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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Because of my single friends, I write this...Wait and trust

Many of my friends are single, as I moved out of the married circles in the past few years after my son left and I started relating more to students and chaste adults, or even celibates of various types.

Now, I want to share with my single young friends a few hints on relationships, which I have learned the hard way and from having good counsellors in my life.

Firstly, love is always in the will. One can decide to marry someone or not. We can choose, and decide to love them. What is called "falling into love" is an interesting but dangerous situation which can cloud the intellect as well as the soul. Real love is in the will.

We fall in love with people who deep down remind us of our mothers and fathers. If our father was a Protector, we shall project that onto a man. Likewise, if our father was a Peter Pan, we shall do the same. As one can see, this is not necessarily a good thing, in the second case. If we have not had a real parent, we keep looking for a parent instead of a mate. This is disastrous.

We all need to know ourselves and have a concept of self-identity. It is only when we know ourselves and can see another person as they truly are that we can love them selflessly.

Otherwise, (and this is the second point), we are like Narcissus staring into the pond, and falling in love with himself; we are only loving ourselves as we project our needs and desires onto someone else. Narcissus loved and became obsessed with himself. Echo fell in love with him, but died and faded away waiting for him to respond to her. Do not do that. Do not wait around and die for a Narcissus.

What Narcissus needed was not a vision of himself in the pool, but a person to mirror himself back to him as he really was. He needed objectivity and truth.

I see young people not pursuing life or relationships because they are afraid. They do not want to see themselves are they really are. They lack the awareness, especially if they are Catholic and baptised, that God dwells in them and that they are loved. The Indwelling of the Trinity changes us. We share in God's Life. We are not alone. We are not god, God is God.

A good partner for life would encourage God in you. He or she would want you to be all you could be in God. A good man will lead you to God and a good woman will lead you to God.

But, one must take chances and choose life. Not to choose is death. Stagnation and staring at one's self is death.  When one falls in love, it could be a chance to get out of one's self. One must be wise, and go slowly.

However, that immediate, explosive type of love can be a beginning, if we are open to the other person as that person really is.

The same goes with men. Too often, I have had men fall in love with some idea of a woman instead of me. Thankfully, I can figure this out. A man cannot seek his mother and a woman cannot seek her father, even though that might be part of the initial attraction. They should be seeking an equal mate. That is truly exciting.

We are only loving our baby relationship with our parent in the other case. Part of the problem is that couples isolate themselves too readily. In my youth, all the young people courted within plain view of the community. Everybody's aunt and uncle had opinions on the couple. This is good. Isolation creates distortions. I suggest watching Big Fat Greek Wedding. Except for the stupid fornication bit, the ideas are good and universal. Families should be involved in courting, especially with the young.

To love the other is a great challenge, but it is truly a worthy and heightened experience. When we can separate ourselves from the other and see him or her as they really are, and sacrifice for the good of that person, that is real love. How wonderful it is to die to self and realize that you are really loving someone in God. This brings more life and more love into the relationship.

One must be a real person, with what I call the Core of Being in order to love and accept love. If one is incomplete in one's self, one cannot truly love another without help. Now, marriage is healing and can help in these disadvantages, but only to a point. If the two people involved are willing to see each other as each one really is, what a gift.

Thanks wikimedia commons

Love at first sight is an explosion of our own needs and desires onto a person. When it happens simultaneously, it could mean that two people compliment each other and that a real loving relationship is possible later, with time and contact. Remember that real love waits and trusts. Wait and trust.

But, be open. Love does not happen or grow in a closed heart.