I’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.”
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.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Lauren Savory / Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photos: Tui Anderson; JapanicAttack / Flickr