I was always a big believer that the most significant relationship we can have is the one we have with ourselves. I knew that my internal happiness could not depend on any one person, but rather it was a job that I had to tackle alone. Despite the priority of internal peace I assigned to myself long ago, I always knew that love, any love, can enhance our well-being.
It is important to clarify that love comes in many shapes, and it is not only a romantic love. We seek connection, and even our pets can play an enormous part in enabling us to feel gratitude, fulfillment, and closeness. Romantic love can also be a part of our connection journey, but I have found it to be an addition to my peace instead of the cause of it. In another words, I wanted to achieve internal balance that could not be rocked by any one event, and romantic love would come as a “cherry on the top.”
It was not until I decided to take the pressure off that I was able to achieve closeness and find my true love. I always felt that I had a list of criteria when it came to romantic relationships, but I found that fulfilling these criteria didn’t necessarily result in a deep connection. One day, I decided to try and understand potential romantic interest by truly being just a friend, and I found more closeness than I had ever before.
When we drop the pressure of ideal love, we find that our flexibility to love is far greater. As a matter of fact, our true self is able to come forward and seek out (identify) other genuine behavior. What we find may surprise us – I met the love of my life when I was in a place of just wanting a friend. We struck a friendship tone that allowed us to take the demands of dating away and focus on the beauty of deep communication.
I fell in love when I put the pressure to the side and focused on internal peace while maintain outside connection. I felt that it was the most natural thing to do only when I felt completely fulfilled alone and open to great conversation and sharing of experience. It was the realization of our flexibility to love; I knew that love was everywhere, and romantic love would have contributed but not diminished my ability to feel the deepest sense of closeness to everything around me.