My wish for each of you is LOVE. Real LOVE. A Love that is kind, respectful, comforting, brings you joy and extends beyond a single day, a box of chocolates and some roses each year.
I wish you a LOVE that allows you to feel safe and secure in who you are and inspires you to grow into the best version of yourself. A LOVE built on soul-to-soul connections, with no expectations, only an enduring appreciation, acceptance, respect and admiration for the beautiful, perfect and unique soul YOU are.
But more than that, I wish YOU a LOVE of self, where YOU see yourself as worthy and deserving of all that is beautiful and good. A self-LOVE that allows YOU to be kind and gentle with your heart as you surrender to and inhale, this epic journey called life. A self-LOVE that offers you the absolute knowing you are a beautiful work in progress, a perfect heart under construction and an amazing, magical, being destine to do great things, even if they’re small things. And with this perfect LOVE flowing around you, I hope you reach into the world, sharing all that you know and make the world a better, softer, gentler and more loving place to be.
Yes, that’s the kind of LOVE I wish for you – not just on Valentines day, but every-single-day.
Millions of single people (and people in unhappy relationships) are consumed with finding the perfect partner.
They scour dating sites and social media profiles, look across crowded rooms, join singles clubs or go to bars looking for “the one”.
In reality, I don’t believe this perfect partner exists. They “become”.
When two perfectly flawed, quirky people come together, they can BECOME perfect for each other if they accept each other as they are, trusting that together they can grow into better versions of themselves.
Human beings have a tendency to be judgmental and look at the messy flaws in each other before we look at the endearing and beautiful qualities we all possess. If you do this (assess the flaws) you’ll never find “the one” because we’re all messy little humans filled with flaws and cracks.
When we plant a seed or a bulb in the ground, it’s messy, it doesn’t grow over night. When planted in the right conditions and when it’s taken care of, the seed grows into exactly what it’s supposed to be. Relationships are the same, they don’t just happen. When planted in the right conditions and with the right care, they can flourish and grow.
*The right conditions implies there are no abuse, infidelity, addiction, moral differences or other serious issues that have to be addressed.
Everything ever created (even YOU) was messy in the beginning. An oak tree, a symphony, a work-of-art, a relationship, all require time to germinate and grow before they BECOME the masterpiece they’re destined to be.
So try looking for the one who is not perfect, but is authentic and possesses qualities such as kindness, respect, a sense of humour, someone who’s supportive, caring, playful and shares similar values.
Then cheer each other on, comfort each other when things don’t go according to plan. When you disagree don’t argue, communicate.
There is some irony in me writing this piece, as I’ve had, hmm a few relationships. They all provided me with insights about myself and human relationships. In particular;
When was kind, loving, supportive and understanding with my partners, we both grew into better versions of ourselves.
When I expected a partner to change a behaviour or change things about themselves (or they had these expectations of me) the relationship went sideways quickly.
When one partner tries to stop the other from growing, the relationship also sours quickly.
Relationships work when both partners commit to growing together and, support one another in growing as individuals.
She may not have the perfect body, he may not be perfectly groomed, you may not see eye-to-eye on a-lot of things and, you probably both have flaws, annoying little habits and imperfections. Don’t let that stop you. If the core building blocks of kindness, respect, honesty and trust are there, and you’re both committed to becoming better versions of yourself, together you can BECOME a masterpiece.
Treat your partner like the partner of your dreams, and, they just might BECOME exactly that.
Don’t mock or walk upon the hearts of those who are soft, gentle, kind and attuned to the changing ethos of humanity. Be grateful they walk amongst us. They are the ones who care for those who can not care for themselves. They see where our world is broken and run to repair the fabric of a brittle planet and it’s fragile people. These gentle hearts, quietly and, without expectation, shelter us and keep us safe. Some see their compassion and empathy and see weakness. But my darlings, these are the ones who have the greatest strength. They carry the weight of our collective rigidity, and the pieces of our shattered world upon their shoulders, so others, don’t have to. They clear the path, then help us walk it.
There are times we need to let go of material things as they create clutter, cause us stress and block us from moving forward.
Likewise, there are times we have to let go of people, as they also block our growth, cause us stress and hold us back.
During the course of our lives we’re in a constant state of growing out of one thing as we grow into another.
Our beliefs, feelings, plans, habits, clothing, homes, jobs and even friendships, can often feel like they no longer fit. If this sounds like you, then you’re doing what we’re all supposed to. Your growing.
As we age, have new experiences, acquire new wisdom and become exposed to new thinking and ideas, we outgrow parts of ourselves that no longer fit or serve us, we also outgrow the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of some people. It’s okay.
This growth doesn’t mean you or they are bad people, it merely implies you’ve outgrown the things you once had in common and, you might now be blocking each other’s paths towards further growth.
I’m not the same person I was when I was 20, 30, 40 or 50. I’m not supposed to be. I’ve grown, so have you. So it makes sense that we might grow away from each other.
How do we know if we’re outgrowing certain people? Most of us feel it.
Conversations begin to feel awkward or forced, you might bicker more often over trivial things, you may no longer feel emotionally or intelligently connected or feel bored or disengaged when you do spend time together. The relationship might feel tight or constrained like those jeans you outgrew two decades ago but hang on to “just in case.”
When we do realize its time to say goodbye to a friend, lover, business partner, therapist, hairdresser or another person; we don’t have to be mean spirited or cast blame. Recognizing you no longer serve a higher purpose in each other’s lives is enough. Thank these souls for the shared memories, the lessons and their role in shaping who you’re becoming. Then, wish them well and move along.
Life can sometimes feel like meeting a stranger on an airplane. You spend several hours sitting next to one another. You enjoy each other’s company. You engage in interesting conversations, have a few laughs, you might share the arm rest, offer them half of your kit-kat or watch a movie together. You may even fall asleep on their shoulder and drool.
Then, when the plane lands you say good bye, head to different terminals, get on your respective connecting flight and move forward. It was a beautiful encounter, but your time together is over. Now you’re on different flights, traveling different paths.
We get this one big beautiful life. If we’re doing “it” right we’ll have many beautiful encounters, and, we’ll constantly be growing and outgrowing things, even each other.
Its all good, its normal, it’s life.
Toni O’KEEFFE ~🌹❤️
“Growing apart, doesn’t change the fact that for along time, we grew side-by-side, our roots will always be tangled, and for that I’m grateful.”
Individual freedom would imply you are not tied or tethered to anyone or anything. You are free to go, do, say or be whatever you want.
But, that’s not exactly the reality of the world we coexist in. We are individual human threads, interwoven across the colourful patchwork we call humanity.
None of us are completely free, nor will we ever be (well, until, you know😇). We are connected, whether we like it or not.
When the fabric at one end of the patchwork is torn, it affects us all and there is potential for ALL OF US to unravel.
It’s to our collective benefit ~ whether there’s a war, a pandemic or natural disaster~ to rally and support the piece of the patchwork that’s damaged or suffering. There’s a shared responsibility for “the whole”, to which we all benefit and to which we all have a responsibility. Bee’s get it🐝.
We spend a lot of time espousing our individual freedoms and rights, but not a lot of time teaching children (or ourselves) about our individual responsibilities and interdependence.
Despite what the song says, we are “NOT” Born Free. We are born into a hive that is completely interdependent and reliant on social cooperation. What happens to one of us, affects all of us.
“Bee” kind to each other and this beautiful, sort-of-happy, hive that is our shared home.
Is social media ruining our personal and romantic relationships?
Are we forgetting how to communicate?
Are adults spending too much time scrolling through pics of their ex, the cute girl or guy from the office or their latest obsession, when they should be spending time building and growing the important relationships in their lives?
Apparently, we are.
One third of all divorce cases since 2016 in the UK, cite “social media” in the proceedings as a cause for disharmony in the relationship. Another survey suggests one third of all relationship break ups “worldwide” are the results of social media behaviour and engagement. 😮
But let’s be clear, it’s not necessarily the fault of social media, it’s the temptation it breeds to be stealth, sneaky, and disengage from real relationships and engage in unfettered behaviour that’s causing the problem.
The ease in which people can scroll and get away with flirting, sexting, viewing, stalking and micro-cheating make it easy to engage online.
This environment also makes it easy for disinformation and conspiracy theory’s to be spread and wreak havoc on our family’s, and our personal and romantic relationships. I’ll write more about that on another day.
Good communication is essential to good relationships. Our obsession with social media has destroyed communications between partners, parents and their children and caused breakups between friends.
A 2015 poll of adults found that 89 per cent admitted they took out a phone to view social media during their last social gathering. 82 per cent say the conversation they we’re having, deteriorated after they did. 71 percent also admitted to using social media in ways they knew their partner wouldn’t like, e.g stalking an ex, flirting, staying connected to a crush or viewing pics of a cutie from work.
A number of studies also point to a decline in our mental health from over exposer to social media.
Social networking sites are rampant with opportunities for self-promotion and ego-boosting. The number of narcissists feeding on likes, new followers, complementary comments and love emoji‘s from those willing to offer them up to feed their own desires and fantasies, is staggering.
Both the narcissist and those following them (and enabling them) are contributing partially to the downfall of real life communications and relationships.
A study led by mental health research Julia Brailovskaia, showed that narcissism is associated with high levels of Facebook and Instagram use. Her study also shows, the need for popularity and ego boosting can be dangerously addictive.
Of course social media is not all bad. It allows us to stay connected, reconnect and reach out. However, when it takes us away from our primary relationships, makes us mentally unwell, impacts our real world communications, erodes trust in our romantic relationships or is being used to spread misleading information or cause harm, then maybe it’s time for a break.
There is so much information on this topic, so, I’ve posted a few links below which relate to the studies and information I’ve referenced above for those who are interested in this topic.
So, on this happy day-after-Valentine’s-post, I think it’s time for me to take a break, turn off my social media platforms for a bit, and spend some time in the real world.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, real world, rest of the week.