“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” ~Walter Anderson
I’m not actually interested in telling you if you’re with the right person. I’m interested in you discovering who you really are. If you’re not in the right relationship, you probably shouldn’t try so hard to make it “work.” Sometimes the right thing to do is walk away.
But the big gap here is in the knowing. The knowing if it’s right or not. The truth is that you don’t actually need somebody else to tell you what the truth is. In fact, that’s the last thing you need.
What you really need is to uncover your own truth so you can live according to it.
If you’re not sure if your partner is for you, then you’re living in your head. You’re ignoring your truth—the deep part of yourself that is screaming at you to leave or to stop fighting or to open your heart. Whatever your truth is, it’s inside you and it’s dying to be heard.
Relationships are tough. I totally get it. The songs of heartbreak tell the stories of our human weakness, and I’ve cried to many of them.
The deeper untold story is that we’ve lost ourselves. We don’t live in a world where we’re taught to look inward to resolve ourselves. We look outward to fulfill ourselves, a feat that leaves us defeated time after time.
I have discovered that when you live according to the deeper truth within yourself, you become happy in circumstances you never thought you would have been happy in.
Maybe you’re single or divorced or childless or on a new career path or living in a new town; you’re somewhere, and you thought you’d be somewhere else.
You thought that trying to control the outcome would result in your happiness. The irony is that the things we think are right for ourselves are often the things that are holding us back from discovering what is actually right for ourselves.
I once shared a depth of love with a man in a way I’d never experienced before. Circumstances beyond our control ended the relationship. We did a back and forth thing—a few times. Then we really let it go; we both believed it was over.
After months without words we reconnected and discovered that the profound love between us still remained. But there was a deeper truth we each recognized within ourselves. Even though we shared this beautiful connection, love, and respect for one another, we wanted different things.
I wanted to experience depths of intimacy that he didn’t feel capable of at that time. So we parted ways once again. Respectfully. Gracefully. With love. And it doesn’t mean it was easy. But it was right, and we weren’t confused about it because we both knew ourselves.
You see, the love that we’ve become accustomed to is not actually love. Our desire to possess another doesn’t come from love; it comes from fear. And that fear comes from a lack of confidence, a lack of self-love.
The desire to control things and manipulate them to satisfy our ideal outcome does not come from love. It comes from the fear of letting go, the fear that things aren’t going to turn out the way you want them to.
Maybe you’ve misinterpreted your fear for love. You give it to your other in desperation. It’s missing the genuine gift of heart, the fully embracing warmth of love that is timeless and boundless.
Love knows you do not own another, and rooted in this love you do not want another to ever be your possession. What you want for them is the greatest life offers up to us. You want for them to be whole, to feel love, to be honored by themselves.
True love wants movement. It wants to share and rejoice. It expresses diversely. We don’t all mesh in the same way. We’re not all for each other.
So how do you know if you’re with the right person? The answer is that you have to know yourself. Sorry, but this is the hard work of love.
It starts with you. This is your job: Know yourself. Be happy with yourself. Love yourself.
It’s not your job to give what you don’t have or to take on the impossible burden of fixing someone else.
When you lose yourself in another, when you confuse their problems for your own, when you deny another the freedom of pursuing their soul’s journey, you do a great disservice to two incredible human beings.
Only when you know yourself will you be able to know if someone else is right for you.
When you know what it feels like to be in tune with your core, your essence, your spirit, your whatever-you-want-to-call-it, your soul will scream out YES! or NO! when you’re with another person.
Your soul will respond ferociously.
It’s already screaming now.
The question is: Are you listening?
Couple silhouette via Shutterstock
About Michelle D'Avella
Michelle D’Avella is an author, Breathwork teacher and mentor. Her memoir, The Bright Side of a Broken Heart is available here. Download her FREE guide to heal your heart and follow her on Instagram for daily doses of inspiration.