Romantic Love. Love Is…?

I have committed the greatest faux pas in the relationship world, yes I called my current boyfriend by my ex-boyfriend’s name. Not while fighting either, but in pure conversation, and no not once, a handful of times. He has been wonderful about it, and understanding, until this fight.
After many angry words I took my boyfriend’s advice and called my best friend. We chatted, shortly, over the issues of my relationship, mainly my faux pas. Her and I decided to meet up for lunch later that day, as this fight happened at three in the morning. Needless to say I had less than a restful sleep that night, brought on by tears. Leaving or sleeping on bad terms never sat well with me.
The next day I awoke, long before the rest of the household. I could not wait to get out of the house, but I breathed. I was conscience of what I had to do to get ready for the day and refused to rush myself because of unconfortablity. I had a fruitful, but motionless yoga practice, breathing and turning over in my mind the events and words form the night before.
As luck would have it, my neighbor was awake. I needed an outside perspective, and a male voice to tell me how bad the blow was. As I went into talk to him, the advice seemed sound and in sync with words I had already told my boyfriend. After years of abuse my ex was the first not to abuse me, clearly I equated love with him thus, when seeing such love, would call his name-though he was not in my mind’s eye.
After our brief talk, I left to take a shower. I listened repeatedly to ‘All You Need is Love’ by The Beatles, and two concepts stuck in my head. “Love everyone and tell the Truth,” from Baba, and the teachings of expectations in yoga. With these concepts being near impossible for two people together to grasp, after all the hurt, I posted on Facebook my disbelief in true romantic love.
Driving made me feel better, and eventually I made it to lunch. Immediately, my best friend looked at me, and we started down the conversational path of my relationship with my boyfriend. I relayed the entire sequence of events starting with the night before, and ending with my arrival at the restaurant. I went deep into the recesses of my mind’s eye and understanding of the relationship as a whole.
I talked with her about my understanding of my faux pas and how my neighbor had put it, she rebutted. Her understanding went a step further than him or I had seen, explaining that I had a relationship with my ex in which I was able to be whom ever I wanted and was free to do as I pleased without repercussions from him. My current boyfriend was misinterpreted as wanting to restrict my freedoms. This was a major component of me calling him by my ex’s name. I equated love and understanding with my ex and was looking for that, I was waiting for the bottom to fall out in my current relationship.
My best friend had opened my eyes to a wide range of problems between my boyfriend and I that were coming to light in this fight. I turned each issue over in my mind, and kept coming back to two conclusions: we had expectations of each other, and we were unsure of our own ideas about love. As her and I stood outside the coffee shop smoking, I went over the Facebook notifications on my phone. Each person who responded to my post left a different perception on romantic love; and each with the intention to convince me not to give up. As the conversation lingered on between her and I, gradually the folly of my current relationship came to light. The root of our fighting and misunderstanding was that neither of us knew what we individually thought of love. We both had expectations of the person we wanted to be with, and the way the relationship should go but no grounded foundations to stand on.
I pondered, talking with my best friend, and came to a conclusion. True love, any kind of love, is the ability to be yourself and the other person wanting to be around you. It was the conclusion that Osho had come to, you can’t love with a closed fist, but only an open hand. Love is being open and aware, both of who we are and who the person we wish to love is. By restricting, controlling and expecting we close the fist, love has no room to breath or grow, and dies. We all have faults, both within ourselves and within the person we wish to love. By forcing anything, especially perfection, we close that open hand of love and understanding.
The love that we have come to expect threw the media-with knights and princesses, and friends forever-is not wrong or unreachable; yet our abilities to understand and become open to it are. We EXPECT things from each other, and from the relationships we develop. As we each put pressure on those around us we close ourselves to the truth in the relationship and the love that is there. Only when we accept that person for who they are, and understand our stubbornness against our acceptance can we love.
Love is…no expectations, understanding, and self-respect. We are only truly loving someone, or truly being loved, when we remove our expectations of the other person, our judgement and accept ourselves truly-the bad and the good. By accepting the other person for who they are with all their ‘faults and follies’, and become understanding of them, remove judgement, and respect and are kind to our own selves; we truly find all aspects of love. Love is being yourself and the other person wanting to be around you.

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About 8petallotus

Here are the thoughts that hit me after everything is done and quiet, capturing the few moments of enlightenment between the grind and giving it a place to inspire. A place for yoga and divine inspiration.
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