I’ve been dying for something real.
To my future love,
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”Aldous Huxley
I was reading one of my many books some time last year, and I read a story that went something along the lines like this:
It was a story about this couple who had been together for more than 20 years. They were asked all the time why they hadn’t gotten married yet. Their response was inspiring, and forever changed my view on marriage and love.
They described that they will at no time ever get married because they never wanted their love to be over. They had watched too many of their friends and family take the next step into marriage, get comfortable, and stop trying. They both explained that because they were not legally bound, at any point, any one of them could walk away, easily. Because of this factor, they worked harder in their relationship every day to keep it alive and happy.
That’s exactly what I want. I want to give someone my unconditional love, but at the same time, give him full range of motion and space to exist for himself; not just for me. To accept that one day, our love will fade away , but if it’s meant to be, that love will resurface if we have the strength to let it. That strength is realizing and accepting that being in love is always temporary.
I want to be able to recognize that my partner is not responsible for my emotions — or my emotional wellbeing. I am, also, not responsible for his. This means, he must allow me to live and manage my own life experiences, and I must allow him the same. I want him to have space to make mistakes, to be imperfect, and to have space to live his own life that is separate from mine. I want him to want the same for me. I want to love lightly and passionately.
I’ve been without love for almost 3 years. I am talking about the kind of love where you’re with a partner sexually and intimately for a length of time. This is by my own choice. I am not looking for a lifetime of committing myself to another person, at least not yet, and I don’t need to. I am my very own person right now, and that is something I love and think is so badass.
I had a talk with my good friend Lily the other day, and we shared very similar thoughts on this subject. She mentioned that she is so happy with where she is now, she can’t imagine ruining that, or allowing someone to cloud the experiences she is able to live at this time in her life.
I couldn’t agree with her more. It would be so scary letting someone else in right now. I am afraid I am not strong enough (yet) to recognize if change would start to occur. Would I love too hard and start to lose myself?
I have so much ahead of me and such a strong vision for my future, I don’t know if I know how to share that with someone yet, while still living for myself.
Moving here to Vietnam, for example, would have never happened if I had committed to a relationship back home. I wouldn’t have come out here and met all these wonderful, inspiring people. None of these unbelievable and life changing events would have taken place. In a relationship, I would have felt obligated to ask for permission; I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to honestly do this for myself.
When I do choose to give love again, I want to be with someone, who will allow me to go out and experience life to the fullest still. I want to give him he same. Can we be in a relationship free from jealously? I have no fucking idea, but I really hope so.
The best example I can think of is this:
Let’s say you decide to have a spiritual experience and take some LSD with a group of really great friends you met, and you share a strong and passionate (non-sexual) connection with someone of the opposite sex who is not your boyfriend. One of two things happen: you deny this experience and fight your natural feelings out of fear of hurting your boyfriend, or you accept those feelings, share the moment with your friend, and either tell your boyfriend which may cause problems, or you don’t tell him and hide this from him. What’s right? And who is he (or, if the roles were reversed, who am I) to deny someone an experience of a lifetime they will never get back? That is not his place, nor mine.
What if we could be in a relationship that promoted growth where you didn’t have to ask for permission to do things? Where you could share your truest thoughts and feelings without feeling jealous or possessive?
Even writing that is hard for me. I love hard; I am a ride or die. However, can’t I be a ride or die AND love lightly instead?
think know if that was me in that example, I would want to share that connection and experience guilt free, and come home to my man and be able to express myself honestly and freely. I also would never want to deny him that experience either, if the tables were turned. I genuinely think I am capable of this providing this kind of love. I understand it is necessary when it comes to being devoted to someone; at least it is in the kind of relationship I yearn for.
In Buddhism there’s a term, upadana, which means “clinging,” or “taking something up” as in picking up an object. Upadana is encountering something and then wanting to hold on at all costs. By clinging, we initiate suffering — if we don’t get the object of desire we suffer; if we do get the object of desire, it will ultimately change or fade away, and we suffer.
We want to defend ourselves against threats to our desire, physical and psychological, and so we cling more tightly. But the tighter we cling, the more desperate our expectations in the impossible: we don’t control other living things. And ultimately everything needs to breathe and change.
To release it or “put it down” is the opposite of upadana. It is not non-engagement; on the contrary, you can be fully present and engaged while remaining light. We aren’t looking to push away the wholesome aspects of love and affection. We are looking to recognize that “to love” means “to let.”
So, I’d rather leave the door wide open for my partner than hold him legally obligated to stay. I don’t want to be married, legally. When I kiss him everyday, I want to know he’s there because he wants to be. And I want to work for that… I like hard work, after all.
I don’t need anybody’s permission to commit to them. Just like I don’t need a label on my relationship to prove to others it is true love.
Love and being happy means understanding that everything changes, even the love we share for someone, and the love they share for us. People change and grow, and contracts mean very little to the human spirit, and the life we long to experience.
My partner will not be my other half, because he is not a part, he is a person. He will be the person I choose to share my life with, and hopefully, I am the person he chooses to share his with.