“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
I am not a relationship expert. In fact, I am not an expert in anything. But there are times where with the most meaningless experience comes a glimpse of truth, and with that comes wisdom.
In my co-authored book, “Pursuing Your Destiny” I describe a short-lived, romantic relationship with someone whom I thought at the time might be “the one.” All the ducks were in order, or so it seemed. I was working as an investment associate at an investment banking firm, while he was doing extremely well as a commodities trader on Wall Street. My apartment was conveniently located just twenty blocks from his loft on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. We had been dating for seven months, and nothing seemed amiss. It was a perfect union of aggressive, career-driven individuals.
One Saturday night, following a beautiful wedding we attended at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden he ran into the street and hailed a cab. As soon as we climbed in we found ourselves silent, sitting on either side of the backseat.
Thoughts of the breathtaking wedding ceremony continuously played over and over in my mind. It became flooded with thoughts of rejection and uncertainty. “What was I doing in this relationship? Did financial security become my version of love?” I wondered if this was ever going to evolve beyond the high-priced takeout and tickets to off-broadway shows.
I quickly turned to him, my eyes glaring intently. “Look, do you ever want to get married?” I asked. I grew tired of this exhausting game of charade. It had to stop, and I needed to know the truth once and for all.
His smirk was clearly seen through the reflection of the window. He paused for a moment, but never turned to look at the insecure woman sitting next to him.
“Well, do you?” he asked.
Just then, I felt as if my heart stopped. I pondered on his reply before the official “a-ha” moment came into fruition.
I wasn’t in love, nor did I want to be married. I spent years trying so desperately to find the right person that I never knew myself enough to BE the right person. The relationship ended amicably, but more important than the relationship was the unforgettable lesson attained from it.
Love is not some isolated incident to be practiced with a certain person during a certain time of day. Love is creating every opportunity to bring someone closer to your heart, without judgment or the neediness to change one another.
Due to my lack of confidence I was unhappy; which meant I was unsatisfied with other areas of my life. It was crucial for my well-being to change my mindset and realize there was absolutely nothing that was missing from my Self.
My vision became clear when I turned my attention inward. As Carl Jung said, “Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”
The answer wasn’t finding the right person at all. It was becoming the right person—first and foremost. Without surrendering to all that was, and accepting of all that is would I have never been able to allow the truest and purest love into my life.
About Michelle Cruz Rosado
Michelle Cruz Rosado is a professional speaker and bestselling co-author of "Pursuing Your Destiny: How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Dreams." Follow Michelle for inspiring messages and quotes.