June 17, 2015

What it Really Means to be In Love: Rom-Coms vs. Reality.


For decades, we have been bombarded with “rom-coms” and happily-ever-after story lines straight from the fictional land of Hollywood and in the process I believe we have lost touch with what it truly means to be in a relationship and to be “in love.”

Before we all muster up the courage to say the “L” word to our nearest and dearest, we generally go through this entire comparison process of: do they look how I thought they would, will they enjoy the same things as me, will they accept me for who I really am or run for the hills when they realise I have my emotionally sensitive days, and so on.

Because of this, four years have gone by where I’ve pushed away any sense of a relationship for two reasons: 1. Not seeing my own Ahhh-mazing worth and ability to receive love and 2. It is seemingly rare to find a “suitable mate” who is also ready and able to connect on a deeper soul level.

For years now I have counselled numerous friends through make ups, break ups, infidelity and other scandalous scenarios and have heard every question, such as, “Why are you still single? You’re a catch!” You name it, I have heard it.

It did leave me wondering for a while—is there something “wrong’ with me? Everyone else is just falling in love like it’s contagious, and here I am, on a journey of solo self discovery. I am a person who will, unless the initial meeting is totally charismatic and alive, shy away and go back into my comfortable shell, fearing my own energy will be too domineering (which in the past has actually been the case).

After never really being able to answer everyon’s Bridget Jones style interrogations, I began to realise something: many of these people I envied, who were in “happy” relationships, were often far less happier than I was, which to them was a mystery—how could one possibly be happy on their own?

The revelation that another person truly cannot make us happy or fix our sh*t was proven time and time again.

Now, I am not saying I don’t crave a relationship—human connection is a part of our evolution, and I am definitely no exception to that rule, yet my concept of what it means to be in “love” has totally warped into a new perspective since taking the time to step into my own true self.

So what If I am craving to sit under the clear autumn sky and count stars and talk about how we both ended up here in this moment? To tell fantasy stories in bed at night and wander endless different roads with my lover? Is this such an idealistic idea?

For me, love has become an exchange of the soul, beyond time, space and this three dimensional illusion we call “reality.” To connect with the formless, the conscious and direct source of life that is overflowing like a well inside of us. To recognise parts of myself in another being and feel I am learning to fall in love with myself as well. To shine light in the dark shadows of our hearts that have been left behind from many loves and losses.

To love is to accept, to be totally vulnerable within the hands of another, but most of all it is to be alive.




Buddhist Teacher Dr. Reggie Ray: What is Love?



Author: Madeline Lebski

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Stephen Shepard/Flickr

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