Some people on the spiritual path tend to believe that we need to heal all of our wounds such as unworthiness, codependency, neediness or lack of clear boundaries before we actually enter a relationship.
A few months ago, I believed the same. I wanted to reach perfection. I wanted to know that my past negative patterns had disappeared before I would let myself fall in love again.
But love has many lessons and I no longer think that I need to be perfect before I enter a relationship. Actually, most of the time we need to experience our fears in order to allow our wounds to surface and heal.
Avoiding romantic partnerships has been a way to protect and shield myself in case I couldn’t handle the resurgence of love in my life. Truthfully, when we avoid these fear-based patterns, we can’t experience what they trigger in us and therefore, we can’t heal.
Finding balance in love and relationships has been an issue on my path. For others like me, I’d like to explain why running away from love isn’t our best option.
As I was trying to understand why I chose to hide from love, I saw that I was afraid of losing myself in relationships.
For those of us who have chosen the spiritual path, the tricky balance in love is to find someone who won’t take us away from our own path of self-discovery. In fact, our partner must be open to this endeavor and allow us to explore our inner depths.
I used to think that if I didn’t feel free with my partner, I’d rather be single. I used to think that love wasn’t possible for me because the men who I was spending time with weren’t willing to watch me realize my spiritual growth.
At the time, I refused to see that these people had simply chosen a different path and weren’t a good match for me.
Now I see that there are men on the spiritual path who are actually searching for similar partners.
When I crossed paths with an individual who matched my expectations and was also on the spiritual path, I had to face the truth. I was scared of being hurt in love because it had brought me pain in the past.
Also, I was scared of feeling unworthy of love, less confident or weakened if the relationship didn’t turn out well. I was afraid of taking things personally and of losing parts of my own self-esteem if the relationship didn’t work or if my partner decided to leave me one day.
I eventually came to understanding that it was safe to come back to love, but without relying on my partner. My beauty, worthiness and strength did not depend on what they said, did or felt. It was up to me.
Now that I’ve decided to embrace the path of love again, I sometimes regret the days when I was numb to the emotions of another. There were times when I wasn’t expecting anyone to reach out and I had barricaded myself behind some impenetrable shell.
However, I always knew while I was hiding behind this armor that I would fall in love again, one day. It’s a difficult stance to avoid love.
One day a new man who held and peaked my interest knocked on my door. I felt two distinct possibilities in front of me. I could either run away because falling in love didn’t feel safe. Or, I could stay to explore the relationship and see what was in store for us. I already felt that staying would paradoxically require a lot more of my strength compared with running away.
In fact, running away is an easy action. We only need to be brave for a few minutes—just enough time to say goodbye. Running away can be as easy and fast as never replying. We just run, both physically and energetically, and then we think we’re free.
Ultimately, I decided to say “yes” to the possibility of a new love. After all, it’s impossible to know if we don’t try.
Actually, I’ve discovered that true freedom isn’t about being alone. It is found when we can explore love with another without losing our power, strength and ability to love ourselves.
The truth is, the most difficult requirement in a relationship is to stay afloat and independent without being submerged by the waves of feelings it throws at us.
I now see that opening my heart to love didn’t take away my freedom since I was willing to map out the right boundaries. Love can add happiness and beauty in our lives.
This is what I ultimately found out when someone who was the “right one” came my way.
Suggestions for anyone who is afraid of love.
If you’re scared of losing yourself, path and identity when you fall in love, or if you’re afraid of doing things you dislike because it’s what your partner asks of you, always check in with yourself when making a decision about things that are linked or caused by the relationship.
Would you do such a thing if that person wasn’t in your life? Does it bring joy to your heart? How does it feel in your body: heavy or light? Are you doing this just for them or for different reasons that are only a bonus?
Above all, learn to find yourself and know yourself first. The “right” mate for you will be found on your own terms. We need to walk our own path—the road that feels truly fulfilling for you—in order to meet the right partner.
If you’re scared of feeling the emotions that falling in love may bring your way, be honest with yourself. Would life feel truly tasteful without them?
If you truly feel drawn to someone, trust in your ability to withstand the storms that love can bring.
Just ride the wave, and believe that you’ll learn as you walk. You can remain happy no matter what happens on the outside based on the passion and joy you’ve learned to find within yourself.
Author: Sophie Gregoire
Image: Courtesy of the author, Pixoto
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock