This idea that “you complete me” is prevalent in our society, but what I’ve learned on this journey to me is that I am already whole; we all are. Others can inspire us to greater heights, amplify back to us the love we have within and make the journey richer, this is all true, but ultimately, you are the greatest love of your life.
Circumstances have led to two separate and – on the face of it – very different friends visiting us on the same weekend. I’ve learned to trust the twists and turns in the path of life, and so I began to wonder at this odd coupling of events.
Then it struck me what both our friends have in common, something many of us can relate to, is that both feel somehow incomplete without another.
In each case the situation is quite different. For one, the death of a sibling has left her wrangling with many mixed emotions; not least is this sense of not knowing who to be in the world without the other. For our other friend, a new relationship heralds another circuit in the quest to find happiness.
As I reflected on this, and the experiences in my own life, I gave inward thanks for the unburdening revelation in this journey to me these last few years that I am already whole.
I met my partner at a point where I’d just left a long-term relationship and was finally – for the first time – happy to be single. I really had to stop and think hard about whether I wanted to commit to another relationship so soon. Yet there he was.
At this point I suppose looked upon love more as being parts that come together to form a whole. Yet I wanted to know more about that part that was me. We talked about the need for autonomy, as we were both still reveling in the joy of dancing to the beat of our own drums. We both wanted a family in our future, and someone to share that with. Our journeys were taking us on similar paths, so we decided to walk together awhile.
Over the years our respective conditioning has led us, particularly under times of stress, to make demands of the other that do not speak to autonomy. This pervasive idea in our society that another has a duty towards our happiness is unhelpful when – as humans – we are ultimately selfish beings wired only for our own happiness.
Somehow, we have gotten caught up in the idea that sacrificing our own happiness for others is more honourable, and that – somewhere on a fabled scoreboard of life – that is ‘better’ than acting selfishly.
The predominant experience was one of feeling chained to a path neither was certain they wanted to take. Under enormous stress financially, bereft of time to ourselves and enslaved to tasks of our own making that felt ‘necessary’, we were not kind to each other. We looked to the other to lighten the load, fill our respective cups, and bend to our will.
Yet a wonderful thing has happened, in each selfishly pursuing our own desires and dreams, doggedly determining to be more of who we truly feel ourselves to be in this world, we have maintained the same direction in our journey. We smile, and decide to continue walking awhile more.
These desires, judgments and expectations in those middle years were felt acutely, so how did we move past those? How did I move from being a human who felt that I was a only piece of myself to one who felt whole?
Like all journeys, it started with a single step, with an unequivocal desire – in this case – to be all me. The journey is well documented through my articles, but on this particular topic is true to say that letting go of the judgments and expectations I felt was a key step.
I reexamined everything I believed to be true about myself and the world I was living in. Did I really need to be responsible for bringing in an income as well as being the primary caregiver in the family? Did pursuing my passions need to generate income in order to justify it? Did time for regular introspection and contemplation require some special reason?
It’s a funny thing. As I started to change my own expectations, the world around me changed too. At first I was defensive, still acting from a point of justifying why I wasn’t doing those things I felt were expected, but then I started to fill my own cup with more and more of the thoughts and things that make up that part of me I felt to be who I truly am.
I wrote more, I walked more, I opened up more to my own dreams, and to my partner’s dreams. It took time, it took patience and persistence, but once the journey had begun there was no going back. Once you begin to uncover who you are, the power and love you have within you, there is no turning around.
What becomes evident is that you are not simply a part of a whole, you are whole within and a part of everything. But there is nothing lacking in you that you need another to fulfill. In fact, once you discover your wholeness, you will find you have a lot more to give, and a lot more to gain.
I thought I knew who I was, way back when. I had all the profiles and credentials, but I was not happy. When you are seeking something outside of yourself, in order to give you confidence or make you happy, then, no, you do not yet know who you are. When you know who you are, you know that you are whole.
So I say to my friends, and to you, who are you? Be all you, know you’re wholeness, and in that you will find more love than you ever thought possible.
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