Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Flame That Burns Twice as Bright...Burns Out Quicker

“The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.” Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching

Real love takes time.  Its something that grows as you get to know someone.  Experiencing them in numerous and varying situations.  Seeing this person in many different lights.  Learning about their great traits, as well as their more challenging and not-so-good ones (which yes, we all have).  Love is something that deepens and layers as time passes.  You must first know someone well before you can truly claim to love them.  Otherwise, the love you feel is based on fluff...illusion...fantasy...and lust.  And while ultimately there is nothing wrong with this kind of more shallow love (aka: infatuation), it doesn't have much staying power, as it isn't based on any true depth, history, or long term experience with the person.

Thus, the flame that burns twice as bright?  Tends to burn out quicker.

While this is certainly not a blanket truth, it tends towards being accurate that, much of the time, when two people rush into something, start out super hot and heavy, and are supposedly "madly in love" nearly off the bat?  This isn't based on any genuine knowledge of the person.  Instead, its based on being infatuated with the idea of someone but not the actual personSince, how can you possibly know someone with any real depth in a short amount of time?  You cant.

It takes months and months, hundreds of hours together, a plethora of in-depth conversations, seeing one another in both their best lights and yes, bad moments too, to really know someone with any genuine truth.  Only then can you claim to love.  Before that?  Its just infatuation and fantasy.

Imagine the brightest lights, if you will.  A comet, streaking across the sky.  A flare, shot up into the clouds, bright and intense.  Fireworks, exploding flowers amongst the stars.  All of these, while beautiful, intense, and very bright?  They burn out, and fast.

This is exactly what happens (again, not all of the time, but quite often) when people rush into something with no real knowledge of who a person is.  How can you possibly know someone is a good match for you over the long term when you hardly know them?  When you haven't witnessed, for instance, this person at their worst.  When you haven't seen them in a variety of different life situations.  When you haven't actually had a real disagreement and seen how both of you typically handles such.  Until you have experienced these things, and more with someone, you have no real way of knowing if they are a truly healthy and good match for you.  If this is a relationship that can work over the long term.  If this is one with staying power.

Additionally, on a second powerful point, why rush something beautiful in the first place?  Lets assume this seemingly amazing, budding new relationship turns out to be a very long term one.  For arguments sake, lets take it even a step further and say this person ends up becoming your life partner.  That means they are your last first kiss.  Your last longstanding flirtation.  Your last time of experiencing that stage of head-over-heels, butterflies in the stomach, total infatuation.  Why on earth would you want to rush such a thing!?!  

(Quick side note: I do think that, at least in an emotionally close, high quality long term relationship, you must fall in love with one another repeatedly, many times over, in order to have a happy, sustainable and fulfilling union.  So technically, even if this person whom you are falling in love with ends up being the "last" first kiss, and "last" flirtation and love?  I dont think that actually means you wont fall in love again.  You can spend an entire lifetime falling in love, over and over again, with the same person.  What a beautiful and awesome thing that would be.  But that's a separate blog entry).

Back to the topic at hand though.  Rushing through and running full speed ahead into a new relationship?  That's like cramming a luscious, decadent, mouthwatering slice of chocolate cheesecake in your mouth in just one bite and swallowing it whole.  Not taking even a moment to linger over, savour, or truly enjoy it.  Mostly likely afterwards, leaving you with a stomach ache and lingering sense of regret.  And why, as well as, for what?  Instead, having actually paused and eaten it slowly, truly tasting the creamy tang of the cheesecake, the richness of the chocolate, that would give one so much more pleasure.  The experience being far more memorable and awesome.  Less likely to make you sick.  More probably that one will stop eating when full or when realizing its no longer good for them.  And just taking the time to truly enjoy it.

The beginning stages of a new romance is much the same.  You never know if this might be the last time you fall in love for the first time.  Why rush through it?  Why not linger over, savour, enjoy, and really revel in this while its happening?  You get one life on this earth, and its passing as we speak.  Pause, look around at how awe inspiring, exciting, and heart rending the feeling is of falling for someone.  And like a decadent dessert, linger over it.  Slow down, and totally revel in it.

Often, the most solid connections are those that are built over time.  Continually added upon.  Ever growing and flourishing.  Meeting and working through challenges together.  Falling in love with each other, over and over.  Being surprised by new revelations and aspects of one another continually.  Finding ways to move towards each other, getting ever closer.  Unearthing new, novel ways to connect which adds additional layers and excitement to your relationship.  And keeping up with the mindset that there is ever more to discover about your partner.  That, while you may know them well, there is always more to learn and find out- because people are continually changing and growing, all the time.  

A relationship that is approached with this mindset?  A slow but subtly deepening growth?  These are usually the relationships with the most deep seated roots.  The ones with the most invisible threads going back and forth between one another's hearts, entwining and connected.

Slowing down is where its at, for more than one reason.  And not to be confused with less passion, moving slowly has no bearing on strength of feeling or attraction for one another.  Many relationships that move slowly and tentatively are quite emotionally intense and with strong draw towards one another.  But instead of tossing a pile of paper on the flames, which will then flare up suddenly and then likely burn out quickly, they take time to add small sticks and large ones, building a little house foundation of sorts, which will burn bright over a longer period and then, simmer down into slow and continually burning hot coals.

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