If you've been following me awhile, you know that I have a baby daughter, Sophia. (She turns one next week!)
What you may not know, is that I'm no longer in a romantic relationship with her father.
The truth is that we haven't been together, officially, since last July. I've not told people publicly for a variety of reasons. First off, I was afraid that if you knew that my life wasn't perfect, that you'd stop valuing what I have to contribute.
Secondly, I was hurting and grieving a deep loss and didn't want to share about it as I was in the depths of it.
In honor of Valentine's Day, I want to share with you what I've been learning about love.
This year, as my relationship fell apart as a result of having a new baby and all the challenges that brings, I felt tremendous disappointment. Inside of that, there were lots of times that I was consumed by anger, fear, and resentment.
On the one hand, my spiritual practices and beliefs include concepts like love, forgiveness, acceptance and surrender.
Yet, when we're hurting, our mind naturally responds with feelings of anger or hate, born of that hurt.
I found myself reliving the past, feeling angry, desiring that others hold themselves 100% accountable.
I began to truly know that my rage didn't serve anyone, least of all me.
The more I wanted someone else to take responsibility, the more I realized I had to do the same.
I kept coming back to the truth that my peace is my prerogative. It's totally up to me how I respond to someone else, and whether or not I choose to hang on to anger and resentment, is fully my choice.
This is easier said than done.
As I was faced with the stark reality of having a newborn babe to care for, realizing that I was not being met with the consistency or support I desired, I felt like I was living my worst nightmare.
I was disappointed, to say the least.
Born of that hurt were days and months of anger. I, who preach love and forgiveness, was face to face with hateful thoughts + feelings. Torn up, ripped up inside and screaming for mercy.
Fundamentally, I had to choose. Was I willing to give up my righteousness, my pain, my story of hurt, as valid + real as it was to me, in exchange for peace and unconditional love?
At a foundational level, I was being asked by the universe whether or not I truly believed in unconditional love at all. Was it a nice theory, never truly to be applied in practice?
For months and months, I had been in a pretty stubborn stance of blame, hurt and un-forgiveness.
I, who believe that forgiveness is the key to everything, that fundamentally we're all innocent + forgiveness, as A Course in Miracles says, is our function, was beginning to think I could never forgive.
Finally, one day, I opened the book Enchanted Love by Marianne Williamson. Ad old, favorite, all marked up, I turned to this passage:
When a man comes on strong- but then pulls back at the first sign that he's not getting what he asked for - he is announcing that is not yet ready for love. Announce that you are, not by co-dependently explaining to him what he obviously doesn't understand, or by trying to get him more hot and interested again.
Announce to the universe that you are ready for a relationship that is more adult- and not by getting angry at someone who isn't acting like one yet. Anger at a man for doing the boyish thing in love is no more reasonable than anger at a six-year-old for not yet being able to tie a necktie.
Actually, didn't you act childishly yourself, if you rushed in with your heart before it had been proven to you that this was a psychologically and emotionally adult situation?
And in that moment, I felt healed. I read the words I needed to hear to find my responsibility + to finally own my part.
And just like that, I felt at peace. In standing in 100% accountability and responsibility, I had my power back.
As long as I had been convinced that he was at fault, and that I actually really hadn't done anything wrong, and therefore was justified in my pain and anger, I was miserable.
As soon as I could clearly see my part, have it be reflected back to me in the precise language I needed to hear it, I was free.
And in the end, no matter the hurt or pain we experience, if we see it as though we're being provoked along our spiritual path, encouraged to find love + forgiveness even in the midst of hate + rage, then we are learning, we are growing, and ultimately, no matter what another seems to do or not do, we are free.
I believe in love. I think it's who we are, what we're made of, and the whole point + purpose of this life. And if we believe in unconditional love, that is to say, REAL love, then we have to keep asking ourselves these questions:
- Is there anything anyone could ever do that makes them undeserving of love?
- And if we are love + it is our function to extend love, is there any way that we could ever justify not loving someone simply because they didn't meet our expectations?
Loving doesn't mean being a doormat. It doesn't mean tolerating. It doesn't mean staying.
Love means finding peace inside, knowing our function, and giving up our rage. Even in the face of the worst injustices, we find that place of truth inside that whispers:
We are (all of us!) innocent. We are either being love or a call for love. It is safe to love.
Our rage + blame go no where. Let us view those who provoke us as teachers on the path, helping us ever-onward towards our Truth.
And though we may fall, and hurt, and feel broken at times, we are always held by the grace of LOVE, for it is who we are.
All my love,