After four months of returning to college, I'm one semester away from getting my first degree. I'm really thankful to the readers for their support du
After four months of returning to college, I’m one semester away from getting my first degree. I’m really thankful to the readers for their support during my time off, but now that the semester is over, I figure I owe you some writing before the summer session starts. Hopefully, the blog will be better from being shaped by some pretty awesome professors. Again, thank you for your patience and support, now on with the show…
We all suffer tragedies in life. Break ups, abandonment, the loss of loved ones, and countless other bumps and bruises will take their toll on our hearts as we live. It’s so tempting to close off to the world after we’ve been hurt to look at the hand we’ve been dealt and say, “You know what, no. No more. I don’t like that I might get hurt again. I’m not going to offer my heart to the world anymore.” It’s tempting to think to ourselves, “I can’t imagine ever hurting as much as I have in the past, but I don’t even want to risk
it. It’s not worth it.” This choice of closing off to the world is what keeps us stuck. Being stuck keeps us from giving our gifts to the world. Being stuck keeps us from growing. Being stuck keeps us pessimistic and lonely.
In avoiding the potential pain that someone might cause us if we entered into a relationship with them, we endure a low-lying enduring pain in loneliness called the pain of not trying, the pain of internal collapse, and the pain of shrinking into ourselves and holding back from living our lives more fully. I’ve had my heart smashed to pieces repeatedly, and I am thankful (at least in retrospect) for each experience that I have lived through. Through these trying times, I have learned that there is a way to fall in love with others once more. Here are three ways that can help you slowly fall in love, when its love that actually scares you to death.
1. Breathe one breath at a time. It’s a romantic notion to say that you should just commit or jump in with both feet, but those things are a lot easier said than done. When you’re dealing with past emotional wounds that keep interjecting into your emotional process, it’s hard to just jump into something that terrifies you. I believe that our way back into love after having been hurt is a battle of breaths. Its about feeling the anxiety, nerves, and sadness arise in your belly, allowing it to be there, and breathing through it one breath at a time. You don’t have to heroically storm through the muddy trenches of your emotional warfare to earn your way back into love. Sometimes the bravest action you can take is inhaling some courage, and exhaling your doubt.
2. Question your thoughts. Don’t believe everything you think. When you start heading towards a new loving relationship, or when love is even beginning to be offered to you, your ego will overwhelm you with excuses to keep you safe and in your comfort zone.
You might think things like…
- “They’re too old, too young, too small town, too big city, too fancy, or too simple for me! It’ll never work anyway.”
- “I’m not finished working on myself yet. I’m not ready for a relationship with anyone. It would be a waste of time!”
- “Relationships are hard work and I don’t want to lose my sense of independence.”
- “I like my life as it is already, thank you very much. Having a partner would just complicate things.”
- “I don’t need a man/woman/partner to complete me.”
And all of these may have some degree of validity, but I would argue that the majority of the excuses that pop up for us are just rationalizations of wanting to stay safe and emotionally hidden. So whatever walls your ego tries to throw in your way on your path to loving again, have a healthy dose of curiosity about them. Listen to your thoughts and ask whether or not you want to engage in believing them. You can even have statements on standby along the lines of “Thank you Ego for your opinion, but I am going to choose to go my own way.”
3. Allow the storm to pass without resenting the weather. When I started to fall for someone again after years of emotional closure, it was terrifying. I had done my best to void feeling for so long that when I was finally offered a relationship with someone that compelled my heart, it was one of the most confronting things I had faced in a long time. For several days after our first date, my body felt like it was possessed. I had a full blown freak out full of journaling, tears, and hundreds of rationalizations as to why I should get out of it while I still could. By diving into my emotional storm head on, I allowed the feelings to move through me. It certainly was not easy, but it was necessary, and I felt lighter after the storm passed. I felt my way through my emotions, and I felt considerably more prepared to face my new partner head on compared to when I was trying to stifle my emotional response. Emotional flare ups will come and go on your way back into love. They are natural, they are healthy, and they should be greeted as warmly as you would a house guest that you haven’t seen in years. These emotional flare ups are your friend. They are a path way to your deeper soul connection with another human being who has nothing but the best of intentions for you.
How Do You Earn Your Way Back Into A Loving Relationship? You will learn to love in layers. Just like anything else worth having in life, this will not be an overnight process. When you allow yourself to feel your emotions, you heal your way through them. So let it all in. Let the exhilarating wave of emotions wash over you and carry you to shore. I know, I KNOW, that it can feel terrifying and overwhelming, and “oh my God I just need to run away from these feelings because they’re so confronting and scary” but there is no growth in running away from your feelings. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is sit with your emotions without judging them, and feel them all the way through until the end.
I so believe in you. For your sake, the sake of the growth of humanity, and for the unknown love that is already heading your way, just breathe into it. You’ve got this. I wish you the best of luck in your emotional journey…