"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."-Rumi
If I had a nickel for every time someone single that I know talks about walls, I'd have enough money to fly round trip to Dublin and Athens…first class. Being the married friend is hard sometimes, like being subjected to watching close friends go on dating disaster after dating disaster and hearing them say "there's no decent (guys/girls) left in this world. You're so lucky you have Tom". I try to be positive, my go to line is "there's a butt for every seat. You'll find your person, I promise." That line only goes so far especially when you're married nearly 2 years and in a relationship with the same person for 9 1/2 of those years. Your stature of limitation in being able to "understand where they're coming from" has officially run out. If there's one thing I've always been good at, it's people watching. I watch people with my husband ALL the time, body language, tone and nervous ticks. It's amusing but it also offers me exclusive insight to how people tick without being emotionally invested.
Everybody talks about walls, 'well nobody will hurt me if my walls are up'. These are usually the same people who secretly crave for someone to knock them down and prove that they're different, this also brings me to my quote of the day: "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." It's so deep yet so simple. Rumi's quote applies to today in the simple essence that everyone's looking for love but nobody wants to really let their guard down. If we seek someone who will love and cherish us that best way to do that is to love ourselves enough to show people what's on the other side of our Berlin Wall we call our real/vulnerable side. We become so preoccupied with the notion that our vulnerability will make us be seen as weak and give others the opportunity to hurt us emotionally that ultimately we BUILD barriers AGAINST love. Wanting and seeking love is human nature to say "I don't need anyone" is to deny the very biological need in everyone. To love and be loved.
Today, with technology and online dating being the main source of "getting out there and meeting someone" the options which are presented to all of us are overwhelming. We've lost the ability to connect or be vulnerable because we're onto the next option so quickly before anyone gets a chance to know "the real us". If someone's body type or even eye color is unattractive to us we can choose to swipe left instead of right and be onto the next. Relationships are based solely off attraction and not enough on compatibility. That's not to say you shouldn't be attracted to your partner BUT the element of choice makes it hard to focus on getting to know ONE person. They'll always be someone better looking than the person you're dating, just like they'll always be people better looking than you. Regardless we all end up growing old and looks can and will fade (no matter how much plastic surgery the Kardashians invest in) nobody is immune. People tell Tom and I they want what we have, they crave to know our secret for nearly ten years together in a society based off speed dating and instant gratification.
Want to know our secret? Love someone MORE for who they are on the inside then how they look and STOP looking to others outside of your relationship to validate your self worth. Love someone even when you struggle to LIKE them on some days and above all never give up. Fix what's broken, don't simply pull out your phone and look for the next potential mate. We're ALL unattractive and unlovable at times but real love is loving someone and choosing to stand beside them each day despite that. Relationships we see in movies of 24-7 sunshine and smooth sailing aren't realistic. Want to know what it's like to be married? Here's a poem by Steve and Jenna that's been floating around the internet for quite sometime and I'd like to share it with you:
“Marriage is ugly, I’m sure those who are married here will agree.
You see the absolute worst in someone.
You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn and when they are so unlovable they make you scream.
But that is all so worth it.
Because you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face, when they can’t help but make those weird snorting noises they make only in front of you.
It’s also the getting stressed out about silly little things that are not important. Or eating the culinary delights they cook every evening for your tea.
You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty.
It’s the strange faces they pull only at you, it’s the tears when it feels like it’s all crashing down.
It’s the bad breath and the farting.
It’s the sniffing of the top lip, the silly walks and the random dances.
It’s the anger that’s not directed at you, but feels SO like it is.
It’s the joy in the happy memory making.
Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing.
It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you no matter how nasty you are to them.
It’s having someone have your back, no matter what.
It’s fights over stupid things, like almost everything!!!
But it’s also those nights when you fall asleep in each other’s arms, feeling like you’d never want to be anywhere else.
It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is.
Because at the end of the day, you get to climb into bed, not only with your best friend, but with the weirdest, most annoying, loyal, moodiest, loving, silliest but perfect person you know.
Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one mad and exciting rollercoaster of a ride, that we want to stay on forever.”
If we build walls within ourselves, we'll never have authentic love. Authentic relationships are hard to come by because everyone's too busy being the best version of our Tinder/Facebook/Instagram accounts. Authentic relationships don't get to develop when we're constantly looking for the next opportunity or option to meet someone 'better'. That's NOT love.
Rumi was ahead of his time with this quote speaking directly to this confused and disillusioned generation when he encourages people to look within themselves and in the words of President Regan, "tear down that wall!". I implore you to be vulnerable. YES you might get hurt, you might cry or feel broken but you also learn. You'll learn what you like and dislike, what you can look past or view as a deal-breaker. You'll never learn these things or know these things if you don't approach each person you meet with an open mind and open heart. If you look at each person sitting across from you as "too much this" and "not enough that" you might be missing out on someone special.
If two people can open their hearts and minds to commit to one another for better or worse love can come because their all no internal barriers against it.
In conclusion, I leave you with this food for thought, Are you seeking love, without finding (and destroying) all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.?
Love you. Mean it.