I told my dad once that worse than losing my sanity was the loss of my self-respect.
I don’t know where I lost it and not even sure how and don’t care anymore. I just know I became a young beautiful girl and then woman who had no self-esteem and no self-respect. And men preyed on me.
If you read about my virtual lover you know I am still vulnerable and under the right circumstances can make the wrong decision.
But the virtual lover lesson was worth it and I learned a lot about myself, things I could not have known that I don’t want to reveal here now.
It was three weeks. Not a big deal and the next day I went on a date and made a friend.
But what is the difference between friends and lovers? How do we find the boundary that allows the friendship to bloom and let the beloved and loved to grow in a way that supports well-being?
My experience is we find the boundary by tracing the edges: the edges of need, love, desire. We find the boundary by bumping into it like a brick wall and falling over.
To find our way up we have to find the earth again and make sure we don’t land on the wrong side of the wall.
Love is tricky business. I honestly think most have way too much baggage with it. Love is simple: it is giving and caring with respect. It is an action, an attitude and way of being. We fall in love with desire and need in our eyes but love only lasts when we move beyond that need and beyond that desire.
It begins simply.
Good boundaries make it all possible. A friend said being a parent is easy compared to being in a relationship. Children we love unconditionally. In relationships there are always expectations.
I learned more about how to be intimate emotionally from one of my best friends. We weren’t lovers but we were close and I learned about emotional pain, I learned about merging with another and I learned about stepping away when necessary.
My husband taught me a lot about love and friendship by showing me how raw my need was to believe in something that was not there for the sake of what was: a solid friendship.
We all want love. We all want respect. We all want to be understood. We all want to feel special.
When we have clear boundaries all that we want can be found.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons