Fairy Tale Love

I love romantic stories. There is a famous Greek mythological one about the perception of love, relationships, and soul connection. The myth of Pygmalion and Galatea has been brought down through centuries as a love story. It is one of my favorite stories of love and the power of creation. The story is about Pygmalion who was a gifted Greek artist. He created beautiful sculptures. Pygmalion was disappointed with the women he met, especially the prostitutes. He had given up on love, but in his repulsion and judgment for their moral behavior, he decided to create the perfect woman, thus the sculpture of Galatea made from ivory stone. Pygmalion spent countless hours making her into his ideal woman, chiseling carefully the curves, a beautiful body, while speaking to it. He would dress her up. He would tell her stories. Then one day Pygmalion went to Aphrodite’s temple and begged for the love of this woman. Aphrodite took pity on the artist and made the statue come to life and shortly thereafter Galatea and Pygmalion married.

 

This story has several metaphoric clues into relationships. The story dives deeper into the common questions of how we manipulate our desires and the creation of perfection in our minds. Do we ever find the “perfect” person that lives in our dreams? Can we put aside expectations and fall in love with others without judgment? Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Can fairy tales come true? Is love everlasting or do we manipulate it to fit into our circumstances? Does love truly dictate who we pick?

 

When I began to date my husband I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I was allowing love to run its course. I had ended a loving relationship with a man who knew me better than anyone. I loved him beyond anything I could have ever imagined. He disappeared and I was left holding my heart in my hands. I truly gave up any expectations of what I needed in a loving relationship. I thought about Pygmalion and his creation. Truth be told I didn’t know what I needed in a partner, but I did know what I was not willing to tolerate. I had enough experience with that!

 

Desiring flawless partners

Relationships are not perfect. Often times our counterparts mirror our imperfections. It’s in those enhancing moments that we try desperately to chip away the characteristics that we don’t want. In all the negative light we become lunatics trying to create something that we cannot change. We are human beings. Sometimes we enter into relationships blindly with an irrational belief that “this is the perfect person.” Later the blinders come off and what was once lust is no longer part of the love equation. Lust can only take us so far. Deep connection lasts forever. You must be willing to accept the “whole-ness” of your partner. It’s not easy but it’s doable.

 

Love at first sight

We are creatures of determining beauty by first glance. Hormones flare and exude our animal instincts. But, does this hold on forever? Beauty is not just in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty resides deeply in the heart. Just like Pygmalion many of us spend countless hours searching for the ideal mate that we have created since childhood. We have formed a “type” and when that type enters the room we are left drooling for attention. How often do we actually get the type of partner who lives in our heads? Age takes care of making sure we return to reality.  Outside beauty doesn’t last forever. Dig deeper to find the magic of love inside another. When our bodies start to age the only thing we can know for sure is what lies in the seed of the soul.

 

The perfect fairy tale

Society has implanted an idea of “perfect fairy tale love.” From the time we are children we watch and listen to the romantic fairy tales. Disney has created a huge franchise on the subject. It’s difficult to see what’s an illusion and what’s actually real. Love is NOT carved in ivory stone. It’s not perfect. It requires work. It expects nothing more, or less, than patience and acceptance. You create that which you are. In order to attract your desired partner you have to consider your own imperfections. You have to be willing to look at the dark and the light in yourself. You must be honest with your own expectations. I know I am not an easy person to live with and neither is my husband. What continues to keep us together is a mutual acceptance of our imperfections. The older we get the more we realize that we cannot sweat the small stuff. We have grown into love. We’ve also had to keep our Egos in tact.

Galatea and Pygmalion Effects

The Galatea Effect is a psychological theory that states that people can overcome anything through raising their self-worth. The Pygmalion Effect is a phenomenon relating to motivation: people can conquer anything when they are supported and encouraged. In relationships can we be Galatea and Pygmalion? One person has to be the motivator and the other the doer. There has to be a balance of giving and taking. Unfortunately, in our society we forget the partnership theory in relationships. It starts with clear intentions of how we will support, love and respect our mate. Life wears us down and we no longer motivate the other. Galatea and Pygmalion are perfect examples of belief and ultimate love through perseverance. You must pick a partner who will stick through the good and the tough times.

The perfect mate for you exists

We have the power to create anything we want in life, including a partner who brings out the best in us. But, while you continue having a false idea of what is perfect you might not see what’s right next to you. Relationships work on trust, forgiveness, love, acceptance, and awareness. It’s important to understand that if you aren’t being treated to your highest worth and potential then it’s time to move on. You must go where you are celebrated and honored. You cannot continue to try and mold someone who isn’t raising the best of you into your perfect mate. When people tell you who they are believe them from the beginning. You cannot change anyone. You are only responsible for you. Pygmalion created what he needed. He chiseled and prayed and spoke to the Gods. He didn’t settle for the other women.

You have the capacity to bring the love of your life into your life…but first you must be honest with what you want. Love is not written in stone but it is written in the heart. Follow your heart but take your mind with it too. And, darling, be sure to forgive yourself and others for any past relationships that didn’t work out. Forgiveness is the key to allowing. It helps make room for the magic of new beginnings.

Healing From A Broken Heart

 

broken heart love

You meet someone. You fall deeply in love and then life happens and the relationship ends. Sometimes it’s timing. Other times it’s through the loss of death. And yet, in many other cases it was the need to mature and grow as individuals apart. A dear friend recently asked me, “How can you continue in other relationships? What do you do when you realize that your heart belongs to someone else?” I pondered long and hard. I thought about my own love affairs, those who still hold and tug my heart in places that I will never release. But, in a world that is driven by romance novels and movies it’s really difficult to decipher what you should do when the heart chooses to love another. It’s almost impossible to explain to another what you are feeling inside. I couldn’t answer my friend at the time, but here are six questions to ask in order to heal from an intense break-up:

1. Was he or she really “the one?” We perceive that there is only “one” great love. There could be many “ones.” There might be “the one” who knew your every move and story; the one who was the best kisser; the one who was the best comedian; the one who loved your children. “The one” is a concept we have created to personalize that one person who was the best at a certain thing. The worst thing you can do is tell another who is hurting, “time heals all wounds,” or “you will heal from this.” There is no time limit on hurt and grieving. The heart knows what it wants. Sometimes we neglect to appreciate what we have until it’s over. It’s a human default. It has little to do with intelligence. The heart may just be owned by an ex forever. You can try to substitute it with drugs, alcohol, sex or other addictions, but it’s truly difficult to move on. And, that’s okay! You don’t have to figure things out today. It might take years before making peace with how you feel. Every so often, those loves re-enter our lives. Because of lessons and growth, we appreciate them in a profound level that was never there before.

2. What was the thing that connected you? When we are in other relationships we create a false perception of what we are missing. Life happens through us, not to us. People move on. We are bombarded with quotes about missing love, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is a reason you are now in another relationship. This person touched you in some way. There was a new connection. But, there are also those who do not move into other relationships. They are paralyzed by the loss. The connection was over. Can you remain friends with an ex-lover? Can you still partake in their lives without sex? Can you continue that relationship while starting another? These are questions only you can answer honestly.

3. What did you learn from the relationship? Every relationship brings lessons. There is a time and place for each one. The deeper the connection, the harder the challenges. Intense relationships have a way of turning us upside down, right side up and in circles. They don’t just go away after they have existed in your life. It doesn’t matter if it was a love affair in your teens, a two-week fling, or years of sharing a life with children and family. Relationships force us to grow and learn in ways that can break and mend us. If you can revisit with that person, what would you say to him/her? What would you say was their purpose in your life? Cutting past chords of love is truly difficult when you know that your heart was given solely to that person. It’s never easy to take full responsibility for our behaviors. How you act with another is a reflection of your own insecurities.

4. Was it lust or love? We tend to mix the two. Lust drives us to lose our minds in the process of sharing with a lover. We feel things in a physical level that clouds the mind. Love, however, will continue to poke and force you to stay without restrictions. Ask yourself if it was a physical relationship or one that transcends through time? Some lovers leave imprints that cannot be forgotten. In bed it was magical, but outside in the real world, it was disastrous. You must decide if what you are missing is the sexual connection or was this a life partner that completely had your back in all your decisions?

5. Why did it end? This is one of the most honest questions you can ask yourself. You can make a mistake once. If you make it more than that it is considered a decision. You chose to stay or leave. There is usually a pattern that you can track. Was he or she selfish with their time and needs? Was it a possessive relationship? Where you taken for granted? Did you feel appreciated? Where you heard and understood? Was it timing? You may ask yourself many other questions. There is always one or two authentic reasons that the relationship ended (unless death pulled you apart).

6. Are you replacing him/her with another without healing? Most people have no clue that they will enter other relationships with similar traits. Awareness is absent when hurt takes over. How do you get over someone that made you come alive? Often times you replace them with familiarity. Being honest with yourself about how you feel in this new relationship will serve as a marking point. It’s not fair to your new mate, or yourself, if you are still holding on to another who (you feel) stole your heart. Healing doesn’t happen over night. Healing requires pulling out roots and seeing things without pointing the finger to your ex. Healing is about you and coming to terms with the reality that maybe, perhaps, your instincts were letting you know that the relationship was toxic. Not all lovers raise us to the highest form of love.

How do you heal from a past love? There is no one set answer. I am definitely no expert in matters of love. Each person is different. What I do believe is that you must take care of yourself. You must find a place to love yourself beyond anyone else. It’s not selfish. It’s not egotistical. It’s self-love. It’s imperative to allow time the space to gently introduce another in your life. Jumping from one to another adds to the intensity of loss. Your heart might never feel what it did with “the one,” but a new “one” might just show you a deeper form of love that reflects who you really are.

 Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake & help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.” ~ Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass