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“We must be our own before we can be another’s.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I will admit there were more than a handful of instances in my teens and twenties when I was ignorantly certain that being someone’s significant other was the key to contentment. Well, for goodness sakes, Hollywood can’t be wrong? Happy endings always involved two, not one, right? But the exciting news is that we are the makers of our own happiness. We can only be certain to experience more happiness and contentment when we are at first genuinely content with our own company and knowledgeable of our true selves.
Sure, when we blindly believed the myth of the magically relationship, it seemed as though it was the reason we were happy, but let’s look a little more closely. We felt accepted. We felt less ostracized. We felt wanted. I would counter to each of these reasons, why didn’t we accept ourselves? Why didn’t we walk away from people who didn’t accept us for who we were in the first place? And why didn’t we respect the uniqueness within ourselves realizing what a gift we had?
While we certainly can be in a relationship regardless of whether we’ve embraced and come to fully respect who we are, unless we’ve become involved with someone who is comfortable with growth and personal evolution and the uncertainty of where it will lead, often the relationship will last long enough to teach a lesson rather than endure for a lifetime.
And such relationships are absolutely fine. In fact, we often need these relationships to teach us lessons if we avoid them when we’re on our own.
More importantly, the healthiest, most enjoyable and extraordinary relationships involve two people who aren’t looking for a puzzle piece that anyone can fill, thus leaving us feeling replaceable if we don’t act or behave a certain way.
The most extraordinary relationships involve two people who honestly have grown into who they are, taken the time to listen to what they want and what they need and found the strength to respectfully stand up for themselves. Such strength includes being able to walk away before taking things too far when it becomes clear an incapability exists; it also includes the strength to work together when the relationship has shown itself to be more valuable than getting everything we want.
Relationships are not one size fits all, but one fundamental component to a relationship that can go the distance, evolve and grow all the while bringing both partners closer, is knowing ourselves prior to entering into one and trusting that our significant other loves and respects us because of who we are and isn’t merely looking for someone to stand beside them and be their puzzle piece.
~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES . . .
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