Relationships. Something us health counselors like to call "primary food". An aspect of our lives that nourishes us, even more so than ingesting plants and animals. We have romantic, platonic, sexual and professional relationships. Close, intimate and casual relationships, and of course and maybe most importantly, even relationships with ourselves. They are the things that feed our soul. When we are loved and cared for we feel happy and safe. But naturally, relationships can also make us feel vulnerable and insecure, making it difficult to decipher between the healthy ones and the ones that throw us off balance.
How do we decipher between them? How do we decide where the line is drawn? How do we know when a relationship is right or when to accept that it is not working? Is loving somebody enough to make it work?
I have struggled with this for some time. And, admittedly, I still don't know the answer. I am struggling now with these very questions. What if two people love each other but have irreconcilable differences? Do they make it work despite those differences, or do they sever ties and move on? On one hand, the love I feel for this person and feel in return is feeding my desires and nourishing me on so many levels. But on the other hand, knowing that their love for me comes with a price that I am not ready to deal with, tears me apart. Which hand wins out in the end? If I maintain this relationship, will the struggles make it unhealthy and therefore me unhealthy? Or will losing someone I care so deeply about be harder on the soul?
For me, I think the difficulty lies with understanding why I can not accept the love that is being given to me as it is. My own insecurities force me to believe that it is not enough. My fears and doubts force me to think that if its not the way I want it, then it can't be real. Am I creating boundaries for myself that are just fencing me in, and making it difficult for others to enter?
How do I reconcile these thoughts and this relationship so that I can be a happy, healthy person from the inside out? I still don't know, but I do know that it has to start with me. I know that I can not let someone else love me, no matter how little or how much, no matter what the price, if I don't love myself. Doubt can be a powerful thing, and when we doubt another person, we are most likely doubting ourselves. The only way we can nourish relationships with others, is if we nourish the one we have with ourselves first.