I am learning hour by hour what sustainable love means these days. It begins with me- in me actually. My lip service to the overwhelming level of activities and demands that drive my lifestyle is just not good enough. It isn’t possible to just keep saying how tired you are if you keep going at the same pace. The same is true with your partner. You can’t say how much you wish you had more time for someone and expect that will suffice. You actually have to find the time.
My body is speaking out loudly again. I just don’t seem able to get it. I say the words I am exhausted and push on to the next frenetic range of activities. I am glad my body is forcing this discussion because when it is your body speaking, there is no way out. It is easier to ignore the critical signs that flare up in relationships. They hurt but they don’t force you to lie down. Too bad, if they did, we would leave each other less.
The dilemma for many of us, and certainly for me, is that even as I bear witness to the untenable nature of the commitments in my life, I have no idea where to back down, where to let go. My sense of responsibility for all the others in my life- my kids, my partner, my customers, my employees… all of these responsibilities somehow take precedence over my need to be with myself. It is not sustainable to give up yourself.
So I realize, again, that sustainable love must begin with honoring yourself. I was once told that boundaries are how we love our self. It is not about finding ways to get it all done, it is about finding a means to realizing when enough is enough. Letting go, sometimes failing others’ expectations, or worse still your own, and then breathing in, breathing out.
A sustainable life, one that you can keep doing and loving, means not burning out the energy you need to do it again tomorrow.