Yesterday, I got out of bed to make lunch. I leaned over to kiss the man that I am dating and said, “Ill go make us some lunch. You relax for a bit.” (Now you know why I was still in bed at noon ;0 ). I then said, “I love you.”
I popped out of bed and ran downstairs thinking, “Oh mother f’ken shit! Why did I let those words escape my mouth!” This morning, when he dropped me off at my house, I leaned over to kiss him goodbye and…”I…”
Dammit! I almost did it again!
The question that I ask myself now is this…Why does this big emotional vortex of fear for simply saying the words, I love you, get stirred up when I say three words to someone I’m dating?
Yesterdays fiasco in word management led me down a path of story that I was shocked to find still lives inside me. Stories of old pain, past hurts in relationship and feelings of unloveablity that date back to medieval times rushed to my defense in an attempt to protect myself from the seemingly inevitable pain of saying three very tiny words. I. Love. You.
I nearly ended the relationship yesterday because I had opened myself so much and allowed myself to be so vulnerable that I went into fight or flight. “Get me the hell outta here,” the wounds of my stories said.
Thankfully, I am dating a man that has this ability to listen when I am in these moments of fear with such benign detachment it makes me smile. Mostly, I smile because I have that gift too. Its nice to be dating someone that listens with the same attentive non-judgement that I do. This is one of the reasons I love this man. He can listen to the rantings of a shakti energy so caught up in the maelstrom of story and just…hold it.
Now, I am a woman that says I love you often. Do you remember the algorithm app that went around Facebook a few years ago that told you the top 10 words you used in your posts? My top word was love. The three words after that we all different ways of saying love. My morning prayers are all about asking for the grace to be love in all moments of the day to come. When working with my clients, when I find an area that is not wanting to budge, I drop into a space of pure love and allow that to channel through me. AND IT WORKS!
So why, I ask, do people (yes, Im expanding to imagine that YOU also feel these same feelings at times) freak out when we say those words to someone we are in relationship with?
Well, it is indeed vulnerable to feel romantic love. We have such a story constructed around what romantic love looks like that it can be a challenge sometimes to stop the condtioned program and simply BE love. Such an amazing amount of our deeply held wounds stem from our relationships with the people in our lives (starting with our primary caregivers) that we come to fear the very thing that was meant to bring us life. Love.
In fact, Ill go out on a limb here and present this hypothesis….
For many of us, our primary caregivers where actually the people that GAVE us life, they literally birthed us into the world. At some level, our romantic relationships are a mirror of our relationship with our parents. So, it stands to reason that we would get totally freaked out in these relationships as they mirror the relationships that created our very existence. If these relationships are crap or we are not feeling loved and safe within them, what does that say about our very life? Our desire to feel loved and safe in our romantic relationships is wired in our brains by the very same neurological programing as our desire to survive and exsist on this planet.
That no small thing.
So, how do we change those fearful patterns when they come up? Oddly enough, we love them. We love the places that hold the wounds that try to block us from loving too much or feed our fear of not getting the love we feel we need to survive.
There is an opportunity in relationship to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves. As we become more aware of our stories we can begin to catch ourselves in those moments when we freak out for making ourselves vulnerable and identify them as F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real).
You wanna get vulnerable? Name your story in the moment that little sucker exits your lips. Watch how much freer you feel when you can name your story. It also has an amazing ability to diffuse a situation if you are willing to be really really real about it.
Be willing to see it differently. “My parents did this”, or “my last partner did that” are not solutions to problems, they are in fact, the problem itself. Whatever happened in our childhood is only repeated by YOU in the moment.
I have often use this quote with clients, “You are only a victim of something in the moment that it happens. Every thing that happens after that, you are doing to yourself. Only you have the power to change it.”
I know for myself being open and free means loving unconditionally. In that, I desire to love with abandon in ALL areas of my life, not just the ones that feel safe. I also own that I am the only person that can bring the feeling of consistent safety to my life. I do that by witnessing my fear when it shows up, naming the story and loving it in the moment.
AND finally…be gentle with yourself. Consider this…our fear in sharing the words, “I love you” stem from a need to survive on this planet. Dont you think that is a good enough reason to be gentle with yourself?
Our sense of survival depends on it. Be gentle.
(Photo taken by FaernWorks)