I woke up one morning, and there it was, staring at me. As I lifted my eyes from the small puddle of water in the cuffs of my hands, I suddenly understood the difference. I blinked my eyes in realization, the “ah-ha” moment wasn’t brutal, but when I swallowed the truth, it went down like hot shots of tequila. The hair on my arms stood up, and my chest caved in. The spiritual checking of my ego was nothing nice. And I guess it all has to do with my desire to be a better lover because what hit me indeed put me in my place.
How many of you have confidently mouthed these two words…”I’m ready.”
I know I’ve said those words a few times before and was damn sure of myself when I did. Something in me gave me the okay to indulge in acts of love and relationship, proclaiming a sense of awareness and ability to operate at a level that required tools I did not possess. On the one hand, in the beginning, there was an innocent ignorance that accompanied my desires for love and relationship. As we all know, there are no rule books to loving, whatever your preference may be. Therefore, my engagement and seeking were blind to many realities, and I supped those who also had emotional vision impairment. But that’s where many small lights started to come on; however, as I grew older, I didn’t use any of the light (insight) I gained to find myself on the outside of my repeated cycles. The majority of the relationships I’d been in were mirrors of each other.
What I allowed
What I didn’t do
What I allowed them to do
Where I shut down
Where I lost myself
Where I gave my power over
Where I lied
Where I emotionally manipulated
Where I played the victim
Where I allowed myself to be emotionally destroyed
on and muthafuckin’ on.
It had been the same script, different cast scenarios in my love life.
What the hell was I not getting?
How is it that I possess the ability to love at what feels like an impeccable unconditional level; I mean, from head to toe. I love at a frequency that touches all the areas a woman desires touching without hands, and she feels it deep within her soul. I possess the heart of twelve holy poets and compassion of the One who came and healed, even on the Sabbath. But relationship after relationship, I slowly discovered that it wasn’t enough to even with all that love.
I walked back to my bedroom, almost winded from getting lost in deep reflection standing in my bathroom mirror. My eyes blurred as if I had them closed tight, apparently without knowing. Gazing over the forest-like scenery out my bedroom window, I began to hear the lesson on the two components of commitment: Love and Relationship.
The compatibility of the two goes without saying; however, often, we enter romantic involvements deficient because love and relationship are not synonymous or automatically contingent on one another.
Love is high, positive emotional and mental vibration. When emitted at full capacity, love has the power to cause shifts on a nuclear soul level. Most commonly, love refers to feelings of a strong attraction and emotional attachment. Love can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection, as “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another” and even one’s self. It’s said love the function that keeps human beings together against all the odds. Simply put, love is one of the most profound emotions known to humankind.
On the other hand, a relationship is an interconnectedness shared between two parties, a state of being. The term relationship can define multiple levels of agreement, more commonly a romantic one. What is needed to maintain any degree of relationship is communication, understanding, and a willingness to compromise. Also, to grow a relationship, trust in one another is beneficial.
Yes, the giving of love and building a relationship have correlative value; however, they don’t manifest because one of the other is present. Both are supportive components of a fruitful companionship, yet it takes the initiative to learn how to apply them to a romantic agreement. Giving and receiving love and the skills of building a healthy relationship are not fixed formulas. X+Y doesn’t always equal Z at the different levels with different hearts. Capacities change, and the substances needed to build a fortified dwelling increase (or decreases) per experience. It is necessary to remain a student of love and your lover to create the desired outcome of love in action.
All this time, I thought love was enough. I thought because of my experiences with different women and my ability to love; it was automatically bestowed upon me the right to have a lasting relationship, aside from the fact I lacked true building qualities. It is one thing when you stay in a relationship because you are a naturally loyal person, or that’s all you know to do, versus growing and building from within and because there is good love shared between two people that need a secure place to call home. Just because you love someone with all of you doesn’t automatically qualify forever after.
So there I sat as I blinked out of the final seconds of my gaze with this realization; love came and left my life as it did because I did not prepare a good home for it to stay. Yes, sometimes we have all the love but no clue how to be in and build a healthy relationship. And sometimes, we show up with the skills of building a relationship but lack the power of love needed to make it last, especially after the storms. Without a relationship, love has nowhere to call home, and without love, a relationship is only a situation or business agreement.