By Priyanka Hardikar
Feature Image: GCShutter
When we are falling in love, it’s like we are in another realm, one where any established routine, structure, or sense of order goes straight out the window. When we are in love, we can barely feel the ground beneath our feet. Love elevates us, our every emotion. All we want to do is be near the person we love in any way we can. To stay in this feeling, for as long as possible. I have always loved love â€“ the way it can make you feel like you are in a place of pure magic.
But while it’s important to allow love to lift us, it’s just as important to find a way to stay grounded in that love.
New love is complex because it comes with so many unknowns. It feels so unsteady at times like you never know when you’ll take a misstep and take a serious fall. For that reason, it can carry both a sense of forever â€“ and fleetingness â€“ all at once. It can feel like being in a state of complete contentment and calmness and at the same time â€“ total chaos and loss of control. It can make you feel like you are buoyant, but you could also plummet to the bottom at any point.
In that way, falling in love is full of contradictions. We love that it is part of our lives, but we fear that it will be taken away from us.
Most of us fear losing something that feels so good. We fear it ending when it is just beginning. We fear that what we’re feeling isn’t real â€“ that the heightened emotions we call love are less our reality, and more an illusion formed by these rose-colored glasses we have on. Worst of all, we fear that this person we love will leave us, betray us, hurt us. And that we’ll end up back where we started â€“ in heartache.
And so, we may hold back a little. We may open our hearts, but not fully. We may let ourselves be vulnerable but only when we think we can afford to. We may put up walls to protect ourselves from getting hurt while also preventing ourselves from experiencing love and connection at its climax. We may attempt to sabotage the relationship when it starts to get too serious because while we are afraid of it falling apart, we are more afraid of what it means for it to work out â€“ how that can completely change and uproot our lives. When we guard our hearts a little too effectively, we limit our own happiness without even realizing it.
It takes courage to love someone and to let love in because love never comes with a guarantee. When you choose to love someone with the fullness of your heart, you are trusting in something that’s beyond your control.
So coming back to the original question: How do you stay grounded in love without losing yourself in it?
1). Learn to be present in the relationship â€“ not so far ahead planning the future you miss seeing the gifts and blessings of this moment.
Remember that it is more important to take slow and steady steps that feel right for both of you than to speed through the relationship and end up on shaky grounds. Whenever you feel yourself getting lost in the future or overwhelmed by it, slow down and bring yourself back to the present moment.
Take some time to think about what you are grateful for in your relationship right now, today, and tell your partner. Spend some time with your partner doing nothing, planning nothing, and just being together. Take some time to appreciate the simple beauty and joy in holding their hand, in being in their presence.
Just for today, don’t think of the future, of what has to happen next. Focus on this moment and this moment alone. There is no rush today. There’s just you and the person you love and the beautiful spaces in between.
3). Learn to let go of your self-judgments â€“ to release any expectations of how you think you should behave.
Remember that your feelings are completely valid. There is nothing wrong with you for getting â€˜carried away’ in your emotion. You may be judging yourself for not showing more self-restraint or self-discipline throughout your day â€“ we can become really self-critical when we deviate from our regular behaviors, habits, or routines. But remind yourself that this is part of being human and being in love â€“ it completely immerses you and there are going to be days where you aren’t as productive as you wanted to be and you don’t get enough sleep and it’s not something you need to punish yourself for.
Let go of any judgments and expectations of yourself â€“ the desire to be so disciplined that it makes you rigid. You can be rooted in your beliefs, and still, flow. You don’t have to become so rigid that it actually works against you. Allow yourself a little bit more freedom and flexibility during this new phase in your life. Allow yourself to be more accepting of yourself â€“ in all your moods.
Today, decide to love freely and fully, than half-heartedly with fear as your companion. Today, decide to let love guide all of your decisions instead of fear. Today, decide that love is to risk your heart, but it is also to reward it â€“ to make it truly soar.
“[Love] has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought.” – J. Krishnamurti