I have fallen in love with the idea of love more times than I care to count or remember. I have fallen hopelessly, helplessly, and desperately. I have seen love’s beautiful colors and the ugly destruction it leaves after the effects of its intoxication. There is a desire linked to the idea of losing one’s self completely to another person. There’s a restlessness and uncertainty that comes with letting go and expecting another to catch and fix you. In that vulnerability we make the mistake of giving our soul completely to another. It is the common break in the dream of romantic love: to lose the self carelessly while giving the power onto someone else. Then when the relationship dissolves we blame the other person for all the heartache and pain. Even when we willingly entered into agreement (consciously or unconsciously) with them, do we rarely take responsibility for the break-up.
Here is something I know for certain from my experience with love and relationships. It is easier to try and change someone else in order to avoid confronting your own weaknesses. It is very accommodating to find the faults in the person sharing a life with you rather than deal with your own reflection. It is easier to judge and criticize the one you love rather than love yourself for the same reasons. It is also easier to say, “I am out of here, I want no more” whenever it gets a little too hard to accept your own responsibility in the story. It is easier to give up what you know as true than take the obstacle with the pain and admit you need help to get through it. Ultimately it is much easier to live avoiding love so you don’t get hurt again. It is ridiculous to expect another person to perfectly fit into the high expectations we place on love and relationships. That’s a lot of responsibility!
Love is the face you see staring back from the mirror. You don’t see the imperfections or the mistakes. You only see the gentle eyes that say, “Wow, I am loving!” Love is fearless and doesn’t require second-guessing yourself. It is about looking into your soul and accepting every part of you as divinity. You are the only person you can change. You are the only person who will stand by you at all times. Why do we place such emphasis on another person for this emotion? Why do we create so many expectations onto another to fulfill the soul with something that is already there? Why do we release our worth onto another person’s desires?
When you share your soul, secrets, fears and sorrows with another the world seems carefree. In order to attract love you have to reach inside and know who you are. You need to love yourself and accept your imperfections. Love is often mistaken (and masqueraded) by our insecure projections. We project a totally different person and then wonder why we are attracted to certain types of people. If you reel in the fish then you (the fisherman) are the problem. The fish did not jump in your boat. You placed the bait and reeled the sucker in. The problem starts with you and how you project love (or the myth of love)!
The more you love yourself the closer you find the answers to the mysteries of life. If you can’t decipher lust from love then it is just a moment of ecstasy. True love holds all doors open to your soul and to the infinite possibilities of the Divine. It facilitates everything. It judges nothing, assures harmony, and secures a life of joy. I can’t imagine shutting out the love part, even if there is a huge chance that my heart can break. For every single time that it has been broken, it has expanded and made more room. I see love in the smiles of a child, the touch of friend, and a kiss from a stranger. I cherish it in the tears of a friend, the gentle caress from a lover, and the laughter from family. I am open to all of love’s possibilities and hope it brings me to the inner core of passion. I recently found a journal entry I wrote as a teenager: “All I ever want in this world is to fall in love as many times as possible and experience the greatness of someone else’s heart sharing a piece of their soul with me.” Somehow I had forgotten my teenage-girl wishes. I am reminded that I am always falling in love. I hope to continue the journey with the illumination of love reflecting back to me, while witnessing God working through unlimited compassion.
About the Author: Millie A. Mestril
After raising six children, working in the corporate world, and being part of a relationship for eighteen years, I found that happiness was not consistent in my world. I left the business world, ended a relationship that was deteriorating and headed to the mountains. My best friend and I bought a small motel in the middle of gorgeous country and began the greatest journey. What started as a visit to Asheville in May of 2010 became a permanent home for us. Now with only one teenager at home, I am able to be part of a wonderful world of meeting people from all walks of life. We’ve transformed an old gem of a place into a sweet and quaint oasis for others to find peace. To those looking into our lives it seems we saved Peaceful Quest Retreats, but the reality is that this place saved us. Every day brings joy, inspiration and a zest for life I never knew existed. The lessons have not always been easy but the ride has been scenic and delightful. I can’t imagine ever returning to a life that was not authentic to my spirit. ~ Millie A. Mestril