I have spoke in the past about seeing your partner as their highest.
I told the story of how I have fallen into a relationship role where I try to protect my partner from harm, pain and suffering.
This doesn’t sound like a bad thing.
But it does not allow the other to grow.
Sure, you don’t want a seedling to get trampled,
But if you keep it inside it will never get the wind, and direct sunlight it needs.
It will grow weak and never become the flower it is meant to.
One of the hardest things about loving someone is seeing them struggle.
We anticipate their struggles and try to protect them.
Nobody likes to see someone they love stress or suffer.
My instinct is always to fix or change the situation.
But I have learned that true love isn’t about being a knight on a white horse that comes and saves the princess. Real love is about holding space for that princess to be a warrior – and seeing her strong and powerful – even when she can’t see it herself.
Support her? yes.
Save her? no.
During the early chapters of our relationship, I put lots of effort into being this new kind of modern night. A support knight. I reminded her of her potential and refused to accept her declarations during times of frustration.
And she grew.
Into a powerful warrior princess.
She was an intern when I met her. She became an entrepreneur. Over the next 2 years she grew a company, a brand, and a reputation. She won awards and got press. She blossomed into a such a dramatic vision of success that she became a source of inspiration for others.
And she caught the bug. With her success, her vision grew.
She devoured trainings, seminars and books. She worked with coaches and studied mentors.
Somewhere along the line, I got scared again.
I started to focus more on her struggles. I worried more about the obstacles.
Now to be fair, she fell into this trap, too. I think the path of an entrepreneur is a challenging one. How do you focus on constantly making your business better – while not becoming obsessed about what is wrong? How do you enjoy the cone while being constantly vigilant about removing crap?
I see this in all the entrepreneurs I know. The good ones are the ones who can enjoy the process of crap-removal. Instead of constantly being in a state of “Oh-No! More problems!”
I also think it is critical to take time, and make an effort to focus on the good whenever possible. To take a moment every day or every week to remember what is going right, what has gone right, and what wonderful potential lies ahead.
At FreshRealm, we do this with an organization-wide gratitude circle. And it makes MASSIVE difference. There are literally hundreds of things that need to be done. And we would suffocate under the weight – if we didn’t take time to appreciate the path – and our fellow teammates.
I’ve always been slightly annoyed when people say, “I’m an empath.” Is that really a special power? Like, “I’m a compassionate person.” But as I look at the struggles I have with my partner’s stress, maybe this what they mean. And maybe some people do feel others experiences deeper than normal. When I mentioned this to friend this week he said, absolutely – it is your greatest strength – and weakness.
It is this empathy – this experience of anothers pain – that makes me want to fix, to save… and sometimes to run away.
It contributes in huge ways to my fear of commitment. The idea of tying myself to pain and suffering outside of my control is terrifying.
But this is my classroom. This is the advance course I must take right now.
A recent status report showed that I got a little off track. I forgot the importance of faith. Forgot how love means believing in someone’s potential.
I forgot that Love is ACTIVE. It is much more than accepting them and loving them AS IS (although that is part of it.) It is the conscious mental thoughts of seeing a person as the highest version of themselves. Of seeing through their ego doubts, of refusing to believe the small voices in their heads (that they may share with you) and refusing to listen to the small voices in your head that you may project on them.
This is the Love Warriors duty. This is the heart-centered path of honor. This is the way of the Supportive Knight.
I lost my way, m’lady, and I will work to rejoin you on your glorious path.
march 3, 2014