When Will True Love Come? What “Work on Yourself” Really Means
People often tell the broken-hearted to “Take a break” from looking for true love and “Work on yourself.” I admit that I’ve offered that advice to others, particularly to women who’ve centered their lives around one man and ignored their own self-actualization, women so dependent that they cannot go to a restaurant alone or can’t make a decision about a choice of jobs without one particular man’s approval. “Work on yourself,” I’d say, and then give examples of how they might look to find more confidence, more things they like to do with or without a partner, more of anything that makes them more of themselves.
I’ve also been offered the same advice recently, to work on myself, but that’s something I’ve always tried to do, whether in or out of a relationship. I’m a big fan of self-improvement and self-inquiry, and though that’s plenty of fun with a supportive partner who also wants more self-discovery, I don’t let solitude stop me from expanding my skill set or my self-understanding. I’m always taking a class, learning something new, writing something different, trying to meet new people, all independent of a love interest–and that’s part of what keeps my introvert/extrovert meter turned more toward peaceful solitude when alone versus painful loneliness.
It seems that most people alternate between “When will true love come?” and the more fearful “When will true love leave?” If alone, they’re anxious over a future of always being alone. If with someone they love, they’re anxious over a future where they’ve lost that person and they sometimes hold on so tight that they strangle. Though those questions are the biggest pieces of the True Love pie, there are two other slivers I see: one where people have found their true love and have no concerns over losing them…and the ones who have given up, either out of deciding they’re good on their own and intend to stay that way or they just don’t think it’s meant for them in this lifetime.
I’m somewhere between those last two slivers.
I’ve found true love. More than once. At least it was true on my end. And because it was true on my end, I can’t say that I regret the relationship. What I saw in the other person may have been based on lies, but that doesn’t make my deep love and past loyalty to them any less genuine. It wasn’t imaginary on my part either. The other party was fully aware of my feelings and swore the same to me. The other party always chose me first.
That may seem sad that my true loves were never entirely what I thought they were, but I do understand that I have a big heart and I know the breadth and depth of it. I know what it can hold. That doesn’t make me defective just because some of the men I fell for were. Or does it?
I’ve recently learned ghastly secrets about my childhood and why I fell for certain men, and now that I’ve broken the code, maybe I’ve cleaned the slate for True Love that is true for all involved, not the just once blindly accepting promises. Or maybe I’m too jaded now. My confidence in my decisions of the heart has been shattered. But I do know it’s a flaw of mine to believe the best in people, to take their word as true unless they do something to prove themselves untrustworthy. I’ve been asked how I could have been so naive in a relationship for so long, so here it is: I have a big heart, I trust easily, and I believe people I love.
I am still healing from one relationship, and though I’m so much farther along than I ever dreamed at this point, I still haven’t worked it all out with my heart yet. I walked away when I was confronted with the tip of the iceberg of truth–hurt, angry, disillusioned, my faith in love gone, my trust in anyone and everyone ruined. I barely had my feet on the ground some while later when the next layer of deception was shown to me. More time passed and another revelation. Ugh. I was finally almost at a point of resolution, thanks to unearthing my own family secrets, when the iceberg I’d seen the tip of overturned in the water and I realized finally just how incredibly bad the truth was. I know everything now. I think. I hope. Short of a lightning bolt cleaving that iceberg in two, I’m not sure how much worse of it could be there. Honestly, nothing but nothing surprises me anymore. Everything, even tiny things, that occurred out of my sight are suspect, and probably half the things that happened right in front of me. I just don’t know if any of it was true, except for my own feelings. But at last I know what wasn’t true and can–truly–begin to “work on myself” to heal. The anger, the utter disgust, the pure hatred I feel for the deceptions…all of it has to be dealt with and worked on so I can move forward.
I took this last round of brutal discovery into a morning meditation with me today. I’d prayed for clarity and received it. I’ve given thanks in gratitude rituals for being shown the truth before it was too late. But I haven’t worked through it all, and I needed that quiet time with my spiritual side to address my faltering belief in true love and that kind of partnership for myself.
Near the end of my meditation, I was talking to someone. Angel? Guide? God? Higher Self? I’m not sure whom. Or what. But it was a Wiser Power.
“I can be fine like this for the rest of my life,” I explained. “I don’t have any problem being alone–it’s just not what I want. But I’m good by myself. Self-sufficient. Happy. Peaceful.”
No one answered, so I kept going.
“Maybe that’s the direction of my life. I don’t know if I can find happiness with someone else, but I know I can find happiness alone and I’m willing to share that if a true love that’s really a true love is out there. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe I’m one of those people who goes through life without a partner. Maybe that’s what’s meant for me.”
“Maybe instead of happiness, I should focus on peace. I’ve never focused on peace before. But I’d rather have a peaceful life than be on someone else’s roller coaster every minute. That’s it. Right? I should aim for peace, not happiness. Though I think it’s possible to have peace and happiness, isn’t it?
More silence, though in my meditation, I could tell the Wiser Power disapproved. I braced myself to be told to go “work on yourself” or “be patient” or something else I didn’t want to hear. Instead, in my meditation, I clearly heard something new:
“Be the virtuoso, and the cello will appear.”
My eyes flew open, and I sat bolt upright. Those were words I never would have used myself. They were far more commanding than “Work on yourself.”
Working on myself means working things through, upgrading my skills and improving my character traits, being a better person. Being THE virtuoso–not A virtuoso–means being myself fully, taking my own power, being the ultimate of what I want to be and who I am. And knowing that then, THE cello…not A cello or a train set or THE waffle iron…will show up in my life. Something unique, different, special…suited to the hands and heart of THE virtuoso.