Standing up on the rocky platforms overlooking the Pacific Ocean, high above the sounds of crashing waves and squawking gulls down on Bondi beach, it was easy to think of the similarities between the greatest seafarers and seasoned lovers.
For over a thousand years, Europeans looked at the vast Atlantic and saw a dangerous beast too overwhelming to conquer. They saw rogue waves and brewing storms ready to dash their tiny ships on jagged rocks. They saw nothing but a sapphire abyss waiting to swallow them whole.
Simply put, most of them were like, “there’s no fucking way I’m crossing that shit.” It was so much easier to sit on the beach, drink mead or watered down wine, and enjoy the view.
And then someone did. Some dude 1 landed in the God-damned Bahamas. After over a month of sailing with a broken compass through dangerous waters on a disease-ridden ship full of hungry and tired sailors, he and his crew had found a paradise. A little slice of heaven, perfect for colourful cocktails with little straw umbrellas in them.
I know what you’re thinking though. How does this relate to lovers?
So many of us are fond of the idea of having real love in our lives. Not one night love. Not high-school-bullshit love. Not drugged up or shitfaced love.
Somewhere deep inside of us is thrilled by the idea of meeting that person who we instantly know is different from the rest. The one we can trust will never do us wrong. The one who will never abandon us. The one who gets us. Who smiles when we say something we think might be weird or strange. Who can always deal with our shittier moments and laugh about them with us later.2 But how many of us are actually ready for that kind of love?
I think part of being young and naive is looking PAST the journey when we decide we want that kind of love in our life. We call in our soul mate not really understanding what conscious love entails. We’re thinking of going from that great view on the beach in Spain straight to The Bahamas, without realizing that there’s a whole bunch of shit to trudge through in between; a bumpy ocean journey that not many who came before us had been willing to take a real crack at.
Like the sea was to Columbus, that special person we manifest into our lives will be our greatest test and our most difficult journey. The mirror they provide for us will force us to look into the deepest and murkiest waters of our soul. It will seem overwhelming at times. It will be full of endless love, laughter, and fulfillment, but it’s also the hardest trip we’ll ever take in our life.
Unfortunately, a lot can happen after the honeymoon phase wears off. There will be an abundance of excuses. There will be a million reasons why it’s easier to turn the ship around than it is to weather the storms, the hunger, the thirst, the disease carrying rats, and the crashing waves.
It’s easier to look for excuses than it is to put in the work in to figure things out. Especially now, with humans disposed of and replaced with the swipe of a finger, it’s so easy to stay safe with our feet (and our heads) in the sand. It’s much easier on the beach. It’s easier to shut down parts of ourselves to our lovers and throw away the key.
But the seasoned lover knows its not about easy. She knows that her soul mate isn’t here to give her cushy. She knows he’s here to challenge her. To shine a light on her wounds, her bullshit, and her baggage. Their many struggles as a couple will show her the things she needs to learn. He’ll reveal her triggers, defense mechanisms, and fears – all while being the rock she needs to lean on to work through them all.
He’s here to set her on fire and watch her rise from the ashes.
Shit, deep down the last thing she fucking wants is easy. She’s willing to pay the price of pain so that she may shed her skin and her baggage. She’s ready to dance on the belly of the creator and the destroyer of the universe. Somewhere inside of herself, she knows the only way to paradise is to sail through an ocean of her own bullshit.
It’s why I can’t help but see a comparison between lovers and those crazy mother fuckers who once sailed the deep, dark, uncharted Atlantic Ocean. They both wanted paradise, not easy.
Or, maybe, you are here for easy. Personally, I’ll take paradise every single chance I get. Imagine if Columbus would have stayed on the beach in Spain?
Be good to each other,
1 This dude is better known as Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer.
2 You might not think that such a person exists. You might see everyone as equally loveable or equally disposable. Or maybe you’re legitimately such a perfect human specimen that you’re everyone’s type, and you’re miraculously compatible with every personality. You carry with you absolutely no emotional wounding or baggage and every person on this earth would stand by you until the very end. That’s awesome. Either way, to each his own, my friend. But I wouldn’t suggest reading any further.
Columbus photo courtesy of: http://teacher.scholastic.com