Two Halves Don’t Make A Whole…

"The best thing to hold on to in life is each other" (Pencil drawing by Diane Mottl)When I found the quote I used for the drawing on the left, I immediately saw it as a powerful message that cuts to the chase about what is really important in life. But then I started to think about the different ways that we hold on to each other: some healthy, some not-so-healthy.

So what makes “holding on” cross over into not-so-healthy land? I think a big part of it comes down to how whole we are. If I am holding on to someone to make me feel whole/complete, then I am cheating myself and them.

To me, being whole has nothing to do with being perfect. The path to being a whole person is about believing that we are complete, as we are. I may be a Swiss cheese of scars and imperfections, but I am looking within myself to fill those holes, not outside of myself.

WholeIt means that when I come together with another person it is not to complete myself, but to enhance myself, to grow, to share in the joy of one another (faults and all). I am holding on to myself, while holding on to the other person. We are giving to each other, but not losing ourselves in the process. There is space in our relationship for both of us to be whole.

HalfHollywood (and Hallmark) has romanticized the “You complete me / I am nothing without you” version of relationships. But what happens when one person expects the other to fill a missing piece within them? When they look to the other person rather than looking inside and finding what makes them feel whole?

Yes, we all have those Swiss cheese holes in us, but if we expect the other person to fill them, do we ever learn how to be whole/enough? Do we whittle away parts of ourselves to prop the other person up, rather than allow them to find their own footing? Do we clip our wings or theirs?

Or do we each take a deep breath and blow lovingly underneath each other’s wings, encouraging each other to soar high and far, trusting that there is enough room in our relationship for both of us to be our full selves.

“The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.” — Neale Donald Walsch

“If we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves, it is pointless to search elsewhere.” — Francois de la Rochefoucauld

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” — Carl Jung

“My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another.” — Shakti Gawain

“All the proof of your lovabilty is in the mirror. And if you don’t come from a place of freedom, there is absolutely no one that you’ll ever meet who will make you feel free.” — David Viscott

“Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.” — Richard Bach

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand” — Mother Teresa

Today I am grateful for being blessed with a relationship of two wholes.

4 Responses to “Two Halves Don’t Make A Whole…”

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  1. Amy says:

    I struggle a lot with being able to feel “whole”. In the past, I used relationships to try to patch myself up, and then wondered why it never worked out. I am thankful that, despite my continued issues, my present relationship is a healthier one, focused more on being respectful and encouraging to each other, but never reliant on one to complete the other. We love each other for who we are, and despite of who we are, and while no relationship is all roses, I do believe we will be okay. I have learned that two broken people don’t create a whole one, but love and acceptance can work wonders for self repair.

  2. Kim says:

    I often find myself struggling with cards reflecting love (eg. Valentine’s Day cards), because so many of them have seem to have a tone of dependence to them. Phrases like “soulmates for ever”, “you put the magic in my life”, ‘my life would be empty without you”, “you complete me”, cause me to pause and bypass many cards. Thanks for the great post, Diane. It made me consider how unhealthy reliance may be at play in other relationships, such as with family and friends.

  3. Jan says:

    You make a very good point. When we expect our friends to “fill in our holes” then we only create more holes! Love the quotes, as usual.

  4. Oh Diane, I think this is your most powerful post to date! This is such a beautiful message for people searching for fulfillment. We all have the ability to turn inward and find what we are looking for, but so often we’re hung up on the Hollywood version of having to find the right person to be complete. Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!