Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants that experience of having someone see straight through to their very core and know them beyond the surface of their masks. To see and know all of what is inside, all of the dark crevices of their soul, and love them. Really love them.
Anyone who says otherwise is scared.
We have become a society where some people are settling for being treated in a way that is less than they deserve because they’re scared of being alone, and others are not truly letting anyone in or giving them a chance because they’re scared of what those people will find out about them.
In the past, you married someone before they found out about your baggage. By the time you moved in together and unpacked your insecurities, fears, annoying habits and the hidden depths inside you think are dark and dangerous, it was too late to do anything about it because divorce was hardly an option.
They would see your “shit”, and maybe they wouldn’t love it completely, but they wouldn’t leave you.
Now we live in a time where the whole world is at our fingertips. I love that my smart phone allows me to video call my mum while on a barefoot, horse-and-cart island in Indonesia as we watch a local traditional ceremony together. I love that the Internet allows me to scroll through Facebook and see someone I find interesting and instantly reach out to make a new friend. I love that ‘touch of a button’ feel.
But because we have grown up in an age where everything is at our fingertips, when we reach out and it’s not easy and it scares us a little – we pull our hands back in and keep moving on. Looking for the next easy thrill in a new connection, not putting in the time to really see and love deeply.
As a result, many people are marrying later or not at all, and those who do throw around the ‘D’ word like it’s going out of style. With the global interconnectedness, there are so many options that when we reach an impasse, we just keep moving on – rejecting and being rejected.
So of course, we are scared to show someone who we really are.
There’s that voice inside… That voice that says he will leave you when he realizes how clingy you are. She will think you’re weak when she sees you care. Somewhere deep inside… we believe they can’t handle all of us.
We believe they can’t handle all of us, because we can’t even handle all of us.
We’re too busy staring at our smart phones and iPads that we don’t even know who we really are. We are over-stimulated, externally-focused and too scared to look inside and find out what lights us up inside, what our fears are, and who we are when the world feels like it’s closing in from the outside and we’re trapped against a wall.
Who are we in our moments of triumph, and in our moments of deep despair and loss?
We don’t want to look inside. So instead, we hide.
And as is the nature of the Universe, what we resist is what we attract. So we attract people into our lives who are there to mirror the exact things we are trying to hide.
This is our chance to see what they’re here to teach us, embrace what is being hidden, and continue to become a better version of us with each new connection.
What do we do, though?
We jump on Tinder and find someone who won’t look too far inside, and who we can dispose of easily. Before they see us, and before they have the opportunity to dispose of us.
The problem with this approach is that we are all missing out on what we fundamentally want. Love.
And this problem doesn’t miraculously disappear one day when we finally meet someone ‘different’. The problem is not in the girl who needed too much from him or the guy who exuded a fake arrogance to hide his vulnerability.
The problem is that these people are mirroring back to us our own issues, and we keep switching people, but WE are the one common denominator.
Their neediness, their arrogance, their vulnerability, even their excess weight or the hair on their toes you think is weird. All of the judgment we have for others, is really a reflection of the judgment we are heaping on ourselves every day.
What you don’t like in others, is what you don’t like in yourself but you are trying to run from.
The reason relationships are falling apart in modern times, is because we now have choice. And we’re choosing to be scared. We’re choosing to run from our own vulnerability. We’re choosing to blame others instead of seeing the truth – the opportunity to look inside and grow.
We’re choosing not to commit to others because we’re still not ready to make the choice to commit to ourselves.
But we can make a different choice. We can choose to love ourselves. We can choose to see that everything we are confronted with in someone we love, is an insight into the work we still have to do in ourselves. We can see them – in all of their brilliance and imperfection and strength and frustrating magnificence – as a gift.
Relationships aren’t about cuddling someone in bed at night and having someone to go to parties with.
Relationships are about journeying through life together – in relation – to each other. To continue to evolve as individuals, sparked by what you see in the other, and what they see in you. To heal each other’s wounds of abandonment and rejection. To dig up the shit we keep hidden inside, hoping no one will find out, and bring it into the light. To find those parts we don’t love in ourselves, and be willing to accept them, in ourselves and in the people in front of us every day.
The sooner we get this fairy tale notion of someone else “completing us” out of our heads, the sooner we will be able to start making a different choice.
They aren’t here to complete us. They are here to help us look inside and see all the parts we’ve left abandoned, and realize we are already complete.
And I think that’s more interesting and far more rewarding than pretending we only want to have pointless conversations on Tinder.