By Laurie Gerber for MariaShriver.com
Today I want to talk about love. True, deep, lasting, juicy love takes place between two people who actually know each other, through and through. I know this seems obvious but people tend to deny it. How can you feel truly loved if you aren’t “being yourself?” It’s simple; you can’t. Deep and lasting love is a result of honesty.
Most people have so much tolerance for faking and lying about who they are and what they think. You have no idea how freeing it is to own up to all of who you are and what you think. It’s only from that place of being true that you can begin to correct or change anything anyway.
Let me illustrate a few examples. (All names have been changed.)
- Stacy for years was thinking she is looking for true love, only to discover the truth is she thinks she’s better than everyone she dates and purposely seeks out losers to prove this. AHA!
- Bert is madly in love with Lynn but there is one thing he can’t get past and that’s how strained the relationship is between Lynn and his mother. It’s a deal breaker for him. He needs them to work it out but instead of saying anything, he is just never going to propose and eventually she’ll move on.
- Carla is in a new relationship with someone she really likes, but things are not working in the bedroom. She feels the kissing is really off and it might have something to do with bad breath and technique.
- Cal is super into Pat but they both keep triggering each other’s jealousies with how they look at other people. They keep fighting about other things instead, not dealing with deep insecurities stemming from having cheated and been cheated on in the past.
All these examples have in common facing up to and communicating about the truth. People defend the right to keep bad patterns, habits, traits, mistakes and judgments hidden, claiming they are saving other people from the burden. It isn’t true. What you hide owns you, and it’s still there even if it’s hidden. When you finally tell it, you can finally deal with it.
Sometimes the result will be you have to choose a different mate, break up or divorce. Sometimes the end of the relationship is the real result of bringing to light parts of yourself you were hiding, and this can be tough to deal with. We hate that, but it’s the truth. And in the quest for deep, true love, some people will be “no’s” along the way. I want you to contemplate the alternative, though: being stuck pretending a relationship is working, that’s not. And that is torture of the worst kind!
I want to help you get your courage to say who you are and what you think so you can deal with your real issues. Once you’re dealing with the truth of who you are, your own self-love expands. From that place you can choose whom you date, marry, remain married to. Okay?
Love begins with loving the one you’re with — you!
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