Why Love Requires the Best of You

“Love without sacrifice is like theft” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Relationships require vulnerability which is why many don’t last. It’s funny because when we first meet, we’re supposed to hide our vulnerability. It’s hidden behind makeup, hair and high heels. We’re on our best behavior and talking about how wonderful we are while we are trying to catch someone’s attention. We’re both trying to figure out if the other person is someone who we can reveal our true self to without rejection. There are very few relationships where you start showing people who you really are.

I often see these inspirational quotes that say things like: They should love you for who you are and nobody should try to change you. While fundamentally, that is true. The person that is with you shouldn’t try to change you. But, they should inspire your transformation. It shouldn’t be like putting on a different outfit that doesn’t fit your personal style. It’s more like stepping into your cocoon as a caterpillar and emerging as a butterfly. You have changed form, but you are still you.

I think our greatest challenge in love is that who we started out in at the beginning of the relationship is not who we are by the time the relationship is over. Great relationships are designed to change your life. You should keep the essence of who you are, but come out better and more of who you really are.

When love is great, it enhances who you are and strips away who you are not. It won’t accept all the ways you protect yourself from other people.  Love is the ultimate request for vulnerability. It requests you to change in ways that benefit you as it teaches you how to see, love and appreciate another human being. It reflects your love for yourself. Because when you love yourself, you can love humanity. Anything less than that isn’t love. True love is your greatest challenge in life.

I think that some of the frustration we have in relationships is that we are not prepared for the transformation. Many people are broken, but are running from relationship to relationship trying to pretend that they are perfect. When we feel attraction, we think that we are being attracted to someone who is “perfect” for us. There is that lovey, dovey period where we try to be perfect to attract our partner. There is a gloss and shine that has us walking on cloud nine with the perfect person. But, eventually, that romantic haze disappears and our brokenness is revealed. It’s brought up by the brokenness of our partner.

Brokenness is a call for love. When it comes up, your partner is looking for you to say, “I get you. I see your brokenness. I don’t like it. I’m uncomfortable, but I accept it and I accept you.”

Instead, many people say, “I can’t deal with YOUR issues.” And they leave on a search to find the gloss and shine again.  And they repeat the same process with a new face, but the same issues in a new package. People don’t realize that what you are running from is the reflection of their own issues.

I’ve talked to people about the people they’ve dated and I start to see the pattern that they are completely unaware of. They say, “they were all crazy.” But, the common denominator in every relationship is you. You attract who you are, not what you want. We may like to think that we are finding someone or something different, but until you do your soul’s work, it’s not possible. You will continue to attract people who meet you at your emotional level.

We are all searching for love because we all need it, but it doesn’t come without requirements. You have to come to love ready to participate. If love asks for nothing from you, it’s not real love. If your partner doesn’t need anything from you and you are allowed to be exactly who you are with no compromise, someone is pretending and it’s going to slowly kill your love. We are designed to grow through love. If you come to love, be prepared to transform and be vulnerable. The right person will love the real you, but they won’t put up with the same bull you use to fool everyone else into believing you are fine or perfect. This is the true blessing, because the right person will love you through your vulnerability.

“You have to be willing to collide with the weakest parts of yourself. You have to look at the things about you on a higher spiritual plane. You have to look at the things about you that are cowardly, that are angry or mean, resentful. You have to be able to look at those things about yourself that are not spiritually healthy parts. Love truly is when you change yourself for a better love with someone.”- Will Smith