The Love Less Traveled. ~ Tui Anderson

Via on Jan 25, 2014

 

aquariumI’m over feeling like my life experience is somehow less because I am neither a partner nor a parent.

The market for true love has been more or less cornered by partners and parents. If we’re neither of these, we may “love” our dog or “love” surfing, but we don’t actually belong to the club of those who really understand love. Right?

“I didn’t know true love until I met my partner.”
“You can’t know real love until you become a parent.”

Wrong.

I was sitting in a cafe in Nepal the other day, feeling a bit lonely, after 10 years of (mostly) being single. I’ve been doing all the ‘right’ things—working on myself, meditating and getting ‘out there’, but I just haven’t found a partner (so far). I think of myself as a loving person. I have all of this love inside of me. But why? I started to wonder.

I asked the Universe, “Why are you wasting my love? Why aren’t you bringing me a partner?”

And the Universe replied, “There are already so many people living love that way. Your contribution is to walk the road less traveled: to live love and be love without the usual anchors and mirrors.” I guess I have always said I like a challenge.

In theory, I can live a life full of love on my own. In practice, I will tell you, it isn’t easy. I’m not just talking about being happy on my own or finding contentment in life. I’m talking about feeling real love in an everyday way, without a partner or family to trigger or reflect it.

Love is the ultimate expression of our lives, and true love (I don’t think there’s any other kind) is generated from within. Perhaps it’s inspired and fuelled by those around us, but it comes from us, not to us. I love my friends and family fiercely, but outside of that small circle where does a single person feel love? Well, here’s the thing: I’ve decided to find it everywhere.

I’m committed to finding love in the small (and big) everyday things. I can see the Himalayan Mountains from where I live. On a clear day, the sight fills me with such awe and joy, and that is love. A perfect flower in the sunshine shows me how incredible nature is, and I feel love. The little sparrows chattering in the hole above my kitchen make me giggle, and that is love. I remember meditating at a temple on a volcano in Bali and crying because the world is so beautiful—that was huge love.

I choose not just the yearning for love, not just seeing it in others and not just the amount that I have. I choose to generate love—as much as possible.

Some days I succeed, some days I have to remind myself to try harder and some days I just want to tell the Universe to shove this less-traveled road! But I keep trying, because I believe in love. Love is the ultimate expression of why we are here, and there are many versions—all true love. My route was never going to be the common road. I trek the road where love is explored not with a partner or children, but through beauty, adventure, moments, self.

Love with a partner or children is amazing. And huge. And life-changing. When I do find a partner (the jury is still out on the kids,) I will add that version of love to what I already generate. I hope I won’t forget to keep finding love in other places, though. And I truly hope I’ll never tell anyone they “haven’t known real love without (insert cliché here.)”

We all get to choose our inner world.

I choose love. Over and over again. In the small moments, which many don’t realize are loveable; this is the love less traveled.

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Assistant Editor: Lauren Savory / Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photos: Tui Anderson; JapanicAttack / Flickr

 

About Tui Anderson

Tui Anderson is a traveling homebody with a busy brain and a calm soul. She accidentally became a writer after the Universe answered a frustrated question with a profound thought. In the words of one Buddhist teacher, she is a “fluffy spiritualist” who believes there are no wrong roads to happiness. You can find her on her public Facebook page.

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13 Responses to “The Love Less Traveled. ~ Tui Anderson”

  1. Melanie says:

    Love it!!
    "love… it comes from us, not to us."

  2. Kylie says:

    Absolutely true, we all try to put ourselves into a ‘group,’ but why not just love what we have, see, do, who we are. Life is too short, this is a reminder of the outlook we may be happier with. Love this :)

  3. Thanks Tui for capturing and validating this different kind of love. I have been single for a couple of decades now, despite doing all the personal work and putting myself out there and going through times of letting it go and blah, blah freakin' blah. I sometimes wonder why I have been wakened into so much feeling within me and yet still yearn for the touch of another. I live in Australia and spent Australia Day today hanging out with couples and families and marvelled that I felt at peace and not alone. Then spent the evening organising photos for a friend's wedding album, that was a little too much. So yes, choosing and being with the ways love is already there, bringing it when I can and staying with this dreadful sinking-floating ship of hope. I appreciated your fresh take on things.

    • Tui Anderson Tui Anderson says:

      :) some days and some moments are easier than others… I have moments where it is so easy to find the joy, to find the in-love-ness and other times when it eludes me completely…

  4. Debbie says:

    Great post! Thank you for articulating what intuitively I know to be true for me as well. Know that there are many of us out there. We have been given a different purpose in this lifetime. Perhaps the universe is relying on us to experience love in all its vastness. It's so much easier to be a partner and parent because your purpose in love is obvious. Others have been given the challenging task to find it in roads less traveled. I wish you much more love as you continue on your journey. Blessings.

    • Tui Anderson Tui Anderson says:

      Thanks Debbie, I love that there are many of us out in the world finding new and different ways to live Love for the Universal collective!

  5. Live with Purpose says:

    Tui you really have captured this subject in words really well…I feel love shows up differently for everyone, a love for a partner is different to the love of your child which is different to the love for your step-child. Love is love, though the experience or form is what is different. Your article really showed me how little I have perhaps pondered about love in general, I know it to be important and instrumental to happiness though as I find myself with children, step-children, ex-partners…do I really pay enough attention to the areas I also experience love, immense love where I stop and feel peace – like watching the sunset and sunrise. I will pay more attention. Always grateful for a perspective shift, thank you x

  6. Andrew says:

    Great post, Tui. And great replies too. I've done both although I've predominantly had a life with a partner. One thing that's quite profound is that none of us ares alike 100% in our views. I believe, that living alone is actually easier than having a partner, I also believe that if we live alone by choice i.e. 'it's too hard to find a partner', I think that's a cop-out.
    I remember years ago being in a counselling session with an ex-partner and we had to explain love. My idea, which is so very close to yours, Tui, went down like a lead ballon to my ex who thought love was only to the person closest to you. This was something so foreign to me.
    Can't wait for the next volume, Tui.

  7. Deirdre says:

    Courageous…I was not ready to read it all though.

    • Tui Anderson Tui Anderson says:

      Any version of "doing my best for today" or "how can I be one tiny bit more ok today than yesterday" is still love… Kindness is love… :)

  8. planetaurora says:

    I love this! Tui, like you, I continue to do the hard work, continue to put myself out there and do what I love and trust that the partner will come to me. And yeah…. I'm still doing what I love. and … still waiting. But learning, ultimately, to just…. love. to just be love. and have that be enough. which, like you said, somedays is enough. and some days isn't. but working on it. Thank you for this. Nice to read and be reminded that I'm not alone.

  9. Megs says:

    Your sentiments are beautiful. I am single and at times lonely however maybe I am never alone for the beauty of this world is always surrounding and full of love. So blessed we are to be given this chance at experiencing true love from within and for the universal collective. When we can rest in the challenging moments as well as the joyful abundance only then will we know happiness in freedom. Thank you for sharing and relating with me, reminding me of our beauty in understanding.

  10. Lindiz says:

    Beautifully written and touching. Thank you Tui,

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