This past year I manifested the most beautiful, aligned relationship partner of my entire life.
After a year of heavy self-reflection and deep emotional work, I found myself having cleared enough internal space to be able to attract an amazing woman.
She was honest, compassionate, self-aware, driven, kind and had one of the most beautiful hearts I had ever met.
She shook my entire world up. And, being a recovering perfectionist who loved to have a high degree of control in his relationships, she scared the hell out of me.
I believe that when real love is offered up to us, it brings up everything inside of ourselves that is unlike love, in order to be felt, healed and cleared. And I believe that because, true to form, for the following two weeks after our first date I extensively ugly cried on a daily basis.
I wasn’t crying because I was sad. Nor was I upset. I was simply clearing space. I was letting go of the old hurt, the old stories and the old wounds, that I was accustomed to holding on to.
Everything that was unlike love was being moved out of me. Her mere presence in my life was cleaning out the metaphorical dirt from my old emotional wounds.
During our beautiful relationship, I have learned three things that will affect how I see the world for the rest of my life.
1. The best relationships are had by two people who agree to honor the relationship as a container for growth.
Ultimately, every relationship is intended for healing. But not everyone realizes this (it’s not like we were ever taught basic relational skills in elementary school).
If you agree early on that your relationship is a safe space, and a container for the purpose of growth for all parties involved, then the benefits will be endless.
You speak differently because you both actively seek out ways to truly hear each other and understand unspoken subtext in any and all communication.
You fight differently because you recognize that you are meant to be sharpening and challenging each other.
You make love differently because you recognize that any tears or feelings that come up during your intimacy are there to be held, nurtured and cherished as a gift.
Everything is love. And anything that is unlike love that bubbles up is simply a temporary block to love that is there to be loved and melted through together.
2. I can only feel safe to the degree that I leap and let someone catch me.
One of my biggest blocks coming into this relationship was allowing someone to truly see me.
I’m a crier. I have been ever since I can remember. I’m sensitive by nature and it’s not going away anytime soon (nor would I want it to).
I had a relationship when I was much younger, in which my partner dished out some pretty heavy shaming about the fact that I was sensitive. So over time, I learned to suppress my feelings. I learned that my emotions were wrong, disgusting or that I should hide them at all costs.
This time around, I couldn’t have had a more loving and supportive partner. But she was only able to love and receive the gifts that I was willing to give to her.
There was a big leap of faith moment where I let myself fully cry in front of her. And just when I thought I would surely be pushed away and see her face recoiling in disgust at my tears, she told me she loved me for the first time. It was one of the most deeply healing moments that I have ever experienced, in a relationship.
Our shame stories, when loved and accepted by a compassionate partner, cease to exist.
But I could not have experienced this beautiful moment had I not had the courage to think, “It’s okay—she is safe. You’re allowed to let this one in.”
In order to be seen, I had to give her the chance to see me.
3. Every bit of work that I’ve ever done showed up in my relationship.
I can only speak for myself, but in my years of reading, journaling, self-discovery, self-reflection, therapy, workshops and general self-work, there were many points where I would find myself asking, “Is this really doing anything? Am I making any progress?”
I love self-development. I love the process of digging up and sorting through my old emotional wounds in order to heal them. But there were many times where I worried that it wasn’t leading me anywhere. That I was just engaging in a boat load of mental masturbation in order to keep myself safe.
But within seconds of starting my first date with my good woman, I knew that every bit of self-work I had done had brought me to this point.
Everything was in its place.
I was able to communicate authentically with little resistance, because of all of the previous self-acceptance I had engaged in.
So, if you ever feel like you’re holding out for something that doesn’t exist, and you’re investing too much in yourself, your happiness and your self-love, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been through that phase.
There’s light on the other side of that often dark and lonely tunnel.
The lessons have been endless in this relationship. It has been the most emotionally catalyzing year of my personal growth thus far. I have laughed, cried and felt more in the last year than I had in the previous five years combined.
And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Author: Jordan Gray
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock