I was certain I’d found the love of my life seven years ago. After four years together, one beautiful child—and some real transgressions—we eroded our marriage with a mutual lack of trust. The heartbreak was intense and debilitating, but the deep and delicious friendship we’ve since built is positively profound. And with help, even though we’re no longer married, we have completely created the family of our dreams.
What happened to the love of my life? What I came to realize is that my lack of clear communication with my family had impacted my marriage, as well as my work, my bank account, and my health. What goes unaddressed in our families takes up precious real estate in our hearts, minds, and bodies. Any qualities we judge in them become deeply embedded in us. I wanted something different for my son than that wordless, indefinable rift I had felt with my family.
I began working with a coach. She taught me that one of the highest, holiest privileges of being human is taking the time to sort through and own my part in my family dynamic. Once we can grasp that, we begin to see the lessons we came here to learn through our family—that is what brings us home to our own hearts.
If you really want to create the love of your life, take some time to observe yourself in family contexts, without rushing or trying to change anything initially. You’re learning to distinguish that great divide within: where we are so incredibly connected in certain areas of our lives and decidedly not in others. We feel that chasm as an erosion of our confidence on a cellular level. This takes us far away from any state of true love.
Once I’d seen from all angles that all the things I found unsavory in my family were, in some shade or tone, my own traits, I stopped destructively blaming, and started inviting everyone back into my heart. That’s about when I started trusting myself, and being proud of who I am as a Mama. Because within myself I’m finally (during most moments) unified within myself. I’m not hiding anymore.
Light, freedom, and clarity
After years of Handel coaching, I realized I had secrets, opinions, and assumptions about what people near me thought and felt, and each one was a wall keeping the most important people away from my heart. Which only hurt me, and blocked me from the ultimate love of my life within myself. Which was, more importantly, affecting my behavior with my son, and his connectivity to his own family. Through a painful but vital look at my judgments, my hypocrisy (“I’m a yoga teacher, I don’t yell/smoke/cheat/lie”), through several long-awaited and highly feared apologies, forgivenesses, and other death-defying conversations—there it is: Light in my eyes. Total freedom in my cells. Comforting clarity in my heart. Light, freedom, and clarity translate to confidence. And this confidence is prerequisite to creating the love of my life, both within myself and with everyone around me.
Let the wall down
Whoever it is, release them from the interior prison in which you’re holding them. How? Get thyself a coach to help you see the patterns and aspects of your relatives and/or close friends that you’ve been hating and banning. In this work, you’ll learn that what you’ve been holding against everyone for so long is exactly what you’re hosting within yourself. Once you know, you can stop attracting those abhorrent qualities into your life.
I’m also getting as many people as I can to forgive. When you can forgive—yourself and others—and stop the imprisonment, you’re creating the love of your life. That love of your life is a state of being. You’re generating deep trust in yourself by doing the work of making things right. Once you learn to articulate the truth spaciously, the trust you build becomes your state. That state points in one direction: to Love. Interiorly, exteriorly, Love.
Creating and cultivating that state of Love, in our friendships, romantic relationships, and with our kids, hinges upon our ability to trust ourselves enough to speak our truth, ask for help, apologize, and forgive. Ultimately, designing this love depends on all of that.
Welcome to one of the greatest honors of being alive: creating the love of your life.
Elena Brower, founder and co-owner of VIRAYOGA and Art of Attention, offers a realistic and reverent approach to the world through her teaching and writing. Her first book, Art of Attention: Book One, will be released in late 2012. For more on Elena please visit her WEBSITE or on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.
Elena Brower will be teaching at The Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20–22. Positively Positive is a media sponsor of The Tadasana Festival