In a gratitude circle last week, the group went around listing what their hopes and goals were for the next year (2019). As people shared, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that everyone was looking for the same thing: their life partner.
My turn was coming up and I couldn’t think of anything I had, specifically, laid out as my goal. I was content with my life. I didn’t feel like I needed to change anything. I didn’t feel like I needed to set any goals to meet someone special. But I remembered a message that came to me during meditation that reminded me: “If you want more joy, go out and give joy to others.” So I said my goal would be to find ways to bring more joy to this world.
I walked away from that meeting feeling confused. Why would anyone want to make a “goal” out of meeting their life partner? Coming from someone who has experienced so much loss, I always felt that people will just come in and out of your life as they are meant to, with or without your goal-setting efforts.
No one walks into a marriage thinking that one day they will lose their partner. No one has children thinking that their child will be ripped away from them. But you know what? It happens… ALL THE TIME. And it sucks… And most often, it’s the times when we weren’t doing anything that the most meaningful people walk right into our lives and end up staying. At least that’s been my experience.
I’ve found that when I put checklists on people’s existence in my life (who I need, when I need them, how I need them to be, etc.), I lose them pretty quickly, but when I keep my hands and heart open and let them just “be”, our relationships evolve and thrive. But that takes work, because love is about making the other person feel free. Free to be themselves, to be authentic, seen and acknowledged, accepted just as they are, and appreciated just as they are.
Driving home in the rain this song came on. There was something about the words that got me thinking…
It takes work. Relationships take work. Lots of work. But most of the work is internal. It’s about how we are showing up as the partner we want to be, the parent we want to be, the friend we want to be, the employee we want to be, the boss we want to be… Every day, little by little, with every encounter, and every relationship we chip away at becoming this person. And I couldn’t help but think: I don’t think “finding your life partner” is the goal. I don’t have enough life experience to say for 100%, but I don’t think being in a relationship is a means to an end to anything… If anything, it just adds to the work you’ve gotta keep chipping away at internally (figuring out how to live in peace and love someone other than yourself).
With these things there’s no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I’d rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
I mean, I really think you like me”