Why is it we treat love as something that has been lost? Looking for love, searching for love, finding love? I’ll admit that I’ve said these same statements at different times in my life. Can love actually be lost?
Certainly, relationships can end but if we were in love for awhile, we experienced it, we didn’t lose it. Recently the phrase “looking for love” made me stop and think. If I am looking for it, then it feels like this is coming from a place of something missing or a place of lack.
I did a personal inventory to check in with myself and realized the first of all; I already have love in my life. I have family and friends who care for me deeply and are always there for me. There is incredible value to being in a relationship or partnership. I was blessed with an amazing marriage and, as I wrote about in The Missing Place, there are times when I miss the unique gifts of an intimate relationship.
In the earliest years of being a widow, I was definitely looking for love. I was certain if I could just meet someone else and carry on with my life then everything would be fine. In hindsight I see that I would have been putting a bandage over the wound instead of healing it.
Doing my healing work meant truly getting first into a relationship with myself. As I got comfortable sitting in the silent moments of my life, alone with my thoughts, I became clear about what mattered most to me. I discovered the life I wanted for myself. I took the time and invested the resources to develop my gifts as a writer and a dancer. I got back in touch with my self-expression and my creativity. Now, if and when love comes looking for me, who love will meet is the me who is in touch with her passion for life. Love will meet someone who has the self-respect necessary to prioritize my life goals and my work of choice.
What is your relationship like with you? How well do you really know yourself? How would your dating relationships look different if you came into them knowing you already have love? If you are first happy with yourself, then what kind of partner and relationship might you attract if you no longer are doing so out of a need or out of lack? Worth considering!