Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room, or feel like you have to take on the world by yourself? I have plenty of friends near by and many of them are going the same direction as me, but in certain areas of my life, there are no bridges to common ground. When I find understanding in those areas unreachable by my friends, its often restricted to just that, other friends. Those other friends fill a different gap in my need for connection, affection and energy. I know I am not alone in this feeling. Im sure many people find themselves feeling this way. In the past, I’ve compromised myself to be more reachable, simply because its inherent for all of us to crave understanding. Even people who seem to have everything under control can be struggling to breath just below the surface.
Some may look at me and laugh if I told them how I feel, at times. They would look at me and immediately just assume that I have to be melodramatic. At first look, fit, healthy, attractive, confident, and somewhat intelligent, I doubt there would be much sympathy for how I feel, but I don’t want sympathy, just connection. Take for instance an “A” list movie star. Im not in anyway comparing myself to one, but think about it. Every person in the world wants their attention, spend time with them, fall in love with them, but how many people can actually relate to them? How many people know how that feels? To be so sought after because of fame or money that it would become difficult to trust anyone’s intentions. Would they want to be next to you if the spot light were gone? Now, thats just an example. Im not famous or that talented, but at first glance, I seem to have everything going for me. Not unlike these “famous” people, I have the luxury of choice. I know, “whoa is me” with the back of my hand against my forehead, but it doesn’t satisfy the craving. Choice just provides ample amount of distractions and fakes. People will bend themselves to the point of collapse to fit the hole you present to them, in an effort to satisfy their own. I find this true constantly when seeking a lover. They think I satisfy their needs, and to a point I do, but what they don’t understand is that my lack of satisfaction will rip to the core of their soul, in spite of an effort for the contrary.
What we often don’t understand is that if the connection is not complete, or equal from both sides, inevitably there will be pain for one, if not both. The real issue isn’t finding our fantasy, to find someone that could understand the storms we’ve had to whether, which usually means that they have had to experience something similar. Its easy to try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but some situations can only be understood after going through them yourself.
This is why we crave love, I think. There are plenty of reasons we need and want love, but deep down, it comes down to knowing someone and understanding them completely. Needing them next to you because you always feel safe and grounded even when floating amongst the clouds. This feeling has to go both ways. Caring about someone so intimately that you can feel the same emotions radiating back to you. This reciprocation simply strengthens your feelings for the other. All the games we play tend to hinge on this understanding. Searching for this feeling to be sure its ok to let go, jump from the cliff with confidence that they will be there to catch us.
Its been a long time since I felt this feeling or even the precursors to it. In the beginning, the bubbly exciting stage where your thoughts are dominated by another person, your emotions rely on hope, or the possibility of achieving this bond. These feelings are rare as well, but come along much easier than real love. Its easy to want to love someone before we know them. We fill in the gaps of their person with hopes and dreams. As we grow closer, our optimism is either rewarded with surprise and long awaited relief, or educated with reality. The gaps are no longer filled with our ideals, but their true nature and personality. Sometimes we adjust what we think we need, other times we compromise. Too often, I compromise. Its wrong and fruitless to bend your needs or try to pretend to fit what the other person can offer. Of course, rising to the occasion is never wrong, but you need to be sure that you follow through. If you can’t make the mark, or you can, but its simply not who you want to be, then its inevitable that the bond will crumble and fall apart.
There will always be compromise in any relationship, but they are relatively minor. Things that don’t compromise who you are so much that the changes are genuine and sustainable. Bending too far from who you are can only last so long before the stitching holding together the relationship begins to fray and fall apart. The unmatched pieces of your personality will take new life and manifest themselves in ugly ways; shady behavior or habits unbecoming of your partner. Its at these times that couples have friction. This is when a relationship is like two tectonic plates drifting in different directions. Early in the relationship, we don’t notice this subtle grinding. We have minor rumblings that are usually swept under the rug. This is a build up, but eventually there is an earth quake with the potential to bring the bond crashing to the ground, leaving a pile of rubble in the place of that once, proud building. At this time, you both have a choice, rebuild, or go in search of steadier ground. How many times have I decided to search for greener pastures? How many times will I have the strength and the will to start over? I have to remind myself that even the best relationships will have their fare share of quakes. Only communication and compromise can mitigate these natural disasters and avoid experiencing them in the future, but honesty and the willingness to share your true self from the beginning is the foundation upon which our relationships are built
I’ve found, that as we grow, this partnership seems more difficult to find, but this isn’t the case. The bond never changes. Its we, who change. Every time we commit to jumping from this cliff of connection and entrust the well being of our emotions to another, we grow. When they fail to catch us, or we let them slip through our fingers to fall alone, we discover more of ourselves and get a glimpse of the raw nature of love. Things like, what we need from a lover and what we can realistically provide in return. Sometimes we learn of new depths of our emotional capability, behaviors we cannot tolerate, or even that some habits must be released to make our desired relationship attainable. Essentially, we just get better at seeing the ones we are not compatible with.
This isn’t negative in anyway, just one side of the equation. Too often we focus on this, though, and let the discouraging realization of how many people we are not suited for, affect our optimism, ultimately crushing our hope until we feel as though we will never find that special person. Do not fret at the understanding of the overwhelming odds of poor matches with potentially good ones. Love is fickle, at times and very exclusive. If it weren’t, then it wouldn’t be special. The reward would not be nearly as sweet and, thus, life would cease to carry with it that feeling of pure euphoria. Love is our purpose. Without it, we have only menial tasks and hollow lives. So don’t despair, nothing worth having comes easy.
The other side of this equation, however, is our ability to recognize the ones who posses the potential to truly make us whole. You are aware of what you seek and what you can provide. The next step is to find tall pole, wrap your flag around it, and set it one fire. Then, fasten that pole to your back and wear it proudly. Don’t be afraid of pushing some people away, we can’t possibly be a match, or even be liked by everyone we meet. Their absence will simply provide room for the ones who will see your beacon and come running. Understand that the energy you throw into the world is felt by others. We attract people, just like insects are drawn to particular types of flowers. If you find yourself attracting a nasty variety of insect, maybe you should look up at your beacon to see if its broken. By this, I mean that our actions and habits are directly related to the individuals who choose to stop and smell the roses, our roses.
We have the power to change our beacon, polish it, brighten it, adjust its color. This all comes from self development, which is only possible with self discovery through objective inner reflection. Difficult, yes. Fruitless, absolutely not. Ironically, I am reminded, as I write these words that there is another factor playing devil’s advocate with the points I have just made, timing. You can do everything perfectly and this little bitch will run up behind you and pull your pants to your ankles. I believe I have met many people in my lifetime that had the ability to share this profound connection with me, but for some reason or another, the timing for one, or both of us, just wasn’t right. Will we meet again when we are both ready? Probably not, but who knows. I also believe there are more than just one of these people out there for each of us. I have faith that, in time, I will have the pleasure of meeting them and also recognizing them for who they are.
I find comfort in this faith, that this connection will happen and that little bit of emptiness that follows me through the day will be swallowed up by their warm embrace. I have “faith in love.” By definition, faith is something we believe in that cannot be proved, touched, or seen, we just know its there. Some have faith in religion, I have faith in love. I have felt it and I see it everyday in this world. It comes in many forms and Im sure anyone can agree. My faith runs deeper, though. I believe it is why we are here. I believe it is the reason to get up in the morning. I believe it can move mountains, end wars, and save our planet.
That being said, it is not guaranteed that I will be lucky enough to experience it again. So why this faith? To answer this question, I will return to religion. Why do some believe in God or religion in general? To me, I believe religion makes life more tolerable. All the ugly occurrences in the world, the happenings that there are just no explanations for, can all be explained by fitting into some plan. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know the plan, just helps us come to term with the fact that we don’t have all the answers. In some situations, religion provides guidance, teachings, and truths that help us navigate rough waters when, by all other accounts it seems our ship is going to sink, but there in the sky, shines a bright light giving us hope that we will make it through. This is why I have faith in love. This is why I believe that someday I will find someone that knows every piece of me, my shortcomings and positives alike, and pulls me closer because of them. Because my ship will be forced to whether storms either way. The difference is cowering under a blanket waiting for death, or looking into the face of the blackest of nights and yelling, “you will not break me!” Whether your religion is real or not really doesn’t matter, its the belief that you are not alone and the confidence and hope this feeling provides.
Hope is why I have faith and this hope gives me the courage to face my demons. Life is a battle, but the real war if fought internally. When we master ourselves, we can achieve anything, become anything, be anything. So becoming the man necessary to find and love the woman I see in my dreams is only restricted by the barriers I impose on myself. The alternative would be a lonely and depressing struggle, for which I would not have the strength. Even if love never finds me again, at least I could face each storm with the aggression and vigor needed to emerge stronger on the other side. This alone will greatly increase the possibility, just believing, but it won’t be easy. Then again, nothing in life worth having comes easy. Even with the multiple scars on my heart and the knowledge of the pain associated with each, I would tell anyone that love is worth having, worth fighting for. The juice is worth the squeeze, as they say and to anyone who has never tasted it, I will tell you that it is the sweetest juice that will ever pass through your lips. So don’t despair, never give up and have faith in love.