“People grow when they are loved well. If you want to help others heal, love them without an agenda.” ~ Mike Mchargue
We can’t love someone under the guise of hoping they will change someday and become the person we really want them to be. To love means to accept someone as they are, in their entirety, in this moment. Not just accept, but actually revel in who they are—including those parts that make us squirm because of what they might trigger within our own selves.
Yet so many of us have gotten into relationships with the hope and expectation that eventually the person we are with will stop—or begin—doing certain things. The reality is: this isn’t love. Instead, it’s us wanting another person to become who we think they should be.
It’s like us taking scissors and thread, and cutting and sewing their best and worst qualities, until they have become someone who we think is acceptable—someone we want to love and have in our lives. The most daring thing any of us can do is love someone for exactly as they are. To approach relationships with the expectation of change, we automatically lose sight of the importance of where our lover is on their journey—and instead of letting them grow in whatever way they are meant to, we set up roadblocks and detours, because we want them to grow in only the ways we think they should.
Instead, let’s go into this conscious love thing all radical and clear-eyed—let’s make the choice to love someone without the expectation of change, but rather with an expectaion of growth, meaning that we know someday they may grow in a different direction from us. None of us want to be changed—we don’t want someone to tell us they love us, but they’d love us more if we didn’t dress like we did, or speak so loudly, or didn’t have friends of the opposite sex.
But in order to find what we are seeking, every single one of us needs to make the choice to wait for the type of love that doesn’t want to change who we are—but does expect (and understand) that we will grow. The best kind of relationships are those where each person knows that they are free to move in whatever direction their heart pulls them in—that there are no preset rules or conditions to abide by.
This doesn’t mean that we want to be treated poorly, but rather that we chose to love so well, we hope to inspire our partner’s growth. However, a love like this doesn’t pick and choose which areas we want to inspire, but goes into knowing it should be all encompassing—and that it’s about the other person’s experiences, rather than the desires of our own egos.The best partner will want to assist us with our growth and soul evolution through constant spiritual, mental, emotional, and even physical insights and revelations—not because they want us to change, but because they hope to help us become more ourselves.
Sometimes we can be loved so well that we actually become more of who we are—not less. Yet, for so many of us, we’ve only ever experienced relationships in which our partner only loves certain things about us, that it’s hard to know what this type of love actually looks like and feels.
The biggest barometer for a love that hopes we grow (yet doesn’t want to change us) is a feeling of peace and freedom when we are in the arms of our partner. It’s a knowing that we don’t have to do anything special in order to be worthy of the love of our partner. When we enter into a relationship with someone where we have no desire to change who they are, then we also are accepting them in their complete wholeness.
We are accepting their darkness and demons. We are looking at their scars and old wounds, and kissing them—letting them know that we see them for exactly as they are, without wanting to erase any of the experiences that have made them who they are. The secret is that this type of love does exist, but the sad reality is that many of us don’t hold out for it—and instead, we keep entering into partnerships where we feel we are constantly not measuring up to the ideals of our lover.
But this cycle only ends when we decide that it does—when we have come to the realization that we have learned all of our lessons about love, and what we need from our partner, without feeling guilty or wrong because of it.
If we decide that we are worthy of total and complete love—that we are going to extend love towards another person, as our highest evolved self, with the ideal that their highest self will receive it—then those aspects of ourselves that others didn’t want to see, suddenly become beautiful to someone who can see our light even within the darkness.
To love with the hope of inspiring someone to grow means that there is no end results to a specific relationship dynamic. There are no conventional signposts by which to judge this type of romantic union—yet that doesn’t mean it can’t include living together, marriage, or even children; it just means that none of this are stipulations for a successful and loving relationship.
Each one of us is meant to continue growing, and what we become interested in or explore will be different each year. We should try new things, read new material and experiment with discovering what kind of person we truly are, and what kind of life we want to lead. The truly beautiful thing is that certain lovers will help us do all of that and so much more.
Because when we love someone—not because we want them to change, but instead to help inspire them to grow—then we leave the door open for whatever may happen. We don’t restrict their greatness by our own limited ideals, but instead, we wait with bated breath to see what magic can occur when we make the choice to love someone exactly as they are.
Author: Kate Rose