In Love & Relationships: The Four Lessons I’ll Take On My Journey

August 22, 2012  |  

Two Thousand Twelve began on a Sunday. The gods call it the year of the dragon, a creature considered to be a master of authority and a deliverer of good fortune. Yet, as this summer comes to an end, along with another of my whirlwind romances, I’m forced to confront the bad fortune I’ve allowed into my life and the lack of authority I’ve forged in my relationships. I always act like a lady, but I forgot to think like a man in terms of being assertive in what I want out of my relationships.

Our minds have a lot to do with where we allow our lives to take us and the kind of relationships we are inclined to have.  A writer I enjoy, Michelle McKinney Hammond, once told me that self mastery says, I am the boss of me. I make decisions that the rest of me follows to my betterment.

When you look at your life, as a series of years, like a book sectioned into chapters, it is much easier to see the road you’ve traveled, your blessings, and your failures that give way to blessings that make life all the more fulfilling.

In love, the journey is all about trial and error. Yet, when we err, we err on the side of being too vulnerable, too loving, too giving, and too passionate. Thus far, 2012 has brought people into my life who have changed me for the better. Even those who have hurt me have really helped me because, in them, I’ve uncovered four lessons to take with me for my journey.

Know. Your. Worth.

Life (and men) give you exactly what you tell it you’re worth.  Love Yourself. Confidence should come from within. If it’s based on others appraisal of you, the number of drinks you didn’t pay for last night, or the size of your bank account, it’s not real confidence.  Real confidence says, “meeting me is like finding a gold mine, whether you know it or not.”

I used to begin every new relationship by jokingly (but not really) telling a man I am emotionally unstable. This way, when things go awry, he can’t say I didn’t warn him. But the truth is, alerting someone to your flaws, says much more about your insecurities than it does your concern for the person you’re with.  This does not mean to pretend that you have none, but instead to admit we all have flaws and yours don’t make you less of a person for it. Boundless confidence makes dragons intrepid even in the face of difficulties. Therefore they court success easily.

Be Honest

Only a confident person can really be honest about her thoughts and feelings.  When he asks you what you want…from him, from life, in love…tell him. Too many people are afraid of being vulnerable or looking silly, but it’s always best to tell the truth. If he feels the same way, now he knows the feeling is mutual. And if he doesn’t, now you know it’s not. If you are honest, and he doesn’t like you for it, leave the pieces on the floor, and move on.

I’ve dated more men in my life than there are stars in the sky and with each one, my friends and family knew more about my feelings for him, than he did.  It takes a certain amount of risk to bare your feelings, and it is true that when you do, you are opening yourself up to ridicule and maybe judgment. But the saying goes, the brave don’t live forever, but the cautious don’t live at all. In the latter part of last year I started to tell the truth and noticed that with practice, it gets easier.  It becomes second nature to very simply tell the truth. What’s surprising is that when you do, you exude confidence and men and women alike find that hard to resist.

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