Today I woke up when my phone vibrated, a new notification from the app ‘Enliven’. Usually it doesn’t vibrate, but today it did. So, I opened it:
“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what’s next or how. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark” De Mille
It is extremely interesting to receive this message, just today.
Few weeks ago, I met this nice guy. The beginning has already been a bit complicated, but there is something that I really like about him.
I know what you are thinking, you just met this guy and you are already writing a post about him? But don’t worry, he doesn’t read my blog and this post is about relationships in a wider way. The other day I was thinking about writing a post about me and relationships, so what happened yesterday is just a great excuse to talk about it.
Anyway, yesterday I had such an amazing time with this guy. He sang to me, he is such a good singer. I love when he sings to me. I felt so happy.
Then, he tried to look after me. I was very tired, he wanted to make sure I was ok. And I completely freaked out. I pushed him away.
The interesting fact is that I kept on telling him how the world is lacking on ‘healthy relationship’ because today people are not fully true about their feelings or they are not able to fully put themselves in other’s people shoes. And, at the same time, every time we met, I kept on trying to push him away. Already in two weeks I showed him the worst part of me. And, he tried, again, to look after me in a very sweet way and I freaked out.
Except for one-year long relationship I always pretty much been on my own. So, I always looked after myself. You know, I am a strong independent woman! And, surely, I am.
The idea of the unknown, of being vulnerable, of not being ‘in control’ makes me panic.
In some fields the “unknown” makes me feel excited, curios, strong. I travel on my own, solo traveling is one of my favourite things. Discovering new places, meeting new people, not having expectations. When I travel, I learn a lot from others and from myself. At times I do couch-surfing too. I developed a passion for nature and I love hill-walks and cycling and I take myself into small wild adventures. I host events that bring strangers together and I do much more. In this field, a leap in the dark is so exciting and fun.
But the same ‘unknown’ in other fields makes me feel in a different way, it makes me feel anxious. For example, relationship. The dark is scaring. That’s why, deep down, I unconsciously pick guys who are not emotionally available. In this way is easier to “stay in control”.
He asked me “why is it ok for you to look after me but is it not ok for me to look after you?” and I couldn’t fully reply to that question. But deep down, I think that the truth is that I am scared to be loved.
This fear has deeper roots.
The complicated relationship with my body has influenced a lot my relationship with guys. When I was teenager, almost all my friends had a relationship while I never had one. If I couldn’t love myself, how someone else could have loved me? But I did dream about prince charming. I dreamed about a guy who would love me regardless of my ugly body. A dreamed about finding the unconditional true love. And it never happened.
Looking back, I was looking for someone to “save me”. I know, it probably sounds silly but I blame Disney animations! All those stories about princesses and princes, all those ladies saved by a man. It is very misleading and unfair on us women. We are much stronger than that. We don’t need to be saved!
And I am glad ‘I have not been saved’.
I was not emotionally mature for a relationship.
If we are not able to have a relationship with ourselves, how can we expect to have a relationship with someone else?
From one extreme I become the opposite extreme.
When I was 22, during the process of transformation, I dated myself. I was trying new things, meeting new people, discovering new things and I was not interested in dating others because first I wanted to have a relationship with myself. I wanted to save myself! I still date myself, and when I do it, I do it well. Not long ago I took myself to the Isle of Skye, gorgeous.
I know who I am, I know where I am heading, I know what I love, and I keep feeling in love with new things (lately kickboxing). I love my job, I love helping others, I love being active and never stop. I know that I would do anything for my friends and I will always be there for them – I mean it, if you need me, I will always be there for you. My kettle is always on.
So, I guess that from the hope to be saved, I now got too used to be on my own. Perhaps, when someone enters in my life, I feel unbalanced. The unbalance is one of the things that makes me feel like over-eating. Just to clarify, it is not the other person that makes me feel unbalanced, it’s the leap in the dark, the vulnerability that makes me feel that way. Because when you welcome someone in your heart, there is also the risk that your heart might be crushed.
I guess that since my heart was badly crushed when I was 22, I am now scared to be loved in a deeper level. I also have a ‘Me too’ experience by someone who was my friend for 3 years, someone that I trusted and used me.
Because I already experienced pain and I do not want to feel it again.
And it is ok to be scared.
However, I started this blog to remind myself to live out of love rather than out of fear. In our lives we will always fear something, but that fear should not stop us from achieving what we want, whatever is a relationship, or a job, or an opportunity. Because overall there is something worse than fear: regret.
First of all, we need to give a name to our fears. By give them a name, I believe, we will feel less overwhelmed; we are half way there. So let’s adopt a new state of mind, let’s be curious about our fears and learn from them.
In fact, life is not about being fearless, but it is about to not let fear to take control, to rule, over us. It is about acknowledge discomfort and deciding what’s the best way to move forward. We could do a ‘risk assessment’ to help us coping. Let’s analyse each risks and make sure we use the right tools to prevent disasters. In over-eater case, to loose control and binge.
Remember: We have the power and the strengths to overcome our fears.
“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what’s next or how. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark” and it is better to try and be wrong than to never try at all. And if you are wrong, you are still a winner because you learned a lesson from that experience. This applies to everything in life.
Let’s choose hope over fear. Because we deserve love, we deserve that job, we deserve that opportunity. We deserve to be happy.