When we first started dating I doubted we would work out and had fears of having made a misaligned choice.
I would look at her and the tension we experienced and feel anxious.
But when the difficult ones came I felt like running away, bidding farewell and leaving it at that..
After all, I had learned in my previous relationships to honour my boundaries and not settle down for mediocre, passionless or lukewarm love.
So I was in constant stress trying to understand whether I needed to have more compassion or stronger boundaries.
Doubt & Fear are what we feel when we don’t see the path ahead clearly.
When blind, every step could be our last one..
and it’s hard to know whether we’re walking towards what we desire or away from it..
So how do we manage these?
Although this is far more complex than a simple post makes room for, we start by understanding the following:
Noticing what is yours and what is not.
It is not on you to carry the burden of another’s lack of responsibility.
It is on you to be responsible for the partner you chose.
When poor communication is present and you don’t feel heard – working on yourself and your own reactivity is often a coping mechanism.
In that moment learning to connect is needed (not trying to manage how you feel alone)
And the core of it, for me, was to be fully honest with myself:
Can I -with all my current fear and shortcomings- love Her -with all her current fears and shortcomings- even if nothing ever changed ? (AKA do I accept her?)
Do I notice a willingness to relate better to each other, backed by tangible, improved communication & actions from both of us?
Are we capable of being allies when navigating conflict? (or do we often become each other’s enemy.)
And finally, is my fear rooted in genuine dysfunction or in my own avoidance of vulnerability and intimacy?
In my case, I realized it was the latter.
I was trying to change her because of MY OWN pain and discomfort.
Which meant that I was not emotionally available or present..
We often play coach, rescuer or martyr when it is too painful to be in presence of the other -without demanding they change.
Yet we resent having to be “the one” to come and save – even though it was never asked from us.
Our own inability to fully be with our own pain and tender heart is the only thing that needs to be recognized and when ready, changed.
I realized that fear and doubt were the “easier” emotions I hid behind when grief, anger and hopelessness were knocking at my door.
The potential for one more heartbreak was too much to consider, so confusion became the tool I used to unconsciously justify being one foot in one foot out.
Always hoping for the day things get better so that I may fully commit and open my heart..
Or the day they get evidently worse so that I may leave and close down for good..
Not realizing that it is ONLY through commitment and the vulnerable opening of our heart, that we get to make things better..
Or in some cases, get clarity about a relationship where they won’t.
Fear and doubt are the gates you must step beyond if you want clarity, love and connection to be present..
You must stop trying to change the other in order to soothe your own nervous system AND stop trying to fix yourself in order to cope with dysfunction..
And you must learn the art of vulnerable, open connection.
Of gifting your heart & trusting that life will clearly guide you.
Back then, It only took a vulnerable conversation for our whole relationship to pivot drastically.
And the same goes for you.
A moment of truth heals all hearts and sheds light on the path.