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Love Is Seeing

Appreciating. Experiencing. Validating. Exploring. Joy through the eyes of someone else.

This past weekend, I was whisked away to the gorgeous mountains of Big Bear where I was going to get my very first ski lesson by a man who has grown up skiing since he was 4 years old. I have many passions in my life, and this is one of his. If I am being honest, it is probably his biggest passion.

Just so you can get an idea of how big, the man talked all about it on our first date and on that date he informed me that it was in fact ski season, and he had his trips all lined up on calendar and that he was not going to be around a whole lot.

He was kind and honest in telling me, which I appreciated. Because of his honesty, it made those moments when we could get together and get to know each other even better, because we both had to make an effort.

It also made me really want to understand and experience his passion for the mountain and for the sport. Even if it didn’t become my thing, I still wanted to experience that with him. I wanted to see him in his element and see what made him light up and smile and get excited and get his blood pumping. I wanted to get to know him better in that sense, so that I could then have a great appreciation and understanding of how important that time is for him. I want to better support him and encourage him to do the very things that fill his soul and not make him feel as though he were disappointing me or not giving me enough attention.

Essentially, at the very heart of it, I wanted him to be fully him and see him in his element. Even more so, he felt safe enough to invite someone into that space. That meant a great deal to me. I fell more in love with that person. Even though I was out of my element and doing something that I had never in my life done previously, and never thought I would ever do, it was one of the most incredible experiences and relationship building moment so far between the two of us.

I am learning more and more about what love is and what it isn’t. I have never had a healthy romantic relationship before. When going through my divorce and processing everything, I had to admit that the marriage I was in was not healthy and emotionally abusive and isolating.

There is just no room for selfishness when it comes to loving another person. We all can be selfish, sure.

But the more time I spend seeing the person that I care about and placing myself and allowing myself to be invited into their spaces and their passions and dreams they hold most dear, the more I understand that loving someone is more than butterflies and having things in common. Seeing another human being takes a great deal of effort and even sacrifice and the willingness to learn from them.

This last weekend was so that I could learn to ski. To get my very first lesson from someone who has loved the sport since he was a little boy. But, I came away from that weekend with more than a ski lesson and a couple of bruises to my body (and my ego!)

I received another lesson on how to be a better partner to the person I love.

Both of us were validated, encouraged, appreciated and seen.

That photo above? One of my favorites from this weekend. His shadow stands out and represents the strength and security that is found when he is around…..and even when he isn’t.

We both grew this weekend.

Love is all of that. It is not self seeking. It is not just what we can get out of it. This month, we are talking about being better lovers to one another. Every day we have the opportunity to grow and love one another better.

I never thought I would be that person, the one that talks about love and relationships and personalities and emotional abuse and healing. That was never in my plans. Funny, over the course of the last several years, and really the last 3 1/2 years, has God moved and shown up in areas of my life that needed tending to, as well as answering prayers that were deeply embedded into my heart and written on tear stained pages of my journal, and stirred in me to talk about love. People. Healing. Resiliency. Strength. Connection.

He wants us all to be better lovers to one another, not just be better lovers to ourselves.

This past weekend was the perfect opportunity to be a better lover to another person who did not have to invite me into their personal space, but chose to. I won’t even hide it. I was one giddy girl this weekend.

Go be better lovers! That is my challenge to you all.

Tiffany Rhea

P.S. I had a great time!! I can see why he loves it. I will definitely ski again!! And maybe fall less 😜😜😜

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