The Time Has Come to Reframe How We Look for “The One”
A friend of mine is going through her second divorce. Ugh. What an incredibly hard thing to witness: This beautiful soul is broken. Feeling like a failure, unsure, ungrounded, and embarrassed. She has put so much pressure on herself to be a perfect image of happiness and success. All the while dying silently inside and scared to reveal her hand to the world. Now she is at a crossroads once again.
Last time was a fight and no love was lost in the battle of all things as they separated the kids, their lives, and possessions. This time is cordial, there is a lot of love, and things feel amicable.
She said to me that she loves this person, she’s just not sure if it’s her person.
This got me thinking…
- Am I with my person?
- Do I have a person?
- What if I don’t have a person?
- What does it mean to be someone’s person?
I’ve never thought of my relationships in this way. It suddenly felt like a lot of pressure. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t breathe. Is this how my friend feels? Spending time wondering if she is with the right person instead of enjoying the person in front of her?
This felt constricting and left me with a sense of abandonment. I began reflecting back on the past loves and romances of my life. Forgotten dreams, broken expectations, and a young heart unaware of the beauty in it all. For me, the truth is I could have made it work with any of these humans. Some felt hard and heavy, some felt light and fun, but ultimately I always felt as though finding my person was a choice.
The wonderful human who I share my life with today is a gift. A gift I understand only because of the broken dreams from my past. And after almost 15 years together I do, on occasion, lose sight of the big picture and wonder what the heck?! No doubt that sentiment goes both ways.
It’s even true to say that the person I expected to be spending my life with is not the person I am spending my life with.
He is but a dream.
A dream that I like to fantasize about from time to time. Wondering what he’s up to and how I could have been so blind to let him go. But then the fantasy dies and I remember the hurtful words and life choices that feel so unforgivable.
But for a time, he was my person. And so I understand.
Your person is who you choose it to be. And if it doesn’t work with this person you can go and find another, but at the end of the day, your person is you.
You cannot truly be open to loving another if you are not willing to love yourself.
Our society puts a lot of pressure on us to find our person, when the answer is, that person is within. The answer is slowing down to connect to your breath. The answer is learning to fall in love with yourself.
Then whoever you decide to bring into your life can accentuate your beauty and love, not define it. It’s time to take the pressure off.
Ask the right questions
Committing to sharing your life with another human is a huge deal that we often rush into because of lust or infatuation. We get so lost in the feeling of new and exciting love that it’s hard to step back and see a picture of what the future may be. During this time in a relationship, everyone is showcasing their best selves, and you can only see the positives about this glorious person before you. You start to dream about your life together and what it will be like.
Then you find yourself a couple years into a relationship and you start focusing on what your partner isn’t doing and a cycle of external validation begins. But it’s not about the relationship, it’s about you. It’s about what you see as missing. This might be a sign that it’s time for your growth or change and you might not want to take that action so you throw it on your partner and your partner does the same thing in response to you. It’s time to stop expecting your partner to meet your every need and time to start meeting your own needs so you can show up wholly in your relationships.
What if instead of concentrating on finding that perfect person (just to be let down) you started asking yourself more insightful questions.
- Who have I been as a partner?
- Who do I want to be as a partner?
- How am I choosing to show up in my relationship every day?
- How do I want to show up for my partner?
Make the journey about you! Ultimately it is anyway. Both staying in a relationship and walking away from one are hard choices that come with their own times of growth. But before you give up or walk away from a relationship simply because you’ve lost sight of that wonder and magic, ask yourself what are you truly walking away from?
Disagreements are good, it means you are growing and willing to argue. But in order to do that effectively, you need to be able to open your heart and assume your partner has something of value to offer. Only then can you decide if the relationship should be maintained.
Breathwork is a tool that helps put you in your body.
When relationships are new and fresh you are breathing from an open heart and the potential is endless. It’s during this state of blooming possibilities that we strive to be better, and it is in the striving that we come alive. Maintaining relationships takes more work because the shiny exterior has worn off in the attainment of the relationship. Now, in a time of growth, you need to decide to keep loving from an open heart. The goal is no longer securing the relationship, but alleviating suffering for another human being by loving them. Not creating more strife. And your breath can guide you to understand what your next best step should be.
You know when things are off. You can see the way your ego plays games to make any situation feel the way you want it to.
If you are constantly looking to be saved, found, or rescued then you are missing the opportunity to breathe into your own power and save yourself.
Right now you can decide to own your relationship, your job, your financial situation, Anything! You can decide to place gratitude there. You can decide to act like you have it all when you don’t. You can shift your lens to see what you love about your situation and own the story you’ve been telling yourself. Simply by using your breath.
Belgian psychotherapist Ester Perel says…
“The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.”
And the quality of our lives can drastically change by how we breathe.
When you are frustrated, living in blame and resentment your breathing is fast and shallow. You are not fully nourishing your cells. This affects your thinking, decision-making, and energy levels. Pile that on top of all of the other daily stresses and it’s easy to see how the person we share our lives with can become a target for our own sense of lack and uncertainty.
When it comes to finding a partner I’ve tried them all on. The rebel, the partier, the much too good looking, the romantic, and the unique. They were all just a reflection of myself.
Today I can
- Sit with my breath and be the rebel of solitude in the face of hardship.
- Use my breath to bring energy to the room and reflect on the party girl inside.
- Be still and breathe deep into the beauty of who I am.
- Control my emotions to say what needs to be said and be the vulnerable romantic I am.
- Express my unique spirit without worrying about what others may think.
- Inhale my truth and exhale my fears.
I can breathe out all of this because I am my person. Nobody gave these qualities to me. Romances of my past just allowed me to find them in myself.
My friend is lost in the external search and has lost control of her breath. Her power has been put into the approval and expectations of others. She has forgotten that she is the person she is in search of.
My friends, I invite you to look inward. Be your person.
Fall in love with yourself so fiercely that the love you hold inside attracts only that which you are.
***Interested in learning more about connecting to your breath as a way to make conscious decisions from an open heart? Watch Maintaining Positive Relationships One Breath at a Time on my youtube channel and check out my 4-week online course, Breath Mindset, to start using your breath as your greatest tool.