Corey had one post on this site before his passing. We will periodically gather his musings and thoughts and post them here.
My thoughts on True Love
To those of you that read all of this, I applaud you, and thank you very much. . This is my opinion and nothing says that I am even a little bit right. If you disagree, welcome. There are exceptions to everything! So, enjoy this EXTREMELY long read, and if you take something away from it that may benefit you, GREAT!
True love…., ‘if we could just find it…’ NEWS FLASH…True love -it’s not found, it’s created, one block at a time. We may ‘fall’ into a new and lustful love and attraction lasting for weeks and even months. But let’s be real, it’s fleeting. It’s chemistry. It’s Oxytocin. It’s honeymoon phases. IT doesn’t last forever.
But why NOT?
Well, first let me tell you how I define ‘true love.’ It is resilient long-lasting love. It is forgiving. It is raw. It is true, honest, and loyal. It is thoughtful and it is stimulating. And like a tree, it is flexible, always growing, and changing with the seasons. But, MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT IS AN ACTION. IT IS A DECISION! The disillusionment sets in and it’s becomes time to make a choice on whether to continue or not. And if you do want it, it’s going to take great care.
Now, don’t get me wrong, non-long lasting loves can also be quite inspiring and stimulating as well. A summer fling that drops quicker than the temperature can still be considered months, years, or decades later to be very fulfilling and satisfying.
So, why does it fade? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
Well, that beautiful young budding tree of a relationship is still sitting in a pot in the front yard of a house on the coast. There are a few things that keep that tree looking great temporarily. Moist, fertilized soil in the pot keeps that tree alive for weeks. Much like initial attraction, the interest that has him talking for hours, the comfort of the other person, and the connection we share with one another hold us together and make us believe we’ve really got something here. And this is especially delicate at this point. Not taking much to make it die out, but also not taking much to make us want to grow it more. Eventually, we outgrow our pot, or we run out of nutrients in the soil, or we run out of water, or we encounter outside forces, sometimes hurricane-force winds, sometimes through no fault of our own, that devastate our relationship.
Because we never planted the tree. We never took it out of the pot. We never gave it a strong foundation. We never gave it a chance.
SO, WHAT SHOULD I HAVE DONE?
1st) Start with a strong foundation. The ground that you put your tree into should be whole and healthy soil. You’ve got to have yourself figured out to some degree. You’ve got to have a real and honest love for yourself. Find your purpose, your passions, and your peace of mind. In your solitude, find yourself, your happiness, your love for you. People take on a relationship and use that relationship, unknowingly, to fill the voids that they have in their own self love. So that relationship ends up not being built with a strong foundation. It’s got the wrong foundation. An oak tree isn’t going to survive long in a dry sandbox. It may make it a great few months. But without having a strong foundation, all of the pressures, false pretenses of what our relationship is supposed to be, and the selfish and biased beliefs of what true love is makes the overbearing weight of those things and everything else that encompasses the unfounded relationship to cause it to become barren, wilt, and split, and die. Sure, some may still resemble a relationship, and may even look great from the outside, but it may be dysfunctional, hollow, or and dead from the inside out…certain to not weather the storms encountered in a long lasting love. We encounter people like this all day long. Don’t allow yourself to be a slave to the relationship by being robbed of the essential freedoms of being yourself, the freedom to love another through your own choices (and not a need for dependency), the freedom to give, work, and serve by your own choice, and the freedom to leave a situation that you should otherwise not be in. SO GET YOURSELF RIGHT. The same goes for your partner. No one needs a white knight, a rescuer, in a relationship. You shouldn’t be establishing roles that resemble anything like a hero and victim. Because eventually one or the other of you will become a villain.
So this soil is a unique mixture of you, and everything that includes ->Your struggles, challenges, achievements, dreams, and personal growth. The great part about this analogy is that you get to choose whether you let these things poison your soil or enrich it. Hopefully, you will both choose the latter and let any adversities you’ve faced only make you and your relationship that much more resilient. Self-actualization is not done on our own. It often takes a partner. And being real and present in that relationship is part of being a partner. Deception with another person is bad enough, but to be dishonest with yourself will haunt you for an even longer time. Imagine for a second if you love yourself completely and as honestly as possible. And you show that through your relationship. You are open and you are honest. When you encompass these two traits, you are going to be less likely to feel that you can’t speak. You won’t feel guilty for explaining how you feel. You won’t feel like you’re backed into a corner with no where to turn. SPEAK UP. Speak out. Speak kindly. Speak honestly. Speak authentically. Speak with integrity. Speak with love. Be yourself and BE what you speak. The same goes for our partner, imagine what kind of love can grow with such a strong foundation and rich soil. But often, that’s not what happens. People change. They are supposed to. That’s what they do, they evolve. People grow apart. People fall victim to their own egos, their own delusional self-importance and fail as a friend, a partner, a lover, and do not give their partner the attention and consideration they deserve. Make sure though that you don’t let your ‘what if’s’ spoil your ‘what is.’
2nd) When you first plant a tree from the pot into the yard, you don’t strip the tree of the soil in the pot, the water in the branches, or the chlorophyll and other nutrients from the leaves. You mix it into what is already established. The same goes for a relationship. It doesn’t just start overnight. At least not a successful one, typically. So, how do you mix someone new into what is already established ground? SLOWLY, and probably the most easily-through a friendship. So before or during your initial courtship, you’re learning about each other. Perhaps just talking for hours, but generally just becoming more comfortable with each other and establishing that emotional connection. Explore each other (NOT sexually), but by exploring each others interests, emotions, world views, opinions, expectations, etc., and eventually the possibilities of pursuing a relationship and/or future together. That’s the great thing about establishing a friendship first. It bridges together your personalities, your likes, dislikes, your experiences, etc…to help establish that friendship and develop that strong foundation for a future. This is when you start to create those roots that can eventually connect you to the deepest levels of each other, where you are wide open and vulnerable emotionally. THIS TAKES TIME. It is NOT meant to happen overnight, or even over a few days or short weeks. It takes time. But boy the way it makes us feel. We believe we have never felt such a connection with someone before, even though, we actually have with others. We would rather believe that what we are experiencing now though, can not be imitated or replaced, not even for a brief moment.
3rd) Now some of you may disagree with me here, and that’s okay. Remember, it’s just my opinion. You’ve got to create a sexual intimacy. Now, whether you choose to be abstinent until marriage or something similar, you should still have some kind of sexual attraction to your partner. It’s what attracts the bees to the flowers on the tree. There is really no need to elaborate on this. But, I will say that the foundation below this icing on the cake is what really makes this especially hot. The coals and embers from the solid foundation make way for the sparks, the sea of flames, and the heat to keep the kindling burning in the relationship of a real long-lasting love. And it is those trees planted in rich soil, dampened with nutrient rich water, and properly trimmed to be exponentially higher at yielding a great fruit. Also, know that your sexual desire is NOT your partner’s fault, responsibility, or problem. It’s yours. That desire can come and go, but it’s yours to find ways to grow and
4) Have restraint. You can overfeed, over-water, or over supplement your tree. We can do the same thing by not being patient. We take off with this overwhelmingly joyous feeling we get from our partner, ready to marry and start a family before we have any roots to hold us steady when we face inevitable stormy weather.
5) Continue to nourish and cultivate your tree of love. When a relationship is brand new, you’re all in, giving it all you’ve got. So keep it up, month after month, year after year. Treat the relationship like you’ve just planted it, making sure it’s got everything it needs and you’ll likely find you’re thriving and growing closer as time goes on. You’ve committed yourself this far, why quit once things are comfortable? DON’T QUIT. Just because you’ve supported this love to fruition doesn’t mean it is incapable of dying. Be supportive and be specific. You have to keep your communication level paramount. Remember that every time you communicate in your relationship, it is an attempt by either or both partners at affirmation, emotional connections, attention, and even to feed our own confidence. By feeding your partners wishes for understanding and shared emotions, you create so much more depth, more connection, more roots that will have a stronghold on your relationship. So FEED each other. WATER each other. And at times, TRIM each other. Keep each other in check with honesty. Don’t let your negative emotions – anger, jealousy, pain, spite, lonesomeness, confusion, or fear determine your decisions. By not being overwhelmed with our negative emotions, we allow ourselves to behave and believe in a positive outcome. Help your partner break down their barriers. Be their rock, be their support.
MY FINAL WORDS)
In relationships and friendships, why don’t we understand that it is more than just what you see and feel. A true love for another person should be a fight through the unknown, and through the uncertainty. Instead, we want something substantial and dreamlike to sweep us away from our own life and be something beautifully crafted in the clouds of our own experiences, concerns, and ideals. You need a commitment. Full commitment, not half-assed commitment. When we only half ass something, we end up questioning ourselves and our abilities. And by not being all in, it leaves so much room for crap to fill in the in-betweens, the maybes, the kindas, and the ‘well, next time I’ll do betters.’
What happened to those willing to fight for something real and true? What happened to people willing to take chances and take risks in what otherwise seemed like an impossible situation or one that can’t even be imagined? Isn’t there still anyone out there willing to love and fight through thick and thin for something real, something true, when it seemed as though all chances of connecting and communicating on a deeper level had been lost? Being true to yourself and selfless for another really isn’t that hard. It just takes some awareness and motivation. In the end, we will hopefully all find that this true love is not just a feeling, but is a state of being that gives and receives when it is in the right place. It is your choice. Will you love another imperfect human, not in spite of their flaws, but because of them? Because you want to grow with them, you want to grow through them, unifying your bond and building the stonework for your own great pyramid of long lasting love. Will you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to allow someone else in to see all of you? To be loved for all of your flaws, because of your flaws, and everything else that encompasses what makes you YOU? Why keep someone from seeing the raw and real you when they only have the best of intentions for you?
With all of these different types of relationships, we begin to realize that the other party, including ourselves, are in fact, human. Thus we are fallible, we are human, WE WILL cause hurt or be hurt in one way or another. But giving wholly to another opens you up to being hurt and someone else giving their 100% to you opens them up to hurt. This is true vulnerability. The key though is not only KNOWING that you will hurt/be hurt, but TRUSTING the other to be totally committed to the goals of that relationship. This is where our self preservation comes into play. We may give and give, putting forth 100% of mind, body, and spirit, but often we end up with less than 100% in return. Repetitively giving without receiving leads us to tuck away little bits of ourselves over time. THIS IS NORMAL. It is not selfishness, it is a way to protect ourselves emotionally, mentally, and spiritually…Remember that it is not your partner’s responsibility to meet your needs. That’s your responsibility. Now, obviously, some things that you need will come from your partner, but those need to be communicated.
Also, is it THAT crazy to think of loving everyone in the world, on a different level obviously? To show love to those around you, even if they are, like you, flawed in some way? Remember with you brother, your uncle, or your mother, you don’t have to like them to love them. Can’t we show love to everyone, and still not have to like them all? Isn’t THAT at least worth a shot? With any relationship in your life, but especially one with whom you want a ‘real’ partnership, remember to keep it simple. Be empathetic, be mindful, be vulnerable and honest. Do your best to connect with them on an emotional level and stay connected. And don’t forget to always remember the best of your partner. Build them up, not down. And don’t stand for one that may make you feel less than anything but…There’s a reason you found yourself where you are in your relationship. You can either be playing high in the tree or chopping down what once could have been something great. If you need some pruning, some replanting, some fertilizer, then get after it. You’ve got the power to change things for yourself, for each other, for you together. And I’ll end it with this right here: ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ Now, go get what you want. If you want love, give it! Just because you’re in a committed relationship or marriage, your partner doesn’t have to love you. That unconditional love your parents have for you, you don’t have that with your partner! You have to earn each other’s love whether today, tomorrow, or 75 years in. Go give it all you’ve got and enjoy what all you receive in return. Know that you’re going to face uncertainties throughout your life but knowing what you want and who you want it with make it all worth fighting for. Your soulmate isn’t found. It’s someone that you’ve helped to build up that wants to make it work with you. There is no flawless relationship. But keeping the focus on what is right instead of what is wrong is what will work. Wherever you put your focus is what becomes the strongest feelings. So committing to working on the relationship DAILY is what will create that true love we all desire before you even realized that you’ve created it. Remember how important all those little things are, and make them happen. Make sure you’re pulling your weight, because you really don’t want to have to look back and wonder if you were. It will fill you with regret. Do what it takes to weather the storms. Grow your knowledge, affection, and action, and carve out time for one another. Listen. Be thoughtful, present, conscious, mindful, and stimulating of body, mind, and spirit. Before you know, you’ll have one of the most magnificent trees of life and love that hopefully will inspire others for generations and when the world tries it’s best to uproot you, it simply can’t.
Wishing You All the Best,