From a young age I knew on some level that my purpose was to be a conduit of love. Giving to others wholeheartedly and not expecting anything in return was my normal mode of operation. In fact, I grew up as a little adult rather than a child; it was attributed to my independent nature but also my upbringing at home. I related more to my parents, grandparents, and family friends then my peers. With all the love I received from them, I felt safe and secure. However, I was often in the position of being the rock and source of stability for my loved ones. Friends, classmates, colleagues, and even complete strangers have always reflected back to me similar sentiments, “Marisa, do you know that you are all love?”
After two long term relationships with good men who were both incredibly different from each other, I experienced both flips of the coin; being loved by someone with strong emotion, but neediness and being loved by someone who from behind impermeable walls and stoicism only revealed his love in glimpses. I have been loved more when I loved less and I have loved more when I was loved less. But what was lacking was my self-love and self-awareness as I gave too much in both situations for different reasons, yet didn’t receive what I needed or deserved in return. Certainly this was also due to my own emotional fractures and not realizing the true value of my self-worth. But something changed after suffering my share of heartbreak; the gratitude I have for it. It has rendered me a better person, stronger, and clear within myself. It has taught me the depth of loving another for both his beautiful and flawed parts without judgment. It has taught me patience yet never to accept anything less than what I want. It has also granted me the greatest freedom of all to care and think about myself as my first priority so in turn I can have a greater reserve while interacting with others. But most importantly, once love is rooted it never dies, but it transforms.
The secret is this: balance. Without inner equilibrium, one can’t give and receive with ease. Without equilibrium in relationships of any type, dysfunction and vicious cycles of co-dependency occur. When balance is present, both individuals are free to love each other at their best and at their worst because they make it a daily propriety to do so without condition. Balance is the foundation, creation, and salvation of the beautiful home in which both the heart and mind reside together.