The sunset tonight stopped me in my tracks.
Shades of strawberry and maroon streaked with purple exploded across the mountainside.
I liked knowing you were watching it too. How we could enjoy it together, even if we were not side by side, as we both scaled the winding roads to your house to meet at 8 p.m.
I’ve been thinking about relationships and growth lately, you and me — why this feels so different. Why it feels so good.
One of the things we all get wrong in relationships is the need for our partner to be 2D instead of fleshy 3D. We want to constrict and control. We are taught to be possessive out of fear.
But love — love is different than that. It requires regular gasps of fresh air, stretches of space, and constantly witnessing the ever-changing, always-becoming, 3D creature in front of us.
Love requires expansion. It requires surrendering control instead of squishing our partner to fit the empty spaces inside us.
It means checking our expectations and accepting that no one will ever fulfill our every need.
It means taking time to behold this awesome human being in front of us and explore what makes their pulse quicken with passion, what they yearn for on lonely nights, what makes them come alive, and how they dream. Their struggles, scars, and soul. All of it.
It means giving our partner room to bloom.
And in this, the wildest thing happens.
Closeness flourishes effortlessly in the climate of spaciousness and deep seeing.
Intimacy becomes abundant.
Because we aren’t hunting for it. We aren’t frantically using another person to fill our own voids and wounds.
We are respecting them. We are respecting ourselves.
We are untangling enmeshment and setting aside codependency.
We are challenging society’s weird ass expectations of what love should look like.
We are finding something sustainable and deeply honoring.
Just like that sunset tonight, I feel these truths ring out in my bones, soaking me in color and light.
Subtle shadows point toward the past, and it’s real, damn — learning to love in this breathable way has felt like the journey of a lifetime. Freeing myself from a thousand mental traps, layers of insecurity, and the stinging anxiety that I could — gasp! — end up alone.
Those fears used to suffocate me. My wounds used to guide my choices, leaving me feeling even more broken as I searched for a love that would fix everything.
Honestly, I am relived to find that I no longer expect that. Thank goodness.
The charred path of self-destruction transformed into the fresh greenery of self-honoring. Life has led me in a drastically different direction. It sent me running toward myself, showing me ways I could serve others, how to repair trust in my own heart, and what it really means to heal.
This journey has been streaked with surprises, failures, pain, and finally, finding balance.
It has not been easy. But I like this feeling of not-clinging, of trust, of caring.
I like this feeling of loving without fear.