(To Know Everything About A Person And Still Love Them, Is Love)
It’s easy to fall in love with our dreams about who our partner is. In the beginning the dream feels wonderful and the beauty of who our partner is seems to reflect upon us. How wonderful we must be to have someone like this!
Then reality sets in. Sooner or later, difficulties arise and we are forced to see other aspects of the person, and other aspects of ourselves as well. When we don’t like what see, we blame it on them, or feel they’ve deceived or betrayed us.
But the truth is we never really knew them. We only knew our dreams about them.
How Can He Do This to Me?
Years ago, I discovered something shocking about a person I looked up to, spent a great deal of time with, and adored. The shock took over for a while and one day, still horrified, I mentioned it to a mutual friend.
“I loved him so much. How could he do this to me?” I said, in tears. The friend looked at me clearly. “He didn’t do anything to you!” he replied. “In fact, you didn’t love him at all, you just loved your fantasy about him. You never even knew him. When you can know everything about a person and still love them, that is love.”
My friend’s words startled and moved me deeply. I recognized their incredible truth, and at that moment dedicated my life and relationships to knowing everything I could about someone, and loving them.
Pillar of Love:
When You Know Everything about a Person and Still Love Them, That Is Love.
It’s easy to be in love when the person seems to be the one of your dreams. However, when you know the full truth about someone (even if it is not to your liking) and still care for them, then you’re really doing something.
When we see truly, we can live truly.
Allowing Change to Happen
“If I haven’t seen you for three days, it cannot be said I know you.”
Really knowing someone includes allowing them to grow and change. We keep others stuck by seeing them in the same old way, refusing to relate to the changes they’ve gone through.
If you haven’t seen the person for three days, they are not the person you knew before. Change is constant and unavoidable. In all relationships we set up an idea or image about who the person is and demand they remain that way. But a relationship cannot be static, and neither can a person. Whether we realize it or not they are changing day by day.
The person doesn’t belong to us, they belong to time.
Everything changes constantly, including the people we are close to. Do we allow the change or even realize it’s happening? Or do we see the person as they were months or weeks ago? Are we holding the person in a fixed image in our minds? If so, we do not know them, but only know our images and fantasies about them. And this fixation impedes the flow of true connection and the experience of real love.
Turning Point: Wake Up to the Freshness of Every Moment
It is crucial to be awake to the freshness of all of life and allow ourselves and others to be new. If we cannot, we are out of touch with what that person truly needs from us now. And, inadvertently, we may be holding someone in a negative pattern they have outgrown.
Pillar of Love: Grant Each Person the Right to Be Who They Are.
Turning Point: Let Go of Your Images of Others, See Who Is Really There
A deep act of love is to grant each person the right to be who they are. A person is here to learn, grow, and fulfill their own destiny, not to fit into some image you have of them. Step back a moment and enjoy their adventure. See the larger vista and give all room to change and grow.
Practice: In Your Mind Say to All You Meet, I Grant You the Right to Be Who You Are.
If something disturbing happens between you, rather than jumping in and correcting, blaming or rejecting them, say in your mind: I Grant You the Right To Be Who You Are.
This simple statement, when said from the heart, is extremely powerful, and will immediately end your uproar and distress. Once the uproar within quiets down, not only will the other feel it, but you will discover a new depth between you. You’ll be on the road to truly meeting and knowing the person, not your dream of them.
Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D. is an award winning author, speaker, psychologist and long-term Zen practitioner. Her work integrates the teachings of East and West and focuses upon how to live them in our everyday lives. This article is from her new book The Unshakeable Road To Love (Value Centered Relationships). The book includes eternal principles from all the world’s scriptures, including Zen. These principles, called “Pillars of Love,” guide us in building our relationships upon a foundation, where happiness and well-being are inevitable. And where upset, pain and conflict can dissolve on the spot. The books’ website is https://www.totalrelationshipsnow.com. Contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.