Love can be a complex feeling for some as we try to find our self-worth in those stunning eyes of the ones we love. But if we cannot feel fulfilled by ourselves, can we expect our partners to be fulfilled by us? If we are not offering them any value, and only want them to complete us, is that even true love? Love can be many things to many people. But at its core, love is more about giving than asking for something in return. On any given day, being in love will give us more happiness than falling in love with someone. Indeed, Love makes life beautiful. True Love is not something you go out and look for. Love finds you, and when it does, ready or not, it’ll be the best thing ever to happen to you.
“Who would I be if I wasn’t hustling to make some other person, real or imagined, fall in love with me?”
See me. Hear me. Show me that I matter. Touch me. Feel me.
Tell me that I am not invisible. Hold me. Make me safe. Don’t let me go.
I will use all my charms to woo you.
My Lover. My Charmer. My Intoxicator. To “make” you fall in love with me.
And if you don’t, I fear I will not know who I am. “Who would I be…?”
My identity. Defining through you. Merging with you.
… I am a lesser me.
… I am incomplete.
… I might die.
Entanglement. Enmeshment. Why does it happen?
Are we biologically wired for love? Or culturally programmed for neurosis and codependency?
The answer is both.
What we experience as wiring for love – the desire to connect, to be seen, heard, and witnessed – is real. But how we act is often culturally programmed (Hollywood, Disney) and happens in a messy way, mired in self-betrayal and neurosis.
We lose ourselves in each other. Seeking to be completed. Hoping to be filled in. And when the spell subsides, we resent the other.
Fill my emptiness and then I can hate you when you fail.
Why do we try to fill the void through another? And more importantly, how do we know when we’re doing it?
Simply put, we know it when we’ve lost a relationship with ourselves. We abandon intra-personal love for inter-personal love. Intra meaning the love within. Inter between self and other.
We forget our self, diminish our self.
We make meaning of who we are through the other.
We become like a child. The child we once were, who had not yet formed a healthy ego or self.
What’s it mean for the adult to be in charge?
The adult feels love’s hunger but does not co-opt it for his or her identity. The adult feels the emptiness but does not seek to fill it.
The adult soothes the fearful, anxious child. And seeks love not to lose self but instead to expand self.
And in between the joy and giddiness of love, there is space for the relationship with self, sovereignty, dignity, and fearlessness.
I will not define myself through you.
And I will enter you absolutely.
I will hold you.
And I will let you go.
I will pull you in.
And I will push you out.
I will hear you out.
And I will shut you down.
I will make love to you.
And I will take space.
I will merge with you.
And I will separate.
I will stay in a relationship with me.
And stay in a relationship with you.
I will make meaning of my life with you, not through you.
Written by: Stuart Motola Originally appeared in: Stuart Motola