December 30, 2012

{A Romance with Self}

[At this time of year, here's a lovely way to end something completing and begin something anew—“A Romance with Self” ... an excerpt from my book-in-progress, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride....enjoy!]


Like so many characters in a Jane Austen novel, some people sell themselves short in the area of romance, not considering themselves worthy of what their hearts truly desire. They make an “arrangement” where they settle for something meager with no romance at all, with nothing that lights them up. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet’s dear, rather plain friend Charlotte Lewis considers it “best not to know too much” when considering the slim possibilities of marriage—a rather necessary state for women in a world at that time where their legal rights and education opportunities were suppressed. Women had learned they were not able to trust a societal system that had let them down in so many ways. A humble Charlotte to a bold Lizzie:

I am not romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’ character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.


We are all worthy of being a full partner in our relationships and in marriage—even a royal one! Full partnership, however, requires an open heart, trusting in yourself, asking for what you want, and a forgiving spirit. It takes a lot of courage not to “settle” for things in our life—whether choosing a single life or one with a partner. If what your heart desires is being deeply related to another who recognizes and accepts who you are just the way you are, then it’s not the romance that gets you there—although its passion can warm your heart at first. It is intimacy that guides you into the openings for this kind of love.

What if Princess Diana had realized that romance was just the first step in a relationship—a way to “warm up” for the harder stuff? What if she had been able to see romance as a way to soften the heart when expectations fall short? What if she had been willing and able to recreate the love she felt over and over, like a “soulful romance,” giving her relationships a chance to grow? What if she could have loved herself in a way that love for a partner was fully given and fully received? Where do you see yourself in this scenario?

Oscar Wilde said: “To love one’s self is the beginning of a life-long romance.” This is one way where I see romance having an authentic, vibrant role in our everyday lives. When we allow every moment to be a precious gift—with or without a partner, no matter our circumstances—and learn to love ourselves just the way we are. Like a romance with self! Then every moment is an “enthusiasm” as Webster’s definition reads and, as author Ann Albers so beautifully expresses, “cooking becomes an act of love, cleaning an act of harmony, work an act of self-expression. Our life would be a romance with self, a romance with the divine, a romance with every moment in time.” Amen. ~
 
[At this time of year, here's a lovely way to end something completing and begin something anew—“A Romance with Self” ... an excerpt from my book-in-progress, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride....]

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