I received the following from a practitioner of Real Love, who described metaphorically what her relationship with a partner has been like since they’ve been learning to love each other:
I'm walking along a path with someone I have chosen to be my relationship partner. I feel peaceful, happy and complete.
It wasn't always like this.
In places our path together was rocky and difficult. With bare feet every rock and piece of gravel was painful. We complained a lot about the difficulty of the path, and blamed each other. We felt like victims. We wanted strong boots, and the journey to be easier. But we did find some people to guide and support us. They loved us without needing us to be different or wanting anything from us. Looking back, I’m grateful for the bare feet and the pain, because they humbled us to accept the love of others.
As we continued to walk, we discovered that the pain decreased. Our feet toughened up, and we learned to negotiate the rocky places. The gravel didn’t pierce our feet. Then we realized that we were no longer in bare feet, but were wearing flip flops. We were grateful for this, compared to bare feet.
The flip flops, however, did have thin soles and were not that strong. When they fell apart, they required repair, and in the meantime we had to walk with bare and painful feet again. With the love and support from our guides, however, we no longer felt alone all the time, and we kept moving along the path. When we looked back we could see clearly that we had come much father than we thought, and felt deep gratitude for all the people who had helped us along the way.
We didn’t quit. Now we have sturdy sandals so we can run and jump over the bigger rocks. The pain is less, and we feel solid and free. With our greater strength, we can help others we meet along the way whose feet and hope are bleeding.
Now we see that through all its twists and turns the path was leading home, and every faltering, ragged step was necessary. Our partnership is unspeakably enriched by our shared pain and triumphs. Oh, we still get tired and fall on occasion, but now we have the experience and strength to rise and continue. Our commitment grows, to persistence and to each other.
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