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Know Yourself

It’s so easy to get lost in other people.

Relationships, be they platonic or that other thing, can completely swamp your personality.
We are all taught that we will need to bend a little, compromise and accept the other person for who they were when we met them and who they become when they’re with us.

But where do we draw the line? Are the unspoken roles we assume at the onset, written in stone? Are some people just incompatible or do we, as a society, lack the patience to work at things and see them through to a natural conclusion?

Any relationship should surely enrich both parties. Give and take. Yin and yang. Balance. Each bringing something to the table that enables emotional stability and equilibrium. Peace and love, dude.

Yet we can gravitate to what we think we want without realising what we need. A past relationship will colour how we move forward. We seem incapable of unlearning bad habits, leaning heavily on, ‘take me as I am’ without thinking, ‘am I as good as I can be?’

Some partnerships appear literally doomed. (Star-crossed?)
Fuelled by love, lust or common ground – sadly, sometimes, children – until that one day you wake, as if from a funny dream, feeling nothing, asserting your right to happiness and chalking it down to experience as you pack your bags…

So let’s start with love. The hardest thing to tell someone genuinely, but once you’ve broken the ice, it becomes the easiest thing to say. Usually as a way of proving that we didn’t mean whatever faux pas we’re discovered to have made.
… And sometimes, because we are just so grateful to have certain people in our lives.
Love is a great motivator.
My personal feeling on love is that it’s a fluffy, beautiful, aimless emotion that has no place in a relationship unless it comes hand in hand with honesty and respect and positivity.

Love, on it’s own, is rarely enough. And is hardly unconditional, much as we might like to think it is.
(I might make an exception for the love a parent feels for its child…)

Lust? Chemical attraction, physical attraction? Wanes slightly when you realise that s/he can’t respect the toilet seat rule or habitually washes the dishes badly.
Does it decline exponentially over time? Must we jump through amazing hoops and perform great juggling acts to keep the fire burning? Can it be relegated to one person, when found in tandem with love? Shouldn’t it be effortless anyway, within reason?

And so we struggle against that most cruel mistress – time – fighting micro battles, declaring unspoken winners, assuming roles that become set in stone; the ugly side of our nature exposed in situations less and less controlled until we are raw nerves, naked and staring at ourselves in a mirror, blaming another for a monster that we do not recognise.

Know yourself.

Chantal ✗


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