“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
- Alfred Tennyson
I never quite understood that quote. Why would I want to fall in love only to lose it and wind up eating a pint of Chunky Monkey alone under my sheets while watching The Notebook surrounded by six cats all named Paolo. But…ohhh…turns out TIS BETTER to love! When you love, truly love, and I mean like whoa love, then you have irrevocably opened your heart to a world that was never opened before and I’m sorry to say, there is no going back. That puppy is open. It can be scary, it can hurt, it can make you insane but you are just connected to the Universe. Welcome.
I found my true love at 30. I am now 33. In those 3 years I have gone to the depths of hell and back learning very key rules to this zaney thing called love. I want to share these with you so you can save you and your partner (or future partner), and in my case my fiancee Bridget, the torture of having to learn them. These rules are not always easy but boy are they important. Dive head first:
1. For the love of God, love the crap out of yourself!
This is my number one rule in life. You get this big momma down, you are set. You will have no fear, no judgment, just love! Why? Because you love yourself, you are loving God/Energy/Love/Source and honoring it in the highest and best way and thus you can love ANYTHING and ANYONE with complete total freedom. I did not love myself when I met Bridget. But she loved me. And she kept loving me. And wouldn’t you know, I started loving myself. She became my guardian angel. Do me a favor and love yourself. It’s a lot easier if you can bypass the turmoil I went through to learn this. Love is everything, just get in harmony with it and embrace your existence in love! If you want more on this visit my blog at brycesgrandexperiment.tumblr.com.
2. If you judge your partner, use it as a mirror and see it in yourself first.
Here is the key, judgement is toxic. We all know that but why do we judge? Why are we afraid of how others judge us? Someone pointed out to me that I should see the judgment I am placing on someone first in myself. What!?!?! But the more I thought about it the more I could get to the root cause of this judgment. Fear! Fear of loss, fear of not being good enough, FEAR! Also, sidenote for life, when you are fearful of judgment from others, see if you judge others for the thing you are afraid of being judged. Ex: I am afraid people will think I am idiot if I start singing at the age of 33. Would I have judged others, yes! But it was because I was jealous that they were able to go all in and I was too petrified to try! Hah. Think how freeing that is once you realize it. See the judgment in yourself before you place it on others!
3. Do not be a punching bag.
Too many people are punching bags in relationships. Well, let’s cut that out now. To be truly empowered in a relationship is to see where your partner is coming from. Really coming from. Get down to their roots, get your ego out of the way and see them for who they are. Just last night, Bridget and I had a discussion and she was angry, old Bryce would have reacted and fought anger with anger, but it turns out that she was just frightened. I allowed the truth to show and then reacted. And it was beautiful. This is important. When going through this process do not allow yourself to be a victim. Be strong! You have complete control in your relationship. You can leave at any time. But leave when you are empowered! Leave when you realize the person is just not for you because you love yourself too much!
4. Be completely honest.
Whew! This one was a challenge for me. Being honest is soooooo difficult. But my God is it freeing. I’m not saying you have to dredge up the past and relive all that. All I’m saying is you need to draw a line in the sand and say from this moment forth I will be completely honest. I believe this is probably one of the biggest lessons for me. You are completely free to live without fear or guilt or anxiety. It’s all on the table. And I HATE saying, “I’m feeling insecure about xyz, or I’m incredibly vulnerable and terrified.” YUCK! But I do it because by doing it, I bypass hours of BS, get to the point and solve it within minutes. And don’t get me wrong, it hurts to be honest sometimes. It hurts like hell. But it builds this core of trust that nothing can penetrate. And regardless of where the relationship goes, you know that you were in it 100% and that is the greatest gift of all. You can take on any situation and know that there is nothing more you can do and let the cards fall where they may.
5. Let someone else hold you.
Literally and metaphorically. I like being the little spoon sometimes. Granted I’m 6’1 and she is a hair over 5 ft but it’s nice to just let someone else hold you. And metaphorically. I was a wee bit of a control freak. And being a control freak sucks. Too much head and too little heart. There has to be an acknowledgement at some point where you say, I need held and I need help! And whatever they give you, you must be appreciative of it. It may not be how you envisioned it but it can be tweaked and fixed. And if you’re just being a control freak, acknowledge that and grow beyond that. This is the great thing about love. If something is done out of love than the result rarely matters, it’s the place where it came from that matters. Be held. Ask for help. It’s so nice to fall back in the arms of the Universe and trust that it will all turn out ok. Because it will. You don’t have to hold the world anymore. Let it hold you.
6. Share the little things.
God this is important. I’ve read this before but had no idea the power of it. Bridget and I were living together for about 2 years and we realized that we had completely separate lives. We had lost each other. So, we sat down one day and said from there on out we would recount the day to each other. We would talk about the minutia, fears, hopes and whatever else came up. No electronics during share period either!!! And sometimes it will be forced, but do it! In the end it’s a beautiful process that has amazing results. Intertwine your lives. These are those small beautiful core strengthening steps I was talking about above. It’s kind of cool to discover a very unique, lovely human being all over again every single day.
7. Do not wait for the other shoe to drop.
Man alive. This one was another tough one for me. Oh hell, they were all tough for me! You must look at them and let the love in at that moment. Screw the future! It does not exist. Think of how many times you’ve worried about the future and it never came true. You got a chance at this life and by God you are allowed to be enveloped in total love and beauty. You deserve it. And don’t look for escape routes “just in case” something may go awry in the future. Sometimes you just have to go all in. And if you have someone that doesn’t make you happy, acknowledge them for who they are but then say, “I deserve better,” and go rule YOUR WORLD!
8. Use each person as a stepping stone.
This may sound wrong but it’s not. There are so many people out there that get bogged down by how many people they’ve dated and how they will never find the right one and blah blah blah. Well hold on a tick, stop looking at it like that. This is not a negative thing, this is a great thing!!! You’ve had an opportunity to meet so many people that you now know what you like and what you don’t like. You can be selective! So many people go into relationships without knowing what they want and then disaster strikes! But with dating a lot, you can send out to the Universe what exactly you want. Now I am not just talking about tall, dark and handsome. Nothing wrong with that but get deeper and be truthful with yourself. Ex: Someone who will love you to no end, that loves your family, that loves to be a cuddlebug on Saturday mornings, who will put up with your love of Batman, who gets happy feet (a term my uncle uses when people get excited about something), etc. You are an expert of what you like and what you don’t. Own it and choose wisely! And choose from your soul!.
9. Forgive your past.
So this is multi-faceted. I was not pleased with my past. I didn’t think I was worthy of a deep love. How could I be??? I did x,y,z. So, in acknowledging this, I shrunk my value and my feelings. I let Bridget do things that bothered me (she didn’t know they bothered me) and I just shut my mouth and considered it a punishment for my past transgressions. HAH! What a martyr. Then one day I said to myself, no, that’s enough suffering. You’ve had enough. And then I started honoring my emotions. I could be an equal with her. I could be a partner. And I learned who I was in the relationship. And guess what, by not punishing myself for the past, I was more present! I became a better lover. I let in a deeper healing love. Forgive the past. It’s…well…the past. It literally does not exist anywhere but in your mind. Use that energy to love yourself and your partner. And if you don’t have a partner, LOVE THE CRAP OUT OF YOURSELF!
It is the currency of the Universe. In EVERY single religious text, LOVE…IS…IT!!! Kind of wacky right? It’s always about love! Love doesn’t have to be about a partner. You don’t have to wait until you are totally “fixed” to love. Love can be in any form. But LOVE! Just love! Get scared and put that big ol’ heart on the front of your chest and LOVE! Be truthful with it. Be gentle with it. Honor yourself. If judgments arise, see the judgment in you! This is your world. It’s time to put on our big boy pants and no longer be the victims. If someone hurts us, if we are afraid of love, if we are unhappy with our circumstances, than scream to the heavens that you are ready to LOVE yourself and put all that wasted energy into you! If you do this, I guarantee that LOVE of all kinds will pour into your life and it will whisk you away to worlds unknown. Welcome to the Universe! The fee? Love.
Tis Better To LOVE!