So I’m sitting in a movie theater with my 3D glasses on waiting for Rise Of The Guardians to start and I had a revelation. It was a rainy Wednesday night in Venice and despite a strong pull to stay in and have a quiet night, I decided to take myself out on an Artist Date* to dinner and a flick. My fav restaurant was closed (insert sad face) so I had a quick bite and made my way to the box office. I was early for my movie so I grabbed some popcorn, found a prime seat and munched away while waiting for the movie to start.
I spent the first few minutes distracting myself on my iPhone with the usual suspects, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and then my phone died. I looked up and looked around and the only other people in the theater were a couple who were snuggling and giggling. The thought went through my head that I wished I had some company, too, and that it was kind of sad that I was at the movies all by myself. Before my wheels could start spinning on that melancholy note, I caught myself and it hit me…If I can’t enjoy my own company, how will anyone else?
This comes back to the widely held belief that there’s someone out there who will “complete” us. So many of us are not happy with ourselves and unfulfilled in our lives, and we sit around hoping and waiting for some mystical, fantastical character to show up and rescue us. Now I don’t want to be like the Boogey Man who ruins the children’s belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, but the truth is that the “knight in shining armor” (ladies) and “princess charming” (gentlemen) you’ve been dreaming about and waiting for isn’t real.
Now I’m not saying that there isn’t a very someone special out there for each of us. In fact, I’m a true romantic and I believe in soul mate love. I also believe that as great as life can be when lived alone, the human experience is meant to be shared and magnified by the presence of another. In a relationship, we get to deepen our experience of being alive. When we are blessed to find the right partner and choose to walk the spiritual path together, it is life’s greatest opportunity for learning and growth. What I am saying is that to attract such a partner, and to recognize them as the one for us when they show up, we must know and love ourselves. The more time we spend exploring our inner world and becoming familiar with our emotions, our thoughts, our beliefs and our desires, the more we will know what we want in a partner and in a relationship.
In the study of human sexuality, it is widely accepted that a person who has experienced an orgasm through self-pleasure is much more likely to reach climax with a partner than someone who hasn’t. The same thing applies to our ability to have a deep emotional and spiritual connection with another soul. First we must experience this level of intimacy within ourselves through self-exploration, personal growth, meditation, as well as simply enjoying life and discovering our likes and passions. Having this intimate knowledge of the self makes it possible to openly welcome another into the depths of our being in a way that will foster meaningful connection and a lasting relationship. Also, to the extent that we’re able to enjoy life on our own and accept ourselves as we are, we will be much more likely to enter a relationship from a place of wholeness rather than insecurity, a difference that can make or break it.
There are those who have taken this line of thinking too far and who believe that in order to be ready for relationship, we need to be perfect, or arrive at some final destination at which point we’re good to go. This is also an illusion because we’re all works in progress and the spiritual path is a journey with no singular end point. The happy medium lies in embarking on the journey and at least having some experience with self-love and knowledge before entering into a relationship. Knowing how much is enough and when you are ready is personal and it’s up to you to know. As you get to know yourself, you’ll know
So with that in mind, are you ready to get to know yourself more intimately and start loving yourself? Can you take yourself out on a date and enjoy your own company?
Give it a try, you’ll be amazed at what you discover!
*Artist Date: a solo adventure or outing you go on to connect with and inspire the artist within, as prescribed in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
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Chris Assaad is a singer/songwriter and inspirational artist from Toronto who left a promising career in law several years ago to pursue his dream of a career in music. Since then, Chris has been actively using his voice to enCOURAGE others to follow their dreams, express their creativity and live life to the fullest.