Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Let me state this upfront. I am no expert. I write from my experience as a real life woman qualified because I have been through some things, learned some lessons, made some difficult choices and took several leaps of faith to change my heart, mind, and my life. Pain, struggle, drama, and resistance were like cousins I knew like the back of my own hand. Joy, peace, contentment and cooperation were more like strangers and required unpacking and reprogramming. As free thinking individuals, we are physically and sexually drawn to whomever we desire. Attraction is attraction. Lust is lust. Those are the easiest and most mechanical points of connection. However, “love is blind” or “you can’t help who you love” are just cop outs.
What these oversimplified axioms leave out is that in order to even marginally experience what love truly is, it is imperative to do self inventory. Love requests us to show up differently, it demands a level of self exploration that will leave you sitting in your proverbial shit. Love is peeling back those generational scabs and grafting new skin. Love is exhuming genetic and cultural trauma while questioning/checking your conditioning and wiring. Love is reparenting yourself and rebranding from the root level. Love is reeducating and showing yourself approved. Love is setting the daily intention to succeed not merely relying on wishes and bad advice from well meaning friends and gurus. Love is seeing your partner as God sees them. Love is recognizing the adversary is outside of the us; love is spiritual warfare, on bended knee, seated firmly in prayer. Love is saying ouch that hurts and I’m sorry, over and over again. Love is taking accountability when our triggers, haunts, and shadows show up as spillage, hemorrhaging, deflection, and avoidance. Love is humbling. (Oh the humbling, my God!) Love is surrendering to a vision we have no conscious framework for except or in most cases, in spite of, what we usurped from our upbringing and heartbreaks. Love is failing, and fumbling, and picking our egos up off the floor. Love is asking the tough questions, revisiting conversations, and holding space for varying degrees of truth. Love is listening for clarity, for understanding, for attunement. Love is asking forgiveness and being pardoned for our humanity daily, mask off. Love is a muscle, built like any other, with practice and discipline. That is what we are silently begging for when we ask to be loved unconditionally.
"When I think about the legacy of sustaining loving, fruitful relationships as a part of the endowment I wish to leave our son and his future children, it makes the commitment easier."
So no, love doesn’t just happen, love is not all flowers, bubbles, and rainbows, though I wish it was. Because if it just was, then I wouldn’t have to do my portion, I could put my feet up and point fingers when things don’t “work” out. If it just was, then when love gets tested and challenges surface (and they most certainly will), I could slip on my walking shoes and slip back into my solitude satisfied that the systems, structures, and other external paradigms have failed us, again. If it just was, then I could easily toss my partner away because the “love” soured, expired, or ceased making me happy momentarily. If it just was, then I could absolve myself of any culpability and wash my hands clean of the responsibility of managing my own joy, while I rinse, replace, and repeat or cut, copy, paste and manufacture my next love. If it just was, then I could forgo my own God ordained power of creation, of manifestation, of transformation, and play safe in the worn out narrative of my victimhood and past errors in discernment. We all come with our stuff, not one of us is without a blemish, scar, or tragic storyline. There is an old saying: Wherever you go, there you are. Well here I am, examining myself in the mirror that is my partner and our child and choosing to honor them by healing in the present in their presence. It is my duty to get better, the more time and energy vested.
When I think about the legacy of sustaining loving, fruitful relationships as a part of the endowment I wish to leave our son and his future children, it makes the commitment easier. In fact, teaching our protégés how to partner consciously, intentionally, and for longevity is equivalent to the value of life insurance and inheritance. Our ancestors understood that an intact, functioning marital and family unit is a precious commodity; it is the key to wealth, wellness, and survival. Alignment with the right soul means we have double the investment, double the opportunity, double the protection, double the motivation, and double the resources. Whom you choose to love is one of the most important decisions of your life; literally the difference between deciding to ride and die or to ride and thrive. That kind of love is built in the daily toll and with both pairs of hands co-creating in the dirt; I repeat it is not something that you luck up on, or effortlessly manifest with no expectation on your part. It is beyond raging hormones, waning chemistry, and fleeting feelings. It is deeper than flesh; it is bigger than us.
Hey, Black and Wanderlust, what are you learning about love on your journey? Share your insights with us.
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