I happen to be in a relationship with one of the most generous, romantic men I know.
Every year on Valentine’s Day he somehow manages to surprise me—even while traveling out of the country for work, which he’s done for the last three years.
One time, he had his assistant leave a series of cards hidden throughout our house. I found one in the refrigerator, another on the bathroom mirror, one displayed with my shoes in the closet, under my pillow, etc. It was a day of loving that kept on giving.
Another year, I came home to a dining room table full of roses. I’m talkin’ a sea of red, yellow, pink, orange and cream. I could barely see the wood underneath. I burst into tears. Sometimes this man’s loving feels too big to bear.
I know these are beautiful gestures—I’m definitely not complaining—and, they create a pressure inside of me to match his level of generosity. And, no matter what I do, my actions don’t compare.
So this year, as a way of avoiding the matching game, I asked him not to do anything special. He obliged reluctantly. And as I watched the joy drain out of his face, I realized I was asking him to dampen who he was in order to appease the part of me that felt unworthy.
Suddenly, the background noise in my mind moved to the forefront and became clear. You’re a failure at Valentine’s Day. Vince is just better. He’s more loving than you. His heart is bigger than yours. You might as well give up now.
I had no idea these thoughts were going on in my mind. No wonder I dreaded Valentine’s Day. Why would anyone look forward to failing?
I was deeply grateful for this awareness because it allowed me to offer myself forgiveness and compassion.
The idea that someone could be more loving, or that more loving exists is only possible when looking through the lens of our small self. When we shift our inner experience and look through the lens of our Soul, Loving is all there is.
Vince isn’t better, or more loving than me. I’m not failing at love. We may express and share our loving differently, but that doesn’t make his more valuable, or mine less valuable.
I felt better instantly and as I let this truth sink in, I experienced a flash of creative inspiration. I wonder if Vince’s hotel in Berlin would deliver a dessert and bottle of wine to his room on me?
Turns out they would. And they did. And, by the way, he still shared a couple hidden cards and flowers too. He couldn’t help himself! 😉
I learned something in a deeper way through this experience. Life wants to inspire us and bring us new creative ideas, but it can’t deliver them if we’re mired in judgment. If our focus—even the parts that hum in the background—are on fear, worry, doubt and judgment, we block our connection to Life. We stop our True Sight from seeing and receiving.
There’s nothing wrong with this. We are human, after all. There’s a duality in our existence. We have a self-image and a Soul. Sometimes we’re more aligned with one than the other. And that’s part of the joy of this life.
What I’ve found valuable along my way is allowing myself space to slow down, be present and listen. Information comes through when it’s ready.
How can you allow space for listening today? What do you hear? How can this enhance the Loving in your Partnership with yourself and others?
Tell me more in the comments below.
With Fierce Loving,
PS: I’ll be back in a few week’s with another personal post on what I’m discovering in my relationship as I get closer to saying “I do”. In the meantime, if you’d like additional resources on Partnership, check out the interview I did with the beautiful and wise, Rohini Ross. Our conversation is rich and meaningful. I think you’ll like it. Download here.