Love is not self existent. Love requires certain foundations to flourish. One of those foundations is what we talked about yesterday, friendship. A second foundation is self awareness. This is the essence of our contemplation today. A lot of people jump from relationship to relationship without a fundamental understanding of their identity. Little wonder why such relationships fail. I personally made this mistake in my early years in the university. I jumped into a five year relationship without an inherent understanding of who I was or where I was going. The outcome was catastrophic.Until you know who you are, you can’t know who you want. Until you know who you are, you can’t know who you need. Until you know who you are, you can’t tell who you should love. This lack of self awareness is why most early relationships among young people fail. The problem about making your love choice before knowing yourself is that, as you begin to grow in self awareness, you may begin to discover that who you are evolving into, may be at odds with the one you’ve chosen to love in the past. As a results conflicts emerge as your partner may begin to protest about you not being the same person they settled for. This is why I urge young people globally to discover themselves before they discover their love. This will require a lot of patience and determination to resist peer pressure in love.
It is self awareness that will determine the terms, conditions and strategies of your love life. On a personal level,there were some things I discovered about myself that made me decide from the scratch that a long distance relationship, let alone long distance marriage would not be an option in my life. By so doing, anyone who was going to offer me a long distance option was irreversibly out of the question for me,no matter the circumstance. This made my partner and I pursue only professional and academic opportunities that would unite us and not divide us. In the first year of our marriage, this resolve was tested because within months opportunities began to show up that would have separated us, but we stood our ground and stayed together. Now several years later, our marriage is stronger and better for it. It is knowing who you are that will determine what is for you, and what is not for you in love.
The principal tool for self awareness is self reflection. A lot of people just live life, and they never stop to reflect upon the life they are living. If you don’t reflect upon your life,the waves of life could carry you to and fro upon it. The outcome is that you will wake up one day to find out you are far from where you intended to be. Self reflection gives you the strategic privilege of several course corrections that will help you get to the right destination in life and love. We must always stop and think about both love and life,in other to extract the valuable lessons that life is teaching us uniquely. We must also incorporate these lessons into our lives, so that a new understanding of who we are and who we are meant to be will emerge. Here are some strategic elements of self awareness.
YOU MUST KNOW YOUR PAST: Every one of us has a past. Every one of us has a good past and every one of us has a bad past. No matter who we are, there are some things in our past we are proud of, and there are some things we aren’t proud of. Please notice I didn’t say grieve over your past there is no point in grieving over what doesn’t exist anymore. The past is past. However, you must realize that the purpose of your past is to educate your future. You must as such learn to integrate the lessons of the past into your future. What you have been through is forever a major part of who you are.
- YOU MUST KNOW YOUR TENDENCIES: There is a huge gap between how bad we have been and how bad we would have been had we had the opportunity. One early writer buttressed this point when he said “I know that in me, that is in my flesh dwells no good thing”. When people say I trust you, what they mean is that, they trust you not to do certain things. I believe such definitions of trust are immature. Real trust incorporates what a person can’t do, as well as what they could do under certain circumstances. This is why knowing our tendencies constrains us to making choices in life that will minimize the manifestation of such tendencies.
- YOU MUST KNOW YOUR VALUES: What are the principles that you would live your life by consistently? Most love conflicts are simply a conflict of values. This is why the ones you choose to love in a relationship, should be people whose fundamental values are closest to yours. Personally, for almost 20years I have subscribed heavily to the Judeo-Christian ethos for living. It would be an emotional disaster for me to choose a lover, who doesn’t subscribe to the same. You must be clear on what the most important values that will shape your life are, and you must demand a congruence of values from the ones you choose to love.
YOU MUST KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES: None of us is as strong as we look or claim. In most cases our need for a love partner is connected to our areas of inadequacy. If you choose a lover who has the same weaknesses as you, you may be doomed. Your weaknesses and their weaknesses can connect and strangle your potential. Successful relationships are meant to be complimentary in nature. One partner’s strengths compensates for the other’s weaknesses and vice versa.
It is crucial to fuse all this divergent but critical knowledges about you, into a coherent sense of who you are, as an individual. This body of personal knowledge and understanding should then be channeled into making your choice of who to love. Those who take the pains to let their choice of love flow from a deep sense of self awareness will stand a greater chance at making love work today. Good day.
THE GREATEST IS LOVE.
Love Dynamics Global.
Enthronement Assembly Lagos.
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