October 1, 2016

This is the only type of Love that will Last.

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Love can either become a cage or the gift of having wings.

It can bog us down in responsibility or can uplift us with possibility.

Yet, regardless of how hard we try to hold on—the more we expect from the person we love, the more we will be let down. Truly loving another person doesn’t have to do with what they can give us, but what we can give them.

To love someone without expectations isn’t to deny our own wants or needs, but it is about giving them the space to be who they truly are and not wanting to change or rush their journey for them.

Expectations are the rules that our egos want us to play by. We develop a relationship with someone, and begin to expect certain things from them, because it’s what we want them to do.

We expect them to be around whenever we need someone to talk to, we expect them to be able to make room in their lives for us, and we expect them to be our first good morning and our last good night.

But is that really love? Or is it using someone else to fulfill our needs because we haven’t yet done that for ourselves?

The union and bond between two people is the catalyst for how we choose to live our lives. If we constantly expect or need someone to act in a certain way, so that we feel happy and satisfied, then we will always find ourselves unfulfilled and wanting more.

Because regardless of the connection between two people, neither one can bring happiness or love, if each person hasn’t individually found it for themselves.

We can only truly love another without expectations when we have first learned to love ourselves in the same way—because we are only capable of extending the type of love towards another that we have first given ourselves.

Until we can fill our own cup and accept ourselves for who we truly we are, we will continue to look for others to do it—and in that same capacity, we won’t only be loving others through the lens of attachment or expectation, but loving ourselves in that way as well.

Loving another without expectation first begins with accepting and loving ourselves.

We need unattachment in love, but we also need to lose our expectations as well. The minute we start expecting something from a lover, whether it’s a call, text or even a visit then we are beginning to box them in according to a pattern of behavior that we have become accustomed to. We are now beginning to set expectations of behavior, based on previous behavior, without giving the freedom to our lover to simply be who they are in that moment. If we begin to impose our own wants and needs on another, then we are also saying that those desires come before their own.

This isn’t about becoming a doormat, or even a victim—but it is about realizing that the only way to truly love someone—and have it last—is to also not expect that just because they did something yesterday means that are able to do it today.

“Let there be space in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. And stand together yet not too near together. For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” ~ Kahlil Gibran 

In order for love to truly last, and to encourage growth between ourselves and our lover, we also have to remain separate. We have to allow space between where they end and where we begin. The only love that truly does last is the one where each person knows that they are free to roam and grow individually.

Loving someone doesn’t mean I only care for you as long as you are playing by my rules—what it really means is that I love you whether you fall asleep next to me each night, or not, and whether I’m triggered by your actions, or not. Because regardless of how far you may travel, I will always be your home.

To love someone without expectation isn’t to say that we don’t want them to love us, or that we don’t want them to make us happy—but it is saying that the love we feel isn’t contingent upon only those factors.

It’s giving someone the gift of our love and then encouraging them to fly away. Not because we want to lose them, but to show them that despite where they might travel to, what they may experience, or even how they might grow—our love will be there regardless.

A love without expectation is the root of a long-term love affair with another person, with the self and with the evolution of life.

Because if we are going to expect anything at all, then it should be that the one we love always feels free.


Author: Kate Rose

Image: Instagram @elephantjournal

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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