October 27, 2014

Creating the Ideal Love Within Ourselves.


I’ve been seeing a lot of articles surfacing lately about relationships.

How to love one another. How to make that love last. How we can honor the quirks and individualities in each of us as the unique sparks of creation we all are.

In many of my own articles, I talk about the importance of creating that love within before we are able to open ourselves to an Other. Self-love is the foundation of all healthy relationships, as many of us already know. A trickier subject is how to create that love of Self, especially when we are in flux. In our respective journeys toward self-actualization, we are never really done with “the work.”

So how can we plant our feet on the ground and say, “Yes. I’m ready to take on another psyche and watch it dance along its own path at my side?”

Many years ago I asked myself this question as I was driving home from work. Each mile brought me closer to the home I shared with a man from whom I was moving further and further apart, emotionally. For my part, I had not done the intense self-work necessary to recognize that this partner was not right for me. I longed for companionship, however, and projected my needs onto him, as I’m sure he had done with me.

On that drive, I was possessed of the notion that I could create my ideal love within myself.

Right then and there in my clunky little Ford Escort as it chugged along the outskirts of Philadelphia. I could be my own true love and let him rest in my skin.

At that moment, the following poem came to me. My hope is that it may open in you the same closeness. The self loving the self—separate and yet intimately connected.


Driving the Car As You

This is the highest form of compliment
I can pay—
here on my solitary stretch of road
from the highway to home.
You, this man I have never met
but whose face I have seen.
You fit yourself beneath my skin
without words or name.

My hands take the wheel lightly.
I drum your fingers to the radio song.
I half-smile at the funny thing
that just crossed your mind.

How I love my face,
its expressions,
resting in your body.

If your thighs are hot from the sun,
I move them.
Your neck stiff,
I stretch it toward each of your shoulders—
a dancer’s careful arch.

I am your single-handed urging
of the steering wheel
into a sharp, left turn.
Once finished,
safely on a new road,
I lift your hand to my lips
and truly believe
that if this car crashes,
I will not be alone.


~ Rachel Astarte


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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/Kris Krug

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