we think we’re made of numbers. percentages on tests, pounds on a scale, likes on a photo, price tags on clothes. but we’re not. we are made of love and happiness and they way we laugh. we’re made of good memories and late nights and past-curfews. we have more substance than numbers.
One of the biggest mistakes we make in relationships is when we get a fixed notion of what love should look like. If he loves me, he will do this. If she wants to be my friend, she will do that. But what if the feelings we want the other person to have simply don’t express themselves the way we think they should? Are we going to forgo a love because it doesn’t come in the package we expected it to arrive in? Relationships aren’t black and white, and people aren’t good or bad. We’re complicated. We’re trying our best. The more we live, the more we realize that the failure of others to love us the way we wish they would is as unintentional as our own such failures.
The ego argues that the right intimate relationship would take away all the pain of separation, yet that is delusional. Intimacy isn’t a special category so much as a deeper layer of existence. When we first hold a baby in our arms, that is an intimate moment. When we sit with someone when they die, that is an intimate moment. When we share deeply from our core about our genuine feelings, that is an intimate moment. Our obsession with romantic love as the primary container for intimacy has often kept us from finding it. It is two hearts—not two bodies—that make a holy connection. When the body comes along, that’s fantastic. But anyone with any experience knows that sex itself doesn’t guarantee deep connection. And at times, it can obstruct it.
Special love means we are attached to another person being a certain way. We think we know what we need from a person and put our focus on trying to make it happen. Not realizing we are looking to a human relationship to fill a space that only God can fill, we are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to make the other person, or ourselves, fit into the picture our ego thinks is perfect. The problem with this is that control and manipulation, however subtle, are not love. Love is repelled by any effort to hold onto it too tightly.
God’s response to the ego’s special relationship is the creation of the holy relationship, in which we allow a relationship to be what it wants to be and reveal its meaning to us, rather than trying to determine its meaning first. Holy love allows another person to simply be who he or she is. It helps us detach from the need to control another person’s behavior. Yet all of that is much easier than said than done."
- Marianne Williamson (via mindofataurus)