The right relationship should give you two things that are in tension with each other: peace and growth. A peace to be comfortable in your own skin and a push towards growth.
Peace looks a lot like forgiveness, not forgetfulness, towards others and towards yourself. When you experience peace, it is like a wave of forgiveness rushes through your soul that causes you to no longer hold on to your bitterness against the world, but that you may find ease because the heavy burden of anger and worry are lifted off of your shoulder.
In nature, when something matures, for example, a tree, its body becomes strengthened by the numerous layers of wood that continues to envelop around the diameter of the tree trunk. The tree becomes hardened from the pressures of the outside world. Each of the layers in its trunk contain stories, stories of the forest as was felt and seen by the tree. When you cut it open, you will find nothing but the layers of experience and insights that it offers, after years just standing there and observing the forest. Maturity thus points to the accumulation of experiences that have shaped us, that makes us stronger when facing the outside world.
So, the question is, how does the tenderness of peace align with the tenacity of growth? How does forgiveness and strength balance each other out in a relationship? The truth is, they exist at two different points of the rope and held in tension. Perhaps, one day, you need peace more than you need tenacious strength. The next day, you might need strength to face different challenges in your relationship more than you need peace. There is this one anonymous quote that says, “Real love is patient, there is no need to rush. With the right person, love is calm. You throw away the deadlines that society puts on you and enjoy the incredible journey of falling in love more and more with every experience.”
The tension between peace and growth is called “patience”. Patience is the tightrope between serenity and maturity — and patience allows you to walk in your own pace. The right relationship realises that it doesn’t need to fit into any timeline, it knows clearly what to prioritise. With the right person, this beautiful tension can be well managed. With the right person, external pressures don’t matter, because patience, peace, and growth: they all come first.