“All the things that truly matter—beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace—arise from beyond the mind.” — Eckhart Tolle
I’m going to impart a piece of unconventional wisdom that the world definitely won’t teach you. In fact, it’s something that I’m sure many people would preach the exact opposite. It seems that many in society today have the idea that entering into a relationship and “being tied down” by a significant other restricts your freedom. They believe that being in a committed relationship hinders ambition, dims the luminosity of dreams, and bridles partners into docile and unmotivated beings. While the single life is celebrated as an endless party of freedom and individuality, relationships are depicted as soul-crushing unions that leave people listless and uninspired.
I’m here to tell you: It’s just the opposite.
There’s a reason that all the great works of art center around a central theme: love. Perhaps the greatest works of poetry, fiction, film, art, and music relate in one way or another to giving one’s heart to another person. Contrary to popular belief, falling in love and forming an intimate relationship with another human soul is as creatively stimulating as it gets. Rather than being a creative cancer, it is an epiphany. Being in love will awaken things inside of you that you never knew existed. Scottish philosopherThomas Carlyle once said, “A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” There is no doubt that the act of traveling a path of deep emotion and vulnerability will multiply your artistic vision to the nth degree. To create is to feel. I believe that no person without the ability to internalize the human condition deeply could ever be responsible for an impactful work of art. You can’t spell ‘heart’ without ‘art’ because the two are one in the same.
Finding someone with whom you can share your deepest desires, darkest days, depraved delusions, and daring dreams will make you twice the artist and 100x the human being. Three years ago when I first met my wife Sarah, I found myself writing poems literally every night for her. I would stay up late in my bed and pen inspired words that came as a result of my mind being enlightened and my heart being filled with that electric feeling of adoration. I created beautiful works of poetry for this beautiful girl. Within our first month of talking, I probably wrote nearly 20 poems for her. (Note: I am not recommending this approach to everybody, as it can come off quite needy, clingy, and obsessive. However, I am unashamed to be all of those things, so lucky for me, Sarah didn’t mind those attributes and was swept away in my tidal wave of wordsmithery.) The point is, love is a potent tonic that can draw out some of your most passionate and inspired work.
In addition to the soul-stirring feeling of love and adoration, there is just as much to be said about commitment to the one person who drums up these emotions inside you. Being in a committed relationship with someone you love will inspire you to dream bigger and work harder. When you come to the realization that your world no longer revolves solely around you and that you have someone else to care for and make proud, it adds fuel to your fiery ambition to succeed. You want to be great for that person and you want to be able to give them the world. I’ve always had a strong ambition to be successful, but when I met a doll faced girl who I quickly realized was the one for me, I was even more determined to one day provide her with everything she’s ever wanted, (which happens to be lots of shoes, clothes, handbags, and makeup. Specifically the really expensive kind). It wasn’t long before I noticed that I was managing my time better, saving my money, and even dressing better. (You don’t have much of a choice when you’re the partner of a bona fide fashionista.) All these things were positive side effects that stemmed from me falling in love and being in a meaningful relationship. I not only became a more ambitious and inspired creator but also a better and more well-rounded person.
To quote the immortal words of Kanye West in Bound 2: “One good girl is worth a thousand bitches.” Yeezy speaks nothing but truth in this regard. Having someone special by your side will motivate, inspire, and lift you to become the best possible version of yourself and that will always carry over into your creative endeavors. Not to mention it’s also the most pleasurable and fulfilling journey you will ever walk.
And that’s the power of love. (Cue Huey Lewis and the News)
Robbie Tripp is the author of “Create Rebellion,” an abstract manifesto for disruptive creativity. He lives in San Francisco with his beautiful wife Sarah.