This is one of my favourite descriptions of a relationship, written by Kahlil Gibran in his book, “The Prophet.”
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.”
I have only recently begun to understand this with my heart. In the past, fear prevented me from truly understanding what this meant. I was afraid I would never be good enough, afraid I wasn’t lovable, afraid I would be alone — and those fears ended up pushing real love farther and farther away from my reach.
I felt very dependent and needy in my past relationships. I wanted to please and do what I thought my partner would want me to do because I was scared that if I didn’t, he would leave. I tried to hang on to relationships with all my might, thinking that if I loosened my grip, I would lose it all. I was scared that if we were independent, we would not want to be together — or more accurately, he would not want to be with me. I believed that there needed to be a dependence on one another in order to make a relationship work. But, of course, hanging on too tightly and being too dependent on my partner was exactly what left me feeling unloved and all alone.
I realize now that what I felt in the past was not real love…it was based too deeply in fear to have been love. In order to feel real love, I needed to embrace everything I feared most and be willing to let it all go. When I let go of my fear I began to experience the power and strength of a relationship based in love. I realized a healthy relationship involved two individuals bringing their own lives and experiences to each other. It is about both people bringing their strengths and their love to one another allowing it to expand and grow. Releasing my fears allowed me to finally understand what Kahlil Gibran wrote about in “The Prophet” and it has given me the gift of being able to experience real love for myself.