I have noticed that the most common obstacle for people who want to be in a fulfilling committed relationship is that they keep denying or downplaying the desire to have this. They are afraid that if they said, clear and loud, exactly what they wanted, they would suffer from being disappointed. They are afraid to feel heartbroken in any way and form. To feel in control, they may be telling themselves something along the following lines:
“There are no good men / women out there. And, if there are, I have no way of meeting them.”
“I tried dating but it just confirmed that I was right.”
“I am doing fine without being in a relationship. I am in control of my life, I am self-sufficient and not “needy”, like others.”
“My work takes up all my time, so I don’t have energy for relationships anyway.”
There are plenty of other variations of the same fear-based attitudes to relationships. They all come from our deep-seated self-belief of not being “good enough” and our fear of being “discovered” as such by another human beings. Very often, this belief remains “invisible” for its holder and makes her or him adapt behavioural strategies that protect him or her from ever realising it. We are afraid in advance. We prefer to be “right” and alone rather than risk feeling rejected, abandoned, judged, unimportant or unsupported. To protect ourselves, we run around rejecting or abandoning others instead. If I reject you, you can’t reject me. If I don’t commit to you, you cannot abandon me. If I make you attracted to me, I have the power over you and you cannot control me. If I get together with someone more “wounded”, I can feel “superior” and more “together” in comparison, and I can make myself busy “rescuing” you instead of being vulnerable feeling my own need for love and care. The list of behaviours goes on. We were wounded in the past and we keep throwing our own pain onto others because we don’t want to feel it. Furthermore, because of our fear to feel, we end up “handing over” our generational wounds to our children… My question is – for how long? This world is all twisted because of our cowardliness to feel, our multifaceted self-neglect, our disconnectedness, and our inability to take care of our broken-heartedness…
I say, it is time to heal. It is time to learn the most important life skill of all – sitting with our pain and diving courageously into the bottom of our despair, if need to be. It is time to become fearless, allowing our deepest fears to be felt. Feelings buried alive never die… For an emotion to leave our body, it must be felt fully first. The skill of feeling fully can be learnt and improved upon and our resilience and true power increases with more and more practice. We have to learn to “catch up” with ourselves by giving our loving attention to the “dragons” that live inside our hearts. There is a cult of “glossy happiness”, which is overrated and glorified in my view, whereas gifts that can be found in fully experiencing our pain are hugely underestimated.
We aren’t snowflakes. The Earth will hold us, no matter what, and we won’t die if we allow ourselves to feel our feelings. Together, we have to move the old generational energy of ‘love scarcity’ and ‘not enoughness’, to free ourselves from the slavery of fear and to open our hearts to the love that begins in our heart – reliable, undemanding and ever-flowing.
There is no shame in our full-hearted declaration of wanting to be in a relationship. There is no need for protective humour or for the pretence of not caring and being “fine” without it. We want to be in relationships not because we are “needy” or “weak” but because “no man is an Island” and because we intuitively sense that our true nature can only be fully known and expressed through our deep connections and unity with others.
There is a quote of a famous poet that expresses the point of everything written above perfectly for me:
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love”
~ R. M. Rilke ~