Do you remember when you were a teenager; when there was a guy (or girl) that you really liked and who you wanted to notice you. Do you remember how you reacted? Do you remember what you did? Do you remember finding out everything you could about them and then getting interested in it yourself? Sometimes you’d give up your own interests in order to pursue theirs in the hopes that by insinuating yourself into their world; by showing an interest in their interests, they’d be more likely to notice you.
Maybe it even worked. Maybe they did notice you. Maybe you hooked up and had an awesome time of it. Perhaps for a while you felt like true soul mates; perfect for each other in every way. But chances are that somewhere along the line something went horribly wrong. There came a point when you realized that it was all about them. Everything was about them; all of it; everything that you did together; everything that you talk about; everything that you ‘share’ is really all about them. Well, of course it is. You created it that way. And chances are that you started to feel shorted; slighted even. You may have even attempted to start introducing your own interests into the relationship in the hopes to correct the imbalance.
Then of course there were probably misunderstandings and miscommunications due to the fact that the other person simply could not comprehend what was happening. Weren’t the pair of you happy? Didn’t you both enjoy the same things; enjoy talking about them and spending time together doing them? Weren’t they the same as they had always been? Why was it suddenly that what they were giving you was no longer enough? Why have you suddenly become so demanding and dissatisfied?
And that of course made things worse didn’t it? Because how do you tell someone that your entire relationship was based on your desire to get them into your life in whatever way possible? How do you explain that you were never entirely open with them; that when you met it wasn’t on equal terms because you didn’t want them to get scared off or to lose interest? How do you explain that what you really wanted, more than anything – what you still want – was and is to have a relationship of equals; where both of you were interested in what made the other person tick, even if you didn’t necessarily share all of the same interests?
I know, I know, it seemed like the natural thing to do at the time. After all, how could you possibly have known that you were selling yourself short in order to get their attention and bring them into your life? It’s a very easy trap to slip into. In fact, it’s so easy that chances are, if you stop and take a good hard look at your life right now and at the people in it, you will find that one or more of the relationships that you are currently in are based on the exact same principles as those high school relationships.
It doesn’t matter which side of the equation that you are on; whether you are one of those people who gave up their own interests in order to capture the attention of another person, or whether you were the one who was enamored by the person who seemed to fit your life so perfectly in every way. Be honest with yourself – is this truly a relationship of equals? Is it? Because if it is not, a relationship of equals you need to brace yourself; you see, there will come a time when one or both of you will realize that the relationship is lopsided and will want to correct that imbalance.
Better to take the time now to find out what makes the other person tick; to make sure that you are giving – and receiving – equally then to wait for things to fall apart. Hopefully you will find that openness and honesty with your partner are enough to clear things up and to recreate your relationship as a partnership of equals; individuals who are truly interested in each other and in where your personal and spiritual journeys are taking you. If not, well, it is never too late to become the person that you were always meant to be; to take the steps you need to put yourself firmly on your own path to authenticity.
If your significant other chooses to join you, or at least support you in becoming that authentic self, fine and good, you have nothing to worry about and the journey will be a joyful one because you will have the support and company of the one with which you share your life; a choice that true soul mates (or soul mates destined to work together for long periods of time) will do.
If they are not interested in joining or supporting you, do not allow their incredulity or anger with the changes in you to halt your own development. Do not force them. Do not feel that you have to hold onto them. If it makes them too uncomfortable, they will leave (physically or emotionally). This is not a reflection on you, and it is not your fault if the relationship disintegrates. It is their decision whether or not they wish to include the person you are becoming; your authentic self; in their own view of reality.
Who knows, your authentic self, your path, may not be the one that is right for them and they may feel that to join you or even support you is undermining their own integrity. Do not fight this if it happens, and do not allow it to influence your own becoming. If another person’s path leads them in a way that does not bring you joy you do not have to follow out of loyalty for the joy and purpose that you once shared.
Move forward in joy. Always in joy, and always in the direction that makes your heart smile.
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