“I do mine thing, and you do your thing.
I am not in this world
to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world
to live up to mine.
You are you and I am I,
And if by chance we find each other,
-Frederick S. Perls
Hollywood screenwriters would have us believe beginning as young as little children that the only thing each person needs in their lives to attain utter bliss and happiness is the other piece of the puzzle – a partner for life – our prince charming (or charming Cinderella for men). In fact, so much so that without this piece, we are justified in feeling unhappy if we haven’t found this elusive puzzle piece, and it’s permissible for others to have pity towards us.
First of all, hogwash to each mentioned! And second of all, the story needs to change that is being drilled into our heads at such an early age that it becomes impressionable and hard to lift without true self-awareness.
I am of the belief that each one of us is enough all by ourselves. Period. Each one of us has the opportunity in the lifetime that we are given to explore the world, ourselves and the riches and pitfalls that life holds.
Sticking to the topic of relationships, every person’s journey is different, but the goal shouldn’t be to find someone who makes you happy. In fact, I argue that it shouldn’t be to find someone at all, but instead we must allow it to happen organically.
I made the mistake through much of my twenties of having the attitude that I needed to design my life so that I might “find” someone, as if if I didn’t look, I wouldn’t see him. If I didn’t appear available, or go to the right swanky restaurants and bars on Saturday or Thursday night, I might even miss him.
But see, that is what our culture would have you believe. That is what the dating sites would have you believe. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go out and have a good time. In fact, that is the exact opposite of what I’m trying to say – go out and have a blast, but I am saying I believe that dating sites prey on this fear that sits inside us at times and gets the better of us, resulting in so many people forking over their cash that could have be spent on something we might have truly enjoyed rather than injecting more fear into the problem (okay, I realize that I just lost any opportunity for a dating site to advertise on my blog – so be it.).
I know from experience that each dating adventure, each relationship – good or bad – is something I don’t regret. I also know, and am thankful that I am not the young, fearful, impressionable young woman I was a decade ago because I wouldn’t have been a partner that would have complemented my partner in the way that I would today.
And I think that is the key.
We should not be in search of someone who will complete us. Completing ourselves is our job, responsibility and in a grand way, a blessing. Figuring out what makes us tick, what we can and can’t live without, discovering what we are capable of and building the strength within ourselves that it takes to stand up for ourselves, our beliefs and our dreams is something that must be established before we enter into a lifelong commitment.
Many of these things we do figure out in relationships that were not met to last, but the beauty is there is always a lesson, a gem, to take away from each relationship no matter how long, short, successful or hurtful.
By following your path, by being yourself and by listening to that often quiet voice inside, you will meet someone who also is at a place in their lives where they know themselves, are comfortable with themselves and isn’t looking for someone to complete them, but instead someone who can make life all the more sweeter.
A relationship where both people complement the beauty, idiosyncrasies and unique qualities within each other is ultimately what is possible, but stop changing your life to find it. Changing who you are will result in a relationship based on lack of authenticity, and that is not a sound foundation upon which to grow.
Just be who you are, enjoy the journey (which is forever ongoing) of discovering yourself, allow yourself to fall in love, and yes, get your heart broken – it’s a beautiful ride and I have so many amazing memories – not one I would want to erase – not one.