Thought of the Day: Seek First to Understand

Media typically portrays sex as the ultimate goal or bonding agent between two people. It says that people who have sex are bound to fall in love and have the perfect happily ever after.

While there's some truth to bonding with another person through such means it by no means guarantees, what people like to call, "true love."

More accurately, it could be defined as infatuation or lust. This is also a phase of "love" that many people experience in the initial throws of romance. Obviously, there is a necessity to be attracted physically to whomever one intends to view or consider a partner. But, there is far more to this portion of life than physicality. Human nature yearns for sexual pleasure and release, at least, for the vast majority. But humans also crave closeness, emotional security and intimacy, understanding on a stronger and deep level, safety and much more along these lines. Sometimes it can feel as though it won't ever happen, or we have lost the one person who gave us all of that kindness, compassion, fairness, trust and love (just because one thing ended doesn't mean another can't begin).

Truthfully, I've discovered we need to be able to provide that for ourselves first. If we cannot give ourselves the courage to love who we are, as we are, then what hope to we have in not only finding someone who will love us as fearlessly and fiercely as we desire and love ourselves, can we truly love another's heart and soul and mind fearlessly and fiercely? It is a scary concept, absolutely. And by no means, perfect. No one is perfect. To love oneself: flaws and shortcomings (and recognizing these healthily), beauty and tenderness, rage and wild emotion, joy and pleasure; with all the grace we hope a romantic partner would add to our lives.

The ultimate goal is not sex, though it is a very amazing and beautiful gift, rather it is understanding oneself so as to understand another. It is to place your joy in your own hands and not expect another person to make you feel it, though they should definitely contribute to it not burden you. It is to love yourself so completely you benefit yourself, your friends, family, coworkers and your partner. It can be a struggle: I myself fight to move past a number of obstacles that seem to tell me I'm not good enough or courageous enough or somehow too flawed. We're all going to struggle.

But here's the beautiful part: we share that commonality. Everybody, from whatever walk of life we stand, struggles. It's always going to be there.

It's how we face it, and sometimes who decides to stay, that makes the difference. Our struggles can define us and make us stronger and force us to face ourselves, especially when we don't want to. Being vulnerable hurts, it's scary. But it's the start to understanding. Our ultimate goal is not physical contact in and of itself. It's the connection it brings. And that, I believe, is forgotten all too often.

To do that, we should first connect with ourselves, who we are, who we want to be and where we want to go, and just accept everything gracefully so we can understand ourselves as well as another soul within our grasp.

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