From an early age, we begin to understand that love and relationships are the foundation for how the world turns. It literally surrounds us from watching our parents to songs, movies, and even commercials!
One of the things we learn or are even taught is how to find the right person to spend our lives with. We are told what to look for, what to avoid. We are given checklists and rosters and warned about those pesky red flags.
Books have been written on how to find a man or woo a woman. Magazines are filled with articles on attracting a partner and new online dating sites pop up every day with tips on how to put your best foot (along with the rest of yourself) forward.
And there is nothing wrong with all this advice. I've given it out many times myself. But a problem can arise when we focus too much on finding the right person and not enough focus on being the right person.
You should put as much effort into refining yourself as you do refining your love search engine results.
And this would be a good time to point out that becoming the right person does not mean changing who you are just to please or attract a specific individual. Jumping through hoops and putting up a front will get old very quickly. It is not sustainable and certainly does not bring lasting happiness.
The best gift you can offer yourself, and your future partner, is to discover who you truly are and then embrace it. And often this isn't as easy as one might think.
Our family, in a truly loving fashion, for the most part, try to steer us in the direction they think we should go. We are influenced by our culture and surroundings. The friends we choose can also have an effect on the direction we steer our lives.
But in the midst of all those impacts, it is vital you take the time to learn who you are when all the noise goes away.
What brings you joy? What excites you? What inspires you? Where would your dreams take you? Your passions guide you? The possibilities are endless and unique only to you.
It is only after you truly know and accept yourself that you can even begin to look for a partner.
A relationship does not have to be built with someone who looks just like you, but it does need to be with someone who accepts you completely, the true you.
And in return, you must accept them. A big mistake we have probably all made at some point is to try and mold someone to our preferred image. We find someone who mostly fits our pre-fabricated list and we set about to chip away and then add to change them. That's unfair and unproductive and will most likely fail.
I don't believe that any two people will be completely compatible. That seems too science fiction/fairy tale to me. The honeymoon phase can often blind us to our differences, but there will always be some. That doesn't mean you can't have a loving and sustainable relationship. It just means you both have to practice acceptance and unconditional love.
And I would also like to point out that having a relationship should not be your ultimate life goal. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of having someone to love who loves you back. That is one of life's greatest treasures, but it should not consume you. Your life is beautiful, fulfilled and worthwhile just the way it is. You do not need anyone else to complete it.
Nor should it cause you to hide your true self and pretend to be someone you are not.
My Hopefuls, the longing to be loved and accepted is significant. The search can seem exhausting and even treacherous at times. I've been right there with you. But this I can most assuredly promise you; the right person will find you when you are being your most authentic self.
The timing may not be what you would like, and the circumstances may be challenging, and there is work involved no matter how much you love someone, But finding true happiness and contentment with yourself is the key to allowing someone else to find those same things in you.
So stop the frantic search for the right person. Learn to be the right person. Embrace your unique and amazing qualities and see what beautiful adventures await.
Hope With Abandon