“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi
I could write a whole book about my experiences in relationships, not that I would call most of my experiences with boys/men actual relationships. I like to refer to them now as my learning experiences, to keep it positive. I yearned for love and a true relationship but was stuck in patterns with guys searching for or forcing something that was not there. We either started or ended up on different pages, which can be okay if communication and honesty are involved, not when you blindside someone and leave them hurt and confused. It always hit me deeply but nothing changed when the next one came around.
The first problem was, for a major period of my life, I did not love myself. I was looking for love, happiness, excitement, and fulfillment outside of myself from another human being. No person can do that for you and you cannot expect that from some one else. I was pouring and wasting my time, energy and emotions. I wish I had given that much to myself. I should have been chasing myself. You need to fill yourself with love in order to give other people love and truly love yourself in order to truly love someone else.
The second problem was fear, in all different forms: fear of getting hurt, fear of caring for and giving my all to someone and losing them, fear of being rejected, of not being loved or accepted. You have to know and acknowledge your fear in order to face it. Sometimes that is the hardest part.
In order to move through fear, you have to be okay being uncomfortable. Yoga has helped me with this. There are some poses that look scary, you see and think, “That’s insane. I’ll never be able to do that.” That will be true if you never try. There are baby steps to get there and you have to accept where you are in order to start trying. There are poses that make your muscles burn and scream, “Get me out of this!” But, when you turn to your breath and start to be observant and curious about the physical sensation, you can start doing that with your emotional sensations. On the yoga mat you learn a lot about how you handle new experiences and challenging situations as well as your mental state, your self-acceptance, self-care and so much more. It’s amazing how the mind and body are connected.
Luckily my mother and father have a beautiful marriage of 30 years this May 31st. I grew up with a great example of love, respect, trust and support. From what I have learned from them and other long-term, committed, loving, fight-through-the-hardships relationships, and from Rumi, you both need to move beyond wrongdoing and right doing, towards unconditional love. Humility, forgiveness, grace, understanding, support and trust are the vehicles to get you there.
Growing up, my family called me “fickle” – I had a new crush every few weeks. Of course I hated it and denied it but now I accept it. I did date/go out/hang out a lot. I was not shy about it and I did make a lot of mistakes. I am not ashamed. The important thing is that I learned a lot and grew from my mistakes. We are not our mistakes; we are not our worst part. I cannot change my past and I choose to see myself as brave and intuitive. I put myself out there, was open to all sorts of experiences, to all kinds of people, getting to know them and opening my heart, doing the best with what I had. Luckily, now I have much more.
It is new and different for me to be in a steady, committed and loving relationship. It is definitely not always easy and sometimes I feel I have no idea what I am doing. I am challenged in ways that make me look deep into my character and the person I want to be. I have been challenged in my communication, expression, listening and patience and I have probably challenged my partner in many more ways than that.
My partner has taught me that a relationship is like a plant. It must be thought of, cared-for, nurtured, fed and loved every day in order to grow and produce. Sometimes, it will be pruned. It may hurt or feel painful but the plant needs to go through it to grow even greater and produce more fruit. If a plant is not growing, it is slowly dying.
I always love to hear from you! The best part is the conversation after the blog. Do you relate to being stuck in certain negative patterns? Do you struggle with not loving yourself? Are you facing any fears right now? Do you feel overwhelmed by fears? This is a safe space to share.
Sending you love and support on your journey,