The Heart Cries Out with Truth. Answer It.

When-someone-shows-youI get lots of emails from people dealing with relationship issues and they often go something like, “I love my partner, and things would be amazing if he or she could just change some essential, defining personality attribute.” I mean, they don’t say it that way, but that’s the heart of it. There are few things in life more painful than falling in love with someone, offering up the most tender parts of yourself only to find you’re being rejected slowly for who you are – what once was endearing is now disappointing – or that you’ve been misunderstood on some profound level. That if you’d just change yourself, your partner would love you again. I see people bend over backwards, or squish themselves into the tiniest amount of space possible to endure. I’ve done that myself in past years, but I’d never do that today.¬† Love doesn’t require you to crush yourself and betray your spirit. That’s not loving someone and that’s not the experience of being loved, either.

This takes so many forms. People fall in love with someone they want to save (change). I’m going to love this person so much, they’ll heal and all these painful places within them that also cause me to suffer will go away. Or, this person has clearly told me they have trouble committing, but that’s just because they haven’t loved me before. Oh, yeah? I’d go get your crash pads out now. Sometimes a person gives to get– I’ll love this person so well, they’ll never leave me or hurt me. I’ll accept all kinds of poor treatment and keep showing up with love and eventually they’ll appreciate me and then I’ll have them. People are not possessions. Love is not controlling or manipulative. It’s not conditional or punishing. Love is accepting and when it’s happening well, it will open you and lead to the greater expansion of your heart and your partner’s.

I think a big part of the problem for people has to do with this desire to project. I have people write in about how they’ve made lists of all the attributes they’d like in a person and then they meet someone they’re attracted to and BAM! Miraculously, this person has all these qualities, down to their eye color and political leanings. Sometimes we want love so much, we simply see what we want to see. The best gift you can give someone is your curiosity and your full, kind attention, whether you’ve known them a few weeks or many years. Most people will tell you who they are if you give them the space to do that.

You really don’t want to be pushing important things under the rug, receiving the information that’s comfortable and editing out the stuff that’s confrontational, worrisome, or confusing. I think the key is to listen deeply and open to it all. You either love and accept people for all parts of themselves, the way you have to love yourself if you want to heal and be at peace, or you don’t, in which case you find the courage to gently release them. This is not to say we don’t all have our “stuff” and our places where we can grow. A great partnership is a foundation to move through those areas in a safe and loving space, to go deeper and become more vulnerable and still be accepted and cherished. That’s when you see a person blossom in the context of a relationship (If you haven’t blossomed before the relationship, it’s highly likely you’re going to go through some serious growing pains along the way, and you’ll either grow together or apart). But too many people fall in love with someone’s potential and that’s painful for both sides of the equation.

There are other areas this shows up as well. Parents who struggle to accept their children as they are, who have such a strong vision for their son’s life or daughter’s life, it’s hard to accept their path may look completely different. The heart cries out with truth. Part of loving means answering that call, and being in support of other people as they answer it.

You can’t change other people, and you can’t save them, either, but you can love them with your whole heart. Everyone deserves to be loved like that.

Wishing that for you, and for everyone,

Ally Hamilton

One thought on “The Heart Cries Out with Truth. Answer It.”

  1. Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult
    to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

Leave a Reply