Sometimes, the hardest part of any conflict – inner or otherwise – is hearing the honest truth. Today, the universe saw clear to send me three sages so that I might examine that honest truth for myself, and from there, decide how to proceed. They each said exactly the same thing, by the way, despite having no contact with each other at all, ever.
A person who loves another to the point of needing them to survive is not “in love”. To say that they need a particular someone to “complete them” is a terrible thing, because it implies that they are only half of a person to begin with. What does half a person have to bring to a relationship that will not produce a significant deficit from the get-go?
It’s okay to enjoy a person’s company, to share responsibilities, and even to commit to being together for the long haul, sharing the burdens and triumphs of life. At the point when one falls into the category of “needing”, it must be scrutinized carefully.
I have been guilty of using this phrase (though not often), and I found myself wondering in what context I truly meant it. (After all, saying “I love you” means to different things from two different people, even in the context of a romantic relationship.) I realized that when I said that, I meant, “I need you to fulfill your commitment and satisfy the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual survival requirements that you agreed to take care of.” I did not mean, “I need you in order to survive.” When we enter into a committed, long-term, romantic relationship, we willingly defer some of those survival requirements to the other so that we can truly share ourselves with each other.
The thing is, we have to know what they are in the first place, and we must be willing to satisfy those for the other – and that is only capable after we are able and willing to satisfy them for ourselves.
It is a painful truth that love does not conquer all. Love does not move mountains on its own. It does not change time. It does not shrink distances. It does not make someone into something they are not, nor into something they are not willing to be. Love does not make unacceptable things suddenly okay, it does not clear the pathway for bad ideas to come up roses, and it does not fill in the blanks when the real effort is absent. Love is nothing more than an inspiration, and what we do with it is our choice.
It is the choosing correctly that is sometimes difficult for people. Relationships go sour for any number of reasons, and oftentimes it’s not malicious on either party’s part. When you think about all of the things that go into a relationship to give it a chance of success – negotiating the terms of your communication, understanding the archetypical foundation of experience, translating each other’s personal mythologies, etc. – there is a wide range of errors that can be made. Rarely are they ever permanent errors or irreparable, but fixing them requires effort and communication and a willingness to put ego aside so that the proper path can be found again.
This is the main point of falling down. It’s having to be willing to put the ego aside, to risk admitting to your own shortcoming without fear of consequence that puts people on the defensive, keeping that ego standing up tall and wide. To approach something “without fear of consequence” does not mean that there will be no consequences: it means that you face the situation with a willingness to accept the consequences, regardless of whether they are in your “favor” or not. Humans are still very fearful things.
I don’t want to talk about loneliness. I don’t want to talk about fixing things “in a while”. I want things to be fixed now. I want to see some evidence that there will be changes, evidence that manifests as something besides words. I want to feel like I’m not left out on my own, again, and taking the fall for trying to make supportive and compassionate decisions. This is not the lesson that I thought it would be. I do not resent it, but I would like to at least know that if I put my foot back on the Other path, I will not feel as alone as this. I rather liked the idea of having someone there with me, even if it doesn’t really work out that way in practical terms.