…the more the stay the same. Wow, that adage proves exceedingly true daily. My British Lit students just finished the classic novel Pride and Prejudice. Throughout the novel, I was amazed by how many attitudes have not changed regarding love, relationships and choosing a mate. The customs have changed, the ceremonies have changed, the way we meet and date has definitely changed, but, overall, not much else has changed.
Of course, Pride and Prejudice is a work of fiction, but the author created the story based on real life experiences and situations during the time. She was definitely a romantic…much like myself and believed that love should be the basis for the choosing of a mate. However, many of the stories she painted in the novel demonstrated that even then, people married for reasons other than love. Lust, desperation, and physical attraction were a few of them. And then there was that little issue of social class…. Oh me oh my! That’s when the little light bulb went off over my head. I actually put the book down, mouth agape, and pondered- if Jane Austen wrote, in the 1800’s, that people allowed prejudice, and often pride, to inhibit the choice in mates, why are we still making this huge mistake today in 2011? At what point are we actually going to learn the lesson?
How many times have we refused to give someone our number or even the opportunity to greet us because they didn’t drive the right car, live in the right neighborhood, or have the right job? How often have we looked on the surface of a person and ruled them out simply because we had envisioned a different person for a mate? I cringe when I think of the really, truly good men I allowed to float away. For some asinine reason I decided, “I can do better”. Really?! With all that ego, how on earth could there have been space for another person?
It’s fascinating that the more progressive we seem to become, we’re still dealing with some very antiquated issues regarding love. I’ve said this before, but I find it bears repeating- Love has no boundaries. Love doesn’t care about a bank account, house, job, skin color, hair length, endowment (y’all know what I mean) or any physical or material trait. Love is not PREJUDICE. Therefore, whenever we place these limits on love, we have to really ask ourselves, are we seeking love or are we seeking someone who we think it’ll be easier to love? Do we actually believe that a person’s car or nice body will make them more suitable to love? And what happens when those things go away?
I’ve come to the conclusion that those of us with these lists are actually afraid of love. We’re scared as hell to be vulnerable and open. We’re afraid to be “seen”. We’re afraid to let someone all the way in to our heart space. I mean deep, down in the nooks and crannies where no man or woman has gone before. We’re afraid of that kind of real, raw intimacy (into me see). Why? My theory is…because we will be forever changed. There’s no way you can love like that and not be. Whether you stay together or it ends, that kind of love will transform you. However, what most of us don’t realize or readily admit is that transformation is a necessary part of this life path. Who wants to stay just the way they are? Eck…. We should constantly seek opportunities for growth and expansion. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Is it scary? Hell YES!!! But imagine how much more loving we can be with all people when we allow our hearts to expand in the capacity mentioned above. When we let down the walls, let go of ego and choose to see people from a foundation of love, we all win. Yes, there are certain qualities that we want our mates to possess. However, we simply must not continue to allow physical attributes and materials to be deciding factors regarding our partners in love. We want the people who are going to grow us, give us permission to be authentic, and make us want to be better people. That’s what should be on our lists.
When we surrender, trust and allow God to do the work, we get the mates that are just right for us. And then we create the relationships of our dreams.