or put up any walls.  My strong desire for freedom has often kept me apart from love. It’s just not something I’m willing to sacrifice for the sake of love.  But until this short lived romance and the conversation we had over delicious tapas and wine at the foot of the mountains,  I hadn’t truly understood what that freedom meant for me, how it would be manifested in my life.  In relating to this man, my freedom didn’t feel threatened and yet I still felt wanted and cared for.  It was the antidote to all the limiting dating experiences I had in the past. And it wasn’t so much about who he is, even though he is undoubtedly a man that I admire and respect very much, but it was about me and how I was showing up.

In The Joy of Freedom I talk about the extremely boring and watered-down concept of not giving up  who you are to be in a relationship.  It’s a notion that has been soooo talked about that I cringe at the words. I’m even surprised that I wrote a blog post about it hehe.  I’m stepping up to redefine that concept.  After my blissful experience with Prince Charming himself,  I came to understand that it really has little to do with the other person as it has to do with yourself. You may be looking for certain qualities in another, but you are just as much looking for a certain experience of yourself. The extent of how much you will have to give up in order to be in a relationship is directly proportionate to how willing (or unwilling in this case) you are to being authentic.  The more authentic you can be, the more of yourself you will be giving, but you will be losing so little of yourself.  In fact, you will only be gaining more.

I walked away from sweet affair, feeling strong and powerful and beautiful.  A deep sense of pride in the woman I am that I didn’t know I was but that I’d always wanted to be.  I just hadn’t brushed up against a person in a way that would allow me to see those aspects of myself I believed I hadn’t manifested yet.  It was my ability to be so authentic that allowed both us to walk away with a deep sense of respect for ourselves and for eachother.

I remember having a conversation with someone a couple of years back who pinned it as “well you value freedom so much that you attract freedom seekers and so you never find someone to sit tight for a while with”.   I’ve run away from commitment many times for fear of losing my freedom. What I learned about relationships (and myself) is that it’s not freedom from others that we seek, but freedom to be ourselves. Human beings naturally seek connection, it is to our soul what food is to the body. But true connection happens at the level of authenticity. To connect outside of authenticity is stifling and leaves us feeling disconnected from our core.   We want to be connected to others and still be connected to ourselves.

So it isn’t about not giving up who you are in order to be with someone, it’s about being all that you are in order to experience more of who you are, and of course, the holy grail, that thing we call love.  Love for yourself and for another.  Because essentially, if love is an powerful, expansive force, that sustains and nurtures, than loving another cannot result in loving yourself less.  If you’re loving someone else, then you will also be loving yourself.  And  if you are loving yourself, that you aren’t giving anything up, you’re actually giving to yourself and therefore receiving.  It’s win-win fr everyone involved.  But you gotta be real!  This kind of magic is only possible in the realm of authenticity.

If you want more, than be more!… of yourself. I promise, only good will come of it!