How many times in our lives could we have asked ourselves this question and about anyone – be it friend, parent, sibling, lover, spouse, teacher – whoever ?
We are defined by the choices we make, but long before we get there, as little 7 year old beings and thus forward, we are brainwashed and bombarded with expectations, limited beliefs, societal demands, peer, sibling and family pressure and rivalry, media hype and other influences as to the meaning and demands of love in relationships.
Let’s go back to our first love – that ‘butterflies in our gut feeling’ – With that came the hope and anticipation of a life partner.
But, we didn’t even know who we were then, nor did we know our first love, nor did we deconstruct what we loved about that person – What feelings did they invoke and ignite in us with their looks, laugh, demeanor, roots, stance ?
. Perhaps we never had a gauge to measure by – a father or mother, that's if they were present ? – More often than not, without knowing what we think we love, we take it to the next level - of marriage or living together.
Perhaps we don’t have the tools yet to question how that first love is invoking this feeling of bliss in us – we don’t know that the attributes that we are attracted to are really traits we like in ourselves, or would like to have in ourselves.
Our first love is a defining moment in our lives ...
So what is this feeling saying to our brains and emotions ?
This is what I’m looking for - my other half, soul mate, life partner, someone to share my life, my thoughts and deeds with, to laugh with, make love with, plan with, trust with, always seeking their approval and validation.
All of this we feel we need, on condition that we get all this back ! When we don’t, the process fails, we become disillusioned. If this disappointment is not communicated, we don’t have the tools to understand or process the why – why our fantasy expectations have let us down.
So we go to other spaces like withdrawal, looking elsewhere for a partner, non committal anger state, depressive state, pride. We get stuck in what might have, should have, would have been – an unhealthy, imobilised state of mind, which will manifest eventually in physical illness, addiction, chemical or other negative addictions, physical or mental abuse - to fill that hole.
That void triggers what we 'think' we love - in terms of their traits, quirks, looks, laugh, physical looks, nature, personality. Most of us are not tooled with ‘how to’s’ when we start opening up and committing to a perceived ‘love’ relationship. The vital tools are - asking the right questions before giving ourselves over and exposing our souls. When we ask ourselves the truly honest questions – no lies – we will begin to see an absolute pattern and the truth - what we are seeing is our fantasy of a hope for outcome - ‘and they lived happily ever after’.
Asking the right questions will give us all the gut feel warning signals, which we can only heed and follow if we have the tools to take a stand or make the right choice. But, we got swept into the fantasy - our fantasy - with little or no regard to the future implications - doggedly hanging onto bliss and this love stuff we think we’ve found to complete us !
Then stuff happens and buttons are pressed, hackles rise, our shadow self and insecurities emerge, anger rears its ugly head, jealousy peeps out, tribal family stuff is dragged into the picture – perceiving their stuff – Wrong ! We get stuck there, instead of facing our own reality from our gut – we lose ourselves in this and lose sight of our authentic selves and the right questions we should be asking.
Who am I, why am I here – what is my purpose here on earth ? – ask, ask, ask, but find a safe and quiet space to do this – the answer always comes ...
We are complete just as we are …
By Heather de Wit