5 Truths About Love After Divorce or Separation
About the Author
I recently separated myself from the father of my children after fourteen years of creating a life with him. Since then, I have found myself often reflecting on what it means to love and be loved.
I’ve asked my friends about their understanding and experiences only to find out that what everyone is really looking for is connection. Some of you may be better at it than others, but for each person, the search is different.
How do you know you are loved? How do you show love to those you care about?
In your quest for love, however, maybe you have forgotten about what it truly means to love and be loved.
You are not alone.
Love is a journey, an experience, a feeling, an emotion and most of all, it exists everywhere. As I continue to reflect on my own love journey, I want to share these personal realizations I have had along the way in hopes that they will help you on your own personal journey to finding the love you desire and deserve.
1. Being Loving is Linked to How You Love Yourself
In order to show love, you must practice loving yourself. In a relationship, two people bring forth their abilities to love themselves fully and with self-acceptance. If one or both of you have a lack of self-love or awareness, the relationship will suffer.
Your ability to love your partner will strengthen the more you examine your own traumas and life experiences that are inhibiting you from loving yourself. You must practice loving yourself unconditionally in order to BE in love and TO love someone else the same way. You are only capable of loving someone else in the way you love yourself. However, if you are willing to grow, learn, reflect on and dig up any demons that are affecting the way you love yourself, you will then be able to completely surrender and love your partner.
2. Love Empowers
When you are in love, it should nurture you so that you can stand in your truth and bring strength and power into your path; it is control and dominance that takes your power away, leaving you feeling deflated, exhausted, confused and lonely.
In Melody Beattie’s book The New Codependency, she describes that many people can confuse love with dependency, manipulation and neediness. Love is when we want other people to be who they really are. When you can take all of life’s negative experiences – losses, traumas and grievances – and surrender and let go so you can be open to the love on the other side, you can release the fear that will trigger controlling behavior, which only leaves you and your partner frustrated and falling out of love very quickly. Control in a relationship is an illusion that will break down the walls of any love you think you may have.
Empowering yourself and your partner will lift you both up to become the most ultimate version of who you are meant to be and together, you can create the connection and love you are both seeking.
3. Love has No Polarity
This is the love/hate relationship you may have had in college, or maybe you are in one right now. You have a dynamic duo where you and your partner love intensely, but then equally experience negative experiences in the relationship, which manifests in ways like possessiveness, jealousy, control, unspoken resentment, emotional withdrawals, arguments, emotional demands, manipulation, blame, anger, rage, violence, self-absorption and many others. I’ve had my fair share of these types of relationships and, like you, thought that if only the negative polarity would stop, then only the positive “love” would exist.
However, what Eckhart Tolle explains in his book The Power of Now, this is not possible because the polarities are interdependent and one part cannot exist without the other. He further explains that true love has no opposite because it exists and rises from beyond the physical mind. You can get a glimpse of this true love when there is a gap in your stream of mind chatter. By allowing yourself to pause and feel, true love will connect you with the positivity of love and how it exists without the polarity of love-hate.
You can easily become addicted to that cycle, but remind yourself that fixing your partner’s qualities or habits you dislike will not create love in the relationship. It’s already there, existing within you.
4. Love Does Not “Complete” You
Remember the scene in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire that made every girl cry in the movie theatre as he came running back to his wife in the middle of a party to express his love and joy after a business success? At the end, Jerry professed to his wife “you complete me”, which is an innately human experience that you long for to give yourself some liberation from feeling incomplete. However, love does not complete or fill voids if it is experienced beyond the ego mind.
Eckhart Tolle explains in The Power of Now that in the beginning of a relationship, you may feel all your problems have disappeared after meeting that special someone and you now have a focus on an external source, giving you a false sense that your feelings of incompleteness are now gone.
But are they really?
You may experience relationship after relationship or get hooked into “serial” dating, where love and dating become an addiction to searching for that completeness. You can find that completeness in true love, the love that exists beyond the mind and physical world.
5. Love is Being Present
I dare you to put your phone down and your multi-tasking tendencies the next time you have a conversation about school or work with your partner or children. Sit and have tea with your friend and look each other in the eye. Relationships are built on connection with others. Love is felt by being in the present moment. Can you tell when you are talking to someone and, even though they are looking at you, their mind is off in the distance somewhere else?
Love exists in the gaps of the busy mind, which means you need to rest your mind and live in the present. Eckhart Tolle explains that Love is a state of being in the present moment and exists deep inside you and it can never be lost and can never leave you, nor is it dependent on someone or something external from you.
In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature… this is the realization of oneness. This is love.
– The Power of Now
Sarah Blackwell, M.H.S., BA (CYC) is an Author, Speaker, Raw Food Health Coach and mother of three children.Sarah holds a master’s degree in Health Studies and has been working with families and children since 1998.She is dedicated to transforming your life by being your teacher so you can become the best version of yourself.Sarah helps you rediscover yourSELF through food awareness, fitness, fun, love and creating honest relationships.
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