Love & Joy

wildflowers along the road #1

There is little that matches the feeling of joy that comes into my life and I believe most women’s lives with the arrival of a really good new relationship. The feeling is so much more than joy. It is anticipation, excitement, contentment, and satisfaction. There is a feeling of being seen, of being accepted, of being cherished and of being completed.  These feelings are accompanied by a deep sigh. We feel that the search is over. We feel like we can relax, rest, and enjoy the magical experience of being completely matched, attuned to, and joined with another. In the midst of the joy, the internal butterflies, and the pleasure, we can make the mistake of believing that all of these feeling are because of the other person who has just entered our lives. We identify these feelings as existing because of the chemistry between us, or because of how wonderful he or she is, or because of their intensity, sensitivity, caring nature, intelligence, or kind and gentile ways. We experience relationships as giving us pleasure, giving us happiness, and giving us this joy.

What if, as someone recently suggested to me, all of these feeling – the joy, the fulfillment, the attunement, and even the orgasms are ours already? What if we are simply able to access these feelings within ourselves because of the way that we open up in relationship to another?

When I am starting a new relationship I suddenly feel beautiful, happy, grounded, and completely myself. If it is true that all of these feelings already exist in me, then I can feel that same joy simply by connecting to and attuning with my self. If the joy we experience in relationships is already and always inside of us, than there are no necessary magic words, no set of perfect circumstances, no feelings of accomplishment on the outside that are necessary for us to experience this joy on the inside. This tendency to look outside of ourselves feels like we have accepted the message in our childhood fairy tales. It is a kind of passivity and powerlessness. A part of us becomes locked away like Sleeping Beauty waiting to be awoken with a kiss, Rapunzel waiting to be let out of the tower and Cinderella stuck in an unfortunate situation until someone else finally recognizes our true beauty.

As an Artist, I know that if I look to the outer world for validation I will loose touch with my own creative voice. We all know on some level the importance of honoring ourselves, our true nature, and looking inside for approval and self acceptance. Collectively, we shake our heads and click our tongues when we see a woman who needs the approval of others to feel good about her self. What if this is also true in relationship to love?  What if our search for love and joy in a relationship actually leaves us disconnected from our own inner joy and happiness?

I would like to stop believing that I can only be fulfilled if I am in a relationship with someone or something outside of myself.  I would like to try experiencing the joy of a relationship in terms of the feelings in my self that I am able to have a relationship with more easily. It is a small shift from “someone else makes me so happy”, to “I can really connect with my own happiness and joy when I am in a relationship with another person”.

2 comments to Love & Joy

  • another beautiful piece complete with lovely image that captures the essence of the writing. you leave me breathless. your friend, billie

  • amy walker

    Recently, I suddenly had this same revelation when I attended an old boyfriend’s wedding who I have never stopped longing for. Initially, it was in reflecting on my own behavior that I quickly saw the difference in my attitude when I was with this person, the way I reached almost into their soul to show them how I recognized their deepest feelings and in doing so i thought it was because somehow the kismet of our two personalities lined up just so to make that possible. Then i turned to my husband and realized what was really happening. I was allowing myself to connect intimately with the old boyfriend but not with my husband. There was no deep connection except for the one I had allowed or not allowed. I like the idea of transferring this to a relationship with myself. I have moments of this understanding and how important is is for my sanity and happiness and ability to remain true to myself, but then I get caught up in the exterior relationships again. Thanks for the reminder.

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