"Now here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with one's heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
This is, indeed, the secret to true love: to learn to see with the heart into the essence of who you really are. And when I say "true love" I'm referring not only to the love with your intimate partner, but also—and, perhaps, more importantly—to the love within yourself.
When you cannot see your true essence because you're not seeing yourself through the eyes of your heart, it's difficult to see your partner's essence. And yet so many live their lives from the neck up, tortured by the inner critic who spits out the negative running commentary from morning through night. You judge yourself based on externals—looks, income, degrees, clothes—and spend inordinate amounts of time caring and wondering about what other people think.
And so, of course, you judge your partner through those same eyes: Is she beautiful enough? Is he social enough? Do we love each other enough? Do we have enough sex? Notice the common word in all of these questions? When you're paralyzed by ruminations of "enough," you're subjecting your relationship to an externalized value system based on what you can see with your eyes, as if you can weigh it on a scale and determine the ding ding ding "right" amount of love, attraction, and intimacy.
There is no right amount. There is no wrong amount. Love cannot be measured; intimacy cannot be quantified. Attraction waxes and wanes, like the cycles of the moon. A significant portion of the relationship problems in this culture stem from the unrealistic expectations about love and romance jammed down our throats from the time we're old enough to ingest information. Open any mainstream magazine and you'll likely feel the thud of "not enough" blasted into you as you contrast the perfect bodies and wild, thrice-weekly sex plastered across the pages with your own life.
We easily absorb the lies, but the truth is that you are enough. Your relationship is enough. Your sex life is enough. And the magic secret is that when you learn to open the eyes of your heart and view your partner through that lens (as opposed to the externally referenced lens through which you were conditioned to judge others) you fall in love with essence.
When you learn to open the pathways of your heart by softening your fear walls, you see your partner for who he really is, and the beauty of his soul radiates through his face, the sweetness in her heart glows her eyes gold.
Do you want to learn how to break down these walls? It's not easy work, but it's work that will benefit you in all of your relationships. When you learn the truth about love, partnership, and intimacy, when you learn to accept uncertainty and bring kindness to your daily inner world, you will naturally extend that loving energy to your partner.
These are the skills I teach in my E-Course on relationship anxiety, and through Cyper Monday I'll be offering my annual Black Friday sale (simply enter GRATITUDE2013 at checkout). If you want to unveil the lies and absorb the truth so that you can learn to see with your heart and move toward the relationship of your dreams with your loving, available partner then take my hand and let's begin.