By Simóne Janae
The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself.
I realized this while reading one of Marianne Williamson’s books, A Return To Love. She quoted from A Course In Miracles stating, “you only receive what you give.”
So, I began to question. What do I give? Do I give well? How do I know? I asked myself these questions over and over. My present experience wasn’t feeling as good as it could. And it was in that moment that I found myself on both sides of the mirror: holding it out and viewing myself in the reflection.
What we give to our partners and to ourselves will be our experience in life. Period. I have come to understand that this giving is equally potent in thought, words and action. When I considered this further, I realized how much I was holding back from my partner; and how much more I was holding back from myself. I wasn’t being honest, I wasn’t speaking up on my own behalf. I was not confronting what I later realized I needed to accept in order to legitimately let go of all I was holding onto out of comfort. I rested very easily in my past and quite often experienced so much of what I didn’t want, over and over. I received exactly what I was giving — nothing.
So, I dove further into the book. If in fact I am the cause and the effect is my experience, then I do have choices to make. I don’t have to be the effect of my own lovelessness, let alone someone else’s. I prayed. I meditated. I asked. Clarity, vision, courage — everything and anything I could imagine — was my desire. I felt desperate to change my present surrounding. But, like Williamson often writes about, it wasn’t so much me praying to change the outside. I needed to pause and focus on what was on the inside.
That’s where my real stuff lived.
Habitually, my initial instinct was to focus on the pain. Where was it coming from? Who was causing it? What was the root?
Still outside of myself.
I then talked to my partner. I asked all the obvious who, what, when, where, why and how questions.
Still outside of myself.
This was me not “giving” again. I can’t tell you how long my misunderstanding of Williamson’s words lasted, but I finally got it.
Enter more research: the Latin root of the word relationship happens to mean “bringing back, restoring.” I found this to be incredibly beautiful. When we heal through relationship with another person, essentially, how we choose to heal, becomes our experience with that person. Does our presence bring them back to the truth in which they are? Does their presence bring us back to the truth in which we are? Wrapping my brain around this idea was tough. With all the history, arguments, bliss, hurt and happiness, there had been some serious stretching. I didn’t know it then, but I was growing.
The healing came in the moment I read Williamson’s words again, “you only receive what you give.” She would call that moment a miracle or a mental shift from fear to love. Yes, I was resistant at first. I was scared. That was the moment I became aware of my Self, the Divine being within that is whole, complete and perfect. I took notice of the love I would later choose to give without fear and it happened.
See, the inevitable approached and I chose to let it. My healing came in the chaos, the drama, the frustration, loud voices and silent drives to my favorite spot. My world was breaking apart. My comfort was being ripped from under me and I stood naked, in all my ugly truth. I had seen myself for the first time in, well, ever.
No blinders anymore, I saw a world that no longer worked for me. I needed out and space to reclaim who I was. And the best part wasn’t that I could blame and point fingers at my partner with all my newfound clarity. No! The best part was that I had finally entered into a realm of acceptance. I had made poor choices, I hurt people, I manipulated, I was selfish — it was time to accept my behavior and release it. I started by forgiving myself. From those I could, I apologized and asked for forgiveness with the intention that they may release me too, when ready. The breaking up of my cozy little world, though painful, let in so much light. With my hands attempting to cover the glare, I approached the glow and found my restoration.
With patience, compassion and love, we must be our own light. Our only function in relationships, be them romantic, familial or platonic, are to be the reflection or the mirror and the demonstrated answer while being the light, love and truth inherent IN us all.
Simóne Janae is from Harrisburg, PA and resides in Los Angeles. She is a film marketing manager by trade, growing, listening and learning with every step. She enjoys leveraging and being a space holder for creative brilliance; one project at a time. Follow her on Instagram: @les.bones.