Love and ShoesPosted: May 22, 2012
When I went through my divorce a few years ago, my dad said to me, “Rachel, you must always remember that love should feel like an old shoe. It should just fit.” I understood exactly what he meant on the surface, but it took me living a little more life to fully grasp the meaning behind my dad’s words. Since my divorce, I briefly dated one guy (a bad pair of shoes, to be honest) and then I was fortunate to receive a true gift of love with the man who is in my life now. While we have had to grow and understand each other, the overall dynamic of our relationship feels like my favorite pair of flats. They are worn over, but they still have enough shine for me to rock any day of the week (I’m wearing them as I write this). It feels like an old shoe.
Giving some more thought to my dad’s shoe analogy, I realize how much our love relationships really are like shoes. Dating is like shopping for shoes. You try on a few pairs, walk around in the store to see how they fit and look, and you either find ones that you’re willing to purchase or you have to keep on looking. Sometimes, you find a pair or two that just speak to your soul (like these yellow ones I purchased recently, but that’s for another blog). Those shoes are like love. They fit, the breaking in period isn’t too difficult and they manage to go with just about everything in your closet. A favorite pair of shoes can almost be a like a best friend…just like a person you share a love relationship with.
Yet, even with our most favorite and comfortable pair of shoes, there can be moments where they hurt like a new pair and we have to discern whether it’s worth it to continue wearing them, or if we have to let them go. This is where there has to be a willingness to leave those old shoes in the box and take a chance of stepping out in a new pair. That new pair doesn’t necessarily have to represent a new relationship, but rather, a new walk or exploring a new path on your relationship journey, as well as your own individual journey.
It’s always a scary feeling to let go of something that is comfortable and familiar, but in order to continue evolving and discovering our truest selves, we have to be willing to face this fear. You may come back to those old shoes or in time, you may discover another pair of shoes that will eventually become your new old shoes. The most important thing, though, is taking the chance. While love should feel like an old shoe, we also cannot live our lives like shoes and always be stored in a box. Life may be easier this way, but it’s not the way of living. We only become who we are by embracing all of the twists and turns and remaining steadfast through the cycles of change. I call it “yielding to the journey.”
Every person’s journey is different. Some people seem to always have an easy path, while others seem rife with trials and tribulations. And we all fall victim to comparing our journey to others: “Why does she always have a man when it’s so hard for me to find and/or keep one?” “Why does he always seem to win no matter what, when I always try my best and am still struggling?” “Why are they rich and I’m not? I’m a good person. I deserve riches, too!” What I have had to learn…what I continue to learn…is that every person’s journey is unique and what we see is just that. What we see. We don’t know the true intricacies of another person’s journey. Recognizing this, it is ever important that we keep our eyes on our path, while reaching out to support, love and encourage others on theirs.
The journey will not always be easy, but there will be ease. It’s just like a favorite pair of shoes; they can’t really become your favorite until after you’ve broken them in. Always be willing to take a chance. Believe in your “self.” Embrace your path. Trust the Universe. If we do these things, then we will find our way back to those old pair of shoes…or the new old pair will find us.
For those reading this, I wish you love, peace and happiness on your journey. And a great pair of shoes to rock along the way.