by Mark DeNicola |
It was over two and a half years ago that I wrote my first article for this website. The article was entitled ‘Transitioning Into a New Form of Relationships’ something that to this day still holds a great deal of truth in my heart.
The article spoke on the incredible amount of importance we love to put on permanence when it comes to relationships. That no matter how much could be shared between two people the moment one person stepped out of an accepted line, the entire dynamic and relationship would be shot.
Four days after releasing that article, I wrote another one. This article was entitled ‘Finding the Love in Letting Go’ and offered 5 helpful tips/ reminders to assist anyone in getting over the loss of a relationship partner. (FINDING THE LOVE IN LETTING GO) Even though I wrote another article about sports between the release of these two, it was pretty clear that at the time relationships were a pressing issue for me.
For the first time in my life I had broken up with someone I still cared greatly for, someone that to this day still has a smile that warms my heart in many ways.
So what made me do it? I don’t know a specific reason exactly, but all I know is that given what has transpired since then for both of us it was definitely the right thing to do. Without even getting into her own growth from the experience, I know that it was the first time in my life that I had to face the challenge of being the ‘bad guy’. Not to mention the abundance of self-doubt, fears and judgements I also had to face head on all as a direct result of this seemingly simple decision.
Flash forward 2+ years and I’m here to write about relationships yet again, and you can guess why… because they once again have become a rather pressing issue in my life. However rather then focusing on the inherent perfection to even the most difficult of situations, I’d instead like to share something else that this time around I’ve come to realize. I’ve realized that in the traditional sense that most of us have come to know relationships by, barely ever are there 2 people truly involved.
What I mean by this is that many of us, myself included, look at relationships in a very selfish way. We may sugarcoat them with attraction, nice feelings, and the general enjoyment of each other’s company but for the most part we look to relationships to fill a gap. A gap not in the stereotype of what is a perfect way of being, but a gap in the relationship we hold with ourselves.
If we are self-conscious, we look to a relationship to give us some self-assurance that we don’t need to be. If we are afraid of being alone, we look to a relationship to prevent that from being the case. If we flat out dislike ourselves, we look for someone who for whatever reason seems to like us. The examples could go on and on, but I think by now you all get what I’m getting at here.
As much as another person/ relationship partner can be a wonderful reminder to the fact that we all have nothing to dislike, be afraid of, or be self-conscious towards, in the end** that same person can be our biggest barrier to overcoming those things. Now why did I randomly have ** in the middle of that sentence? Because it’s at that point that I wanted to give a further explanation but didn’t want to cut the flow of the point before doing so. So here is what belongs at that point:
** Before we could ever truly appreciate and fully experience a relationship with another person we need to take the time to look internally at the relationship we have with ourselves. It may temporarily feel like enough to the mind to have 1 or 1,000 people tell you that you are beautiful, but until you truly feel it inside you will never reflect that.
And one of the biggest barriers to ever taking that time to work on that relationship with ourselves is that we allow the views/ opinions of others to bandage that wound. As much as bandages can help in keeping a wound from getting dirty and stinging in the moment, the bandage alone will never do the long-term healing.
Going through this first-hand now, while at the same time witnessing another person go through it as well, I can definitely say that finding a true love for yourself is a pretty critical thing to do. I don’t mean love in the sense of Narcissus in Greek mythology, but love in the sense of a full acceptance and appreciation of who you are. To not let media imposed societal ideals, your own belief systems or judgement dictate how you feel about yourself.
The bottom line is, no matter who you are, you are perfectly lovable. How can you ever expect to truly experience that love with another person if you can barely feel it when you are on your own?
As I continue to go through this process myself, I invite you all to do the same even if you aren’t in the midst of any form of relationship or personal difficulty related to this. In fact if you aren’t it will probably make the process a little bit simpler, since the mind will have less recent emotional charges to play upon. The best place to start is always by taking a moment to observe yourself. If you are anything like me I’m sure you can come up with an abundance of things you don’t particularly like about yourself either physically or emotionally.
Once you bring them into your awareness you can break them down by seeing where they come from. Are they rooted in a comparison to someone or something else? Are they tied to a particular past experience? No matter where or what helped the belief find itself within you, it is just as capable as becoming as fickle a thought as what to eat for lunch. It’s only the importance and emotional power we allow the mind to give it that make it seem so much more life or death.
by Mark DeNicola