“It is not my place to doubt the sincere beliefs of others. My job is to question my own beliefs.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
I have been blessed to witness true love between two people. It’s one of the great quirks of owning our retreat center. But, it’s rare that I find an authentic connection when one soul has met another and whispers, “There you are. I’ve been looking for you all of my life.” I know a couple who have exceeded my relationship paradigms. These two men, after nearly 30 years, still have a mutual respect, profound love, trust, compassion, and appreciation for one another. This is something most of us crave to find in a lifetime. We are born from love, searching for love, and hopefully finding that one person who can understand us.
They are opposites in so many ways. Watching them interact I am reminded of a wave. One takes while the other pulls, and together they fall into one. Even in their differences, there is this depth of accepting and knowing that although they may not agree on something they don’t question or judge the other. This is the most precise to my idea of love. They are the inspiration to what relationships should look like. It doesn’t matter if it is between a man and a woman; a man and a man; or a woman and a woman.
I am always fascinated by how people meet, how long they’ve been together, and what is the secret of their union. I don’t need to ask those questions to either of them. I can see it in a slight touch, a humorous comment, a glance across the table. I can hear it in their explanations and stories. There is no faking such sentiments. There is no denying that whatever belief one of them has, the other might not experience it, but doesn’t belittle the other because of it.
One of the most difficult issues in a relationship is that we want to “convert” our significant other to share our beliefs. Until I met my fiance I had always been with men (recently pointed out by a friend who is a therapist) whose political and religious beliefs are completely different from mine. As open minded as I think I am, these men have all been the opposite and all of them have desperately (and with much frustration) tried to force me to acquire their beliefs. When I would clam up and go numb they would start the insults about how I don’t know anything about politics or religion. I laugh now, as I type this, but while in these destructive and imbalance relationships I was totally stressed out. The difference in belief systems seems quite evident now that I look back. So when I met my current love I made sure to clarify these things. After over two years it has stuck. We can agree on many things and also agree to disagree in others.
I have had a fascination with world religions and have studied them. This caused a huge stir in past relationships. Any political view, different from my own, was also insulting. I became aware of this issue and made it a rule not to discuss religion or political views with any man until I was fully comfortable to stand my ground. I wasn’t willing to pick another who dictated or bull-dozed their way through my beliefs.
As I have observe my new friends interacting, I realize that part of who I am is based on “my beliefs.” I will no longer compromise my ideas, disposition, beliefs, and truth. They compose the person I am today. I will not allow another to try and morph me into what they believe I should be.
Few times in this path of my life do I get to stand back and admire another relationship. Perfection doesn’t exist. Perfection within our intimate imperfections does. When you find a person whom you can be all of yourself and have no judgment…well, that’s your soul mate. I don’t use the term, “soul mate” lightly. I believe a parent, child, friend, or anyone can be a soul mate. When I say it in this context I mean it as a twin soul; that other person who is part of your ocean and together you create a wave. I have been fortunate to have found someone who will surf the rocky and calmed waters with me.
Every person who enters our life teaches us something. I am humbly grateful for each person who leaves a little piece of hope in my life. I pray that people can actually let go of this aggression when it comes to beliefs and learn to love one another. It really isn’t my business what you think of me, anymore than what I think of you. My only concern is that I am truthful with me and those who love me for who I am. In the end our authentic spirit is what reflects from our hearts. You must love you first and foremost. May you move through love so you can find the love that compliments your soul. You are worth it!