I’ve been sitting in the cold, hard truth of how I’ve shown up to my intimate relationships.
It’s been confronting, to say the least.
In just a month’s time, I turn 39.
During this last year of lockdown, I have been feeling everything—from helpless to inspired, to over-privileged, to full-on in flow with my purpose.
I’ve been feeling linear time tick away and with nowhere to run, have been having to sit in the knowing that, in truth, my relationship history has been pretty damn sucky.
Relationships are not something I talk much about publicly, or in my work. But last night, as I stirred my food, my eyes watering from the onions, I had a sharp mental question rock in, “Why the heck not, Meesh?”
So here I am. Opening into that question.
There are a million ways I could go with why I think I’ve had a crappy relationship history.
I could blame the abandonment wound or issues from my childhood. I could say I hadn’t met any “awakened man” yet. I could choose the story that it’s just “not aligned for me” and that the universe has different ideas and that…that’s okay.
I could say I haven’t met a man who was “ready.”
I could blame my attachment style or the position of the planets.
Truth is, whether any of that is actually true or not, the thing I know to be absolutely accurate is that I’ve spent much of my adult life abandoning myself.
Even more so when it comes to men.
This self-abandonment can come in various forms of behaviour:
Saying yes when you mean no.
Holding back your emotions and pretending you’re fine when inside, you’re exploding with feeling.
Overanalyzing and making it all about him: his needs, his ideas, his desires, his…everything.
Not asking for what you need, or perhaps not even knowing.
Making yourself wrong for all the challenges that appear.
Berating yourself for “saying the wrong thing” or being “too much.”
Being passive and submissive.
Over-focusing on him and not giving yourself what you need to feel okay.
The fallout in our emotional body can feel like this:
Feeling overwhelmed and tense.
Feeling unsafe and scared to express.
Feeling demotivated and heavy.
Feeling unable to think clearly.
Feeling intermittently numb.
Feeling like you’re going crazy.
My last relationship, which ended in that familiar way of, “You’re beautiful, but I just don’t feel like we’re compatible…we have a different idea of what a relationship is…I don’t feel we’re connecting…I need this to be more playful…you’re amazing, but…” blah blah…was like a knife twisting in my ageing, childless heart.
Not because I don’t honour his need to step away.
Not because I actually wanted the relationship to continue.
But because I see more clearly than ever that a big part of the “problem” was, in fact, me not showing up for me. And that I’d been skirting around and blind-spotting myself on the deeper actualities of this reality, time and time again.
This feels like a confession.
And perhaps it is.
Because we need to allow these wounded parts of us to be seen and acknowledged and shared.
So that we can begin to finally reclaim those parts that have related through blending and moulding. Fitting ourselves into all of the perceived ways we thought we needed to be to feel loved.
So, if you’re sitting in the fear that the relationship you seek is passing you by, or that you’re “too old,” take a breath. Get honest with how you’ve been showing up and know that this fear is coming up for you to see the deeper elements of what wants to be let go.
Knowing that letting go really just means to stop holding onto the past. To release yourself. In whatever way that means for you.
For me, it means choosing to step up for myself in all the ways I know how to. It means checking myself when I feel that default into pleasing, fawning, and dumbing myself down for someone else.
It means standing in the fullness of how I express, how I feel, and what I need to feel safe and worthy.
It means sometimes asking for help to guide me through my patterns.
It means knowing that I have the power to give myself what I need in any given moment.
The rest is nonsense.
It’s time to fully empower ourselves and hold true to who we are.
Because if we don’t do it for ourselves, no one else will.
And I, personally, want to step out of this time feeling more fearless and connected than ever.
How about you?