One of my favorite books of all time is A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. In this book, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to seeing our relationships (friendships, ‘enemies,’ and romantic partners) with more love. I’ve read this chapter probably over ten times in the past couple years, but this time I took from it something new.
One of the passages that really jumped out at me is this comparison of love to a rose. Really take it in for a second…
“The difference between a friendship and a romance can be illustrated with the image of a long-stemmed rose. The stem is the friendship; the blossom the romance. Because the ego is sensation-oriented, our focus automatically goes to the blossom. But all the nourishment that the blossom needs in order to live, reaches it through the stem. The stem might look boring in comparison, but if you take the blossom off the stem it will not last for long.”
How unbelievably true is this? I know it is for me, at least. My ego loves to make romance special and convince me that once ‘real, true love’ gets here, all my problems will be fixed. However, I know that isn’t true. In fact, the happiest I have been in long time has been recently once I realized how wonderful it is to be single and feel complete.
Romance can complement any happy life, but it is not a medicine for healing our past hurts. Only once we release the contempt we have for the mistakes of people from our past can we move forward and truly be there in a relationship as two whole, complete human beings coming together to add more love into this world instead of two incomplete human beings controlling and looking for completion in one another.
I think the biggest switch for me has been learning to see my friendships and romance on the same level. By not making romance so special, i’ve been able to release the pressure not only off of myself, but off of others. When we don’t need someone else to complete us, we let other people off the hook. When we completely and wholeheartedly allow someone to be exactly who they are – to see who they want, do what they want, and say what they want – we are able to truly love them. Whether it be a friend, a family member, or a romantic partner it is really all the same.
If you’re having a hard time and you’re into praying, I suggest handing the relationship over to the Holy Spirit (or the Universe, or whoever/whatever). “Dear God, may you take this relationship into Your hands and may Your will be done.” And release control. Ahhhh, doesn’t that feel good?
or, “I forgive you ____(name)____, and release you to the Holy Spirit.” Breathe it in and let it out. Really let it out.
Even if you’re not into spirituality, imagining the person in front of you and saying “I forgive you and release you” can be immensely beneficial. Practice this every day and you will notice major shifts in your relationships and the way you perceive them.
I hope this gives you peace in your relationships and that you learned something new 🙂
Lots of love,