It is a very different proposition to say, “I want to have an enduring love, so I am going to prepare myself with knowledge, I am going to grow, develop, take my lessons and have patience with the process”, than it is to say “I am going to make a structure that forces myself and this other person to stay together forever, no matter what the cost”.
Both paths can be hard. The first path actually assumes more self-responsibility for the consequences of one’s choices. Succeed or fail on your own merits. If you fail, get back up, dust yourself off, learn and start over. Fair and square.
The second path creates a kind of codependency where the distortions and the destructive tendencies of either partner can become exaggerated without being resolved, because there is this artificial mental structure forcing the partners together.
Because the first path works on free will only, the wasted and drained energy lost through conflict and drama is kept to a minimum. A relationship that works becomes a source of energy that nourishes everyone who witnesses it, and it is celebrated.
The second path can only survive by externalizing the costs of making the relationship work by becoming a drain on others. Each partner needs outside energy to keep them propped up. When the love in the relationship is gone, they will look to outward sources of love and approval. If they refuse to honor that new love with their full presence in the relationship, essentially they begin to cannibalize others, ripping love out of them and then abandoning them because their only concern is to last one more day inside their self-constructed prison.
The moral value of either path is deeply connected to the value of love.
What is the value of a love that lights you up and fills you every day with bursts of inspiration and joy?
What is the value of feeling that rightness when you are close to your partner and a natural desire to fly right into their arms?
I have tried the second path. I held my lessons in my hands and looked at the broken and wasted landscape that the second path creates and you know what? At that moment it became clear to me that either I could wade into the minefield and spend so much effort trying to reverse what happened, or I could recognize that the first path is the one that I want to commit my time and energy to realizing.
It’s not enough to tell people what they should and ought to do no matter how much it hurts. To drag a partner eternally back into the mosh pit is cruelty. It’s also incredibly painful when someone tries to start a relationship in the posture of controlling, limiting, lashing out, or nitpicking, when they haven’t even really begun to discover the full potential of their new love.
A real partnership would be a creative collaboration with someone who would be an architect of beliefs and identities with me, and we could spend the rest of our lives coming up with awesome new ways to be human. That would be more fun than having to obey one ideology forever when it is so easy to design interesting and beneficial changes.
Real collaboration makes space for both people to identify their goals, strengths, and needs and from that basis creates something totally new. It requires someone who is ready to say an unconditional yes to love, and protect their dream from being crushed by other people’s fearmongering. It can only develop rightly in an environment of affection, exploration, play, discovery, face to face communication, and relating.
My heart’s desire was and is, to walk the first path and realize its full potential in the natural course of my own growth as a soul, in order to shine a light out to the world that that rightness of love, that sweetness can come into being and last a lifetime in an unfolding of joy and delight.
That is the path I am on.