I think about relationships a lot. They are such a wonderful vehicle to learn about love . . . precisely because sometimes it is so hard to love the people with whom we are in relationships. And one of the people in the relationship is our own self. Each person in any relationship will learn something about love by virtue of being in the relationship. And what we learn may be different for each person.

I love this passage from Gift of the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh:

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”

It isn’t that any relationship has to be good, full of love, fun, exciting, intimate all the time. I ask myself, and I ask other people . . . it it good enough? Is there enough good for you . . . for now? Is it 51% good to be in the relationship? Of course, we also have to ask ourselves if a relationship is abusive, and then the good will not outweigh the abuse. None of us deserve abuse. That is a deal breaker if the abuser cannot see the truth of their behavior and make changes.

Relationships are complex. They teach us how to love ourselves. They make us ask, does this feel loving to me? Is this a loving situation to be engaged in? As we learn to love ourselves, have compassion for ourselves, we are able to make new choices that are more loving. And as we are kinder to ourselves, understanding our choices were the best we could do at the time because that’s who we were at the time, we can have more compassion for others.

Yes, we are all part of Divine Love; and we are very human at the same time. And we all have a choice to be more of the Love that we are.