How many people spend their lives finding “the one”? Another romantic myth that is perpetuated by many spiritual belief systems and plain old romantic folks who can’t let go of this idea that if we search the earth for that perfect fit, everything else will fall into place and our lives will be complete. I don’t believe there is the “one”. I think there are many potential “ones” and that we find the right one for the right time in our lives and place in our own growth process.
Relationships come to teach us the deepest lessons we will learn in this world. This is the playground for deep growth, but most people don’t like to play that way. The work of being in relationship, of learning about ourselves as we relate to people we love and learning how to love fully, fiercely and with great presence is the hardest work we will do in our lives. So hard that many people choose just not to do it. We have so many ways to avoid doing this work. We create a maze of defenses to keep ourselves from getting too close and from creating too much intimacy because vulnerability is an absolute requirement for intimate development. How scary it is to be seen in all of our facets. We like to be liked and seen positively rather than holistically, ugly and all.
So we think if we find that perfect soulmate we’ll be able to let our guard down just for them because they are who we’ve been waiting for, and “it’s meant to be” so they won’t ever leave us, right? But we have many potential “soul mates”, play mates to traverse this gorgeous life with and they tend to come right when we need them, for whatever spell they are meant to be in our lives. Let us learn the lessons we are meant to learn from each one and then move forward courageously and fiercely, ready to love and love again, to bear our souls when we lock in again with the next brave loving soul we connect with. Many people can fit our needs at any given time…how well and for how long varies.
Many of us stay in loveless relationships because we are convinced “it’s meant to be” so we come up with complex stories for why we need to stay together. We do not do ourselves or our lovers favors by maintaining lovelessness or relationships where we are simply existing and have ceased to grow. We either need to find the love again, or free ourselves up to have it with someone new, starting with ourselves. We avoid loving ourselves to such an intense degree when we stay in unhealthy relationships. The truth of limitation in relationship is so painful we do everything possible to avoid accepting it.
Every relationship runs its course. Many have limitations. But as many of our relationships have clear limitations, we keep putting them all into this ideal model of “forever.” It’s like having a small cup of water that we keep pouring over and over into the large jar of forever, thinking if we keep pouring it into this jar that can hold so much more that the water itself will magically expand. But the water is what is available, and meanwhile, we are getting thirsty. Forever is a really long time.
This is not about my being cynical, but about encouraging people to be more realistic and honest about our relationships. It’s about being Courageous with your Love. If you find a soul mate, enjoy them for the time you have together and be grateful each day that they are here to work and play with you for whatever amount of time you have together. Be courageously present to that each day. Can our fierce presence help us to stay in gratitude rather than falling to taking for granted our beloved? When we begin to take for granted, it’s time to assess why we are doing that and whether the relationship is still right for us. Hard questions that might need to be asked over and over. We are not limited to just “the one.” We have many possibilities, so which one is right for you right now in your life? The answer may not be as obvious as the one you are with.