I visited Russia this month, spending a week in Moscow. My 16-year-old daughter is a student at Bolshoi Ballet Academy there, and since she had a couple weekdays off in observance of International Women’s Day, we took in a lot of the city’s sights together.
The highlight of my first night: a visit to Red Square, a place steeped in significance and history. Arguably the most eye-popping building on the square is St. Basil’s Cathedral, with its multi-colored domed spires. Completed in 1561, it’s an impressive structure — easily one of the most iconic buildings in the world.
Architectural cred and visual splendor aside, what really moved me about it was something totally unexpected and something I might not have observed if I first visited Red Square in the daytime: love, in symbolic form. See if you can spot it in the main image before looking at the close-up image below.
Perhaps it’s just whimsy but I’d like to believe that the universal symbol for love was a planned aspect of the design. “Whimsy” because there obviously were no electric lights illuminating the cathedral at night in the 16th Century. But since the front side of the structure faces roughly northwest, I’d like to think that at a certain time of year when the sun is out, the same effect can be seen during daytime.
Do I have a point? Yep, I do. Love is everywhere. When you set aside fear and embrace it, you’re not only constantly reminded of that utterly heartlifting fact, you manifest it everywhere you go.
There’s nothing like the feeling of full, hearts-blasted-wide-open connectedness with your romantic partner. It’s a feeling that gets right to the core of an Everything relationship.
When you don’t allow fear to prevent your heart from opening fully, that openness welcoming your partner to do the same, you’ll both experience the awesome, transformative power of True Love, as communication in all forms is flowing at 100%.
Does that mean that those of us lucky enough to be in an Everything relationship feel this elevating and energizing flow of maximum connectedness all the time, 24-7? Nope. Why? Because we’re human. We’re individuals who sometimes get wrapped up in and distracted by our own shit, our own emotions. And sometimes in those moments our hearts aren’t open fully. We say, do, or don’t say or don’t do something that causes our partner to withdraw a bit, to dial back the openness of their heart somewhat.
The triggers for these moments of disconnect usually aren’t intentional. But they still happen. A lot less frequently in Everything relationships than in non-Everything relationships, for sure. But a suggestion that Everything couples never experience disconnects would be flat-out wrong.
What does characterize Everything relationships, though, is the partners’ desire and ability to move past momentary disconnects, to recognize that when one happens it doesn’t mean that the relationship is somehow no longer quite as strong and pure as it was before the disconnect arose. That, believe it or not, moving past and beyond disconnects further strengthens and expands Love, offering valuable teaching moments contributing to individual growth that can only be a boost to the relationship.
If you’re feeling that you and your partner are spending more time in disconnects than you are enjoying the bliss of full-blast connectedness, look inward and ask yourself if you’re opening your heart fully and fearlessly. If you are, consistently, and that’s not welcoming your partner to do the same, or if you’re just not willing to do so, it’s possible that your Everything relationship is still out there for you.
If you are fortunate enough to be enjoying an Everything relationship, or are in a newer relationship that you feel is headed in that direction, when disconnects happen, and they will, don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t over-analytically explode a granular thing into a potential indictment of your relationship. The uniqueness and power of what you and your partner are lucky enough to share will rocket you through the occasional disconnect and actually bolster your togetherness in the process.
Happy Valentine’s Day! If you didn’t catch it, here’s my Valentine’s Day post from last year.
George Addair, a contemporary thought leader and devout advocate for the betterment of the human condition who passed away in 2012, is known for a short, powerful quote about mankind’s self-limiting nature:
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
While myriad quotes are variations on this core idea (and it’s likely that Addair’s quote itself is his spin on notions advanced by his influencers), in my opinion this one’s noteworthy for the blast radius of its impact. Get past fear and what you want is available to you. Elemental, potent, and true.
Given our use of the term Everything, applying a bit of reductivism to Addair’s already-concise quote yields:
“Everything is on the other side of fear.”
What fears prevent people from connecting with their Everything, their True Love relationship?
There are easily as many as grains of sand on a beach. A few headliners: I’m not good-looking enough. Not wealthy enough. Too old. Not witty enough, thin enough, smart enough, educated enough, charming enough, worldly enough, fit enough. I don’t have a flashy enough car, a nice enough house, a great career, a stylish enough wardrobe, enough hair…
The above are just the tippety-top of the tip of the iceberg. They can pertain to people who are either in a non-Everything relationship, or who aren’t in a relationship at all.
Then there are fears specific to those who are in non-Everything relationships but afraid to end them. A small sampling:
What if I don’t find someone better and end up alone? Will my kid/s suffer if I leave my marriage? Will I be able to make ends meet on my own? Will I be viewed as “damaged goods?” Will leaving devastate my husband/wife?
Fear’s primary value is to keep us alive. But beyond fight-or-flight, life-or-death situations, paying undue heed to fear results in simply existing, instead of living. The tagline of my favorite film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” is:
Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
A slight tweak yields a statement specific to love, to the possibility of loving at 10/10 and experiencing that awesome reality:
Fear can hold you captive. Love can set you free.
I acknowledge that fear is a pervasive thing, and difficult to move past. Yet if you aspire to an Everything relationship, yearn for a Love so pure and True that it will empower and elevate you and everything you touch, forever, you have to be willing to let go of the fears that are holding you back.
If you’re in a non-Everything relationship, doing so could mean turbulence, disruption, conflict, instability, compromises in terms of lifestyle, and many other things that may prove challenging. But there is no other way to Everything, to True Love.
If you choose to remain paralyzed by fear–and it is a choice–understand a simple truth: you are keeping yourself and everyone connected to your present circumstances from the possibility of a better reality.
I chose not to let my existence be ruled by fear. And by so doing I found my Everything with an amazing woman. If you’re hoping to find your Everything, your True Love, you have the same choice ahead of you. It’s only by letting go of fear that you’ll be able to be at and give your best–to offer Everything to another.
And guess what? It’s only when you’re willing to offer Everything that you’ll receive it. The giving and receiving of Everything is so singularly, incomparably amazing that I’m committed to helping others experience it themselves. That’s why this blog exists.
Does this mean that you’ll need to step outside of your comfort zone? If it’s Everything that you seek, almost certainly. A couple paragraphs up I mentioned that the ongoing choice of fear can keep you and those connected to you from the possibility of a better reality. For most of us, confronting fear decidedly means stepping out of our comfort zones.
So is there a chance that you could decide to step outside of your comfort zone, commit to live in and as love, yet not find your Everything? I can only speak of my own experience, and based on that my recommendation is that you open your heart and let it guide you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what happens.
Certainly one of the more controversial holidays/observances, Valentine’s Day for some is an awesome day, as it’s one when love and romance are more in the public conscience than they are on most days, and there’s undoubtedly something cool about celebrating your own personal romantic glee on a day when so many others are doing the same.
It’s probably fair to say that those in a great relationship probably look forward to V Day more than do those in a relationship they wouldn’t characterize as “great,” and, almost surely, especially more than those who aren’t in a relationship at all. Although a certain contingent of those in great–or even Everything— relationships may take a dim view of Valentine’s Day, some lamenting it’s a fabrication of the jewelry industry, the chocolatier mafia, or the greeting card cartel. Or feeling it’s disingenuous to make special one day a year when expressing one’s love, desire, or both for another is encouraged, because that’s something that should be done all the time, effusively and extensively.
You won’t catch me arguing about that. One absolutely, positively should constantly be expressing one’s love for one’s partner, open heartedly, expansively, authentically, and eloquently. With no expectation of reciprocation. Because the act itself is the reward. You’re lucky enough to feel all these amazing things and it’d be a disservice to your partner and the relationship itself if you chose to keep those feelings to yourself. And constantly means daily, bub–even multiple times a day. In person, via text/IM, on the phone, via love notes tucked into lunches, taped onto coffee mugs, by your actions, your energy, etc., etc. The possibilities are endless.
Undoubtedly some guys reading this post raised their eyebrows during the preceding paragraph. Here’s the deal: expressing your feelings, your heart, your love in genuine, full, fearless, fun ways, frequently, is not inherently in conflict with manliness, with masculinity. Expressing fear-based insecurities like need, jealously, clinginess, possessiveness–decidedly unmanly.
Even though I revel in the constant expression of my feelings of love, I definitely don’t look askance at Valentine’s Day. Not at all. As someone lucky enough to be in an Everything relationship the last 2+ years, tomorrow will be my third Valentine’s Day with the love of my life, Lien. Nothing overly extravagant about our plans: dinner at a nice restaurant, a box of her favorite pastries, some flowers. To us Valentine’s Day ain’t about the “things,” it’s about celebrating and honoring how absolutely lucky and happy we are, feelings that continue to grow in strength each and every day, and that we celebrate and honor every day.
There’s not a romantic relationship out there that won’t benefit from the partners being open-heartedly expressive with one another. If you’re already there, congrats! If you’re not but you’d like to be with your current partner, then let go of fear and speak from your heart.
If you’re in a relationship you’d like to exit because you’re sure there’s a better romantic reality out there for both of you, maybe it’s best not to open-heartedly express those feelings on Valentine’s Day. (harsh, a bit…) But seize the opportunity to clarify your feelings and thoughts and start taking definitive steps toward that new reality.
What if you’re not in a relationship at all? No reason to feel “left out.” Get over yourself and let that person you’ve had a secret crush on know how you feel. Or take time on Valentine’s Day to work on your definition of your ideal partner as the first step toward manifesting that reality for yourself. And as part of that envision how the two of you will be celebrating future Valentine’s Days together.
Welcome to Destination Everything, a blog focusing on one of the most amazing things it’s possible for us to experience: romantic love. Info about the motivation behind the blog is available on the Mission page.
I’m extremely curious about people’s perspectives on relationships, love, and romance–regardless of relationship status, i.e. in a relationship or not, in love or not, currently enjoying bliss with one’s soulmate or looking forward to meeting that person. As such, I’ve put together a short questionnaire, the responses to which will enhance the content of the blog and factor into a book series that will begin publication in 2018 and a companion reality TV series.
If you’re interested in anonymously (only first names and ages will be used) sharing your thoughts, I thank you in advance for taking the questionnaire. Rest assured no contact information will be requested.
And by all means feel free to forward this post to anyone and everyone you think would be interested in participating! Depending on the particular pathway through the questionnaire and the time devoted to the occasional non-multiple choice questions, it should take around ten minutes or so to complete. Many thanks!