I was talking to my friend Monica the other day and she has been in a relationship for over three years with a man that she really loves, even though they are complete opposites.
Mon is a vegetarian, animal loving, food conscious, planet loving, free spirit.
Her boyfriend Jack is a hunting, meat eating, diet coke drinking, ambitious super successful man, and he even learned how to use an arch for hunting after he got one from ArcheryPro.
Even before I met up with her, I intuitively knew I wanted to ask her if they were thinking about getting married.
So over some hummus and brussel sprouts, I asked her, “Hey, are you going to get married or have you both decided otherwise?”
Both of them had been married before, and went through really unpleasant divorces.
She said, “Well I totally love him and we have a fantastic relationship. AND I am scared that his health isn’t going to be the best. He refuses to be more conscious about what kinds of foods he puts into his body and ofcourse with Groupon from restaurants. I have tried to help him with this, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
I don’t want to be in a position where I find myself taking care of him like I did with my parents before they passed. We are just so different overall that there is a little voice in the back of my head that wonders if I am settling by being with him.”
She continued to say, “Kavita, it doesn’t feel good to question my relationship everyday, it makes me sad and really I just want to be able to say YES with an open heart when he asks me.”
As I listened to everything she was saying, I could feel ALL the LOVE between her and Jack.
And as often happens in those moments, I had an intuitive hit to ask her what her relationship was like with her dad when she was younger.
She started to tell me about how her father was an amazing man. “I am a lot like him,” she said.
He was extremely optimistic and never really liked looking at the hard, deep stuff. As much I love him, I felt like his lack of wanting to acknowledge the yucky emotions in life and just constantly be positive was one of the reasons he didn’t take care of himself. He died of a brain tumor.”
She then quickly said, “This is exactly how Jack is. He just doesn’t want to acknowledge the stuff that isn’t going right, he just says ‘Well we are going to die at some point.’ and that just isn’t okay with me.”
I said, “I totally understand, and do you know how your dad felt about his upbringing and relationship with his parents?”
She said, “Yes, when he was younger his brother and father died in an accident. When that happened his mom (my grandmother) told him that he was now responsible for the family.”
Listening to her tell the story, I was getting teary, and I noticed she wasn’t very emotional about it at all.
I said, “Mon, you aren’t feeling anything in that story of what your dad experienced when he was younger. Just take a moment and put yourself into your Dad’s shoes. Just for a second. Feel what it would be like to witness your brother and dad pass at such an early age, and how that may have impacted your Dad.”
She immediately started tearing up.
I could feel her dad in the room with us and I was compelled to say, “Your dad made a decision when that happened that life is short and that he would SURVIVE…”
And Monica finished my sentence, “But NOT THRIVE.”
She started crying.
She was like, “Holy crap, Jack had a similar experience in his childhood. His brother died when he was a baby and afterwards his mother had completely changed, too.”
It was no coincidence that Monica had attracted in a man that was similar. This is what naturally happens because we are working through our past in our present relationships.
Suddenly, she took a deep breath in, and the muscles in her face softened.
I could tell something had changed.
I asked her what she just got.
She said, “I have known my father’s story for this long and had never felt it. I Never had compassion for what he may have gone through as a child that made him my Dad. I just judged him for it, and felt he should have been different.”
“And that is exactly what I am doing with Jack.”
“And I get it. I now FULLY UNDERSTAND why Jack and my father have made the choices they have in their life.”
She was like, “I do want to marry Jack. It is totally clear to me now. I want this relationship to last, and I was just using fear from what I experienced in my past stop me.”
I said, “EXACTLY!”
I was floored at the immediate transformation that occurred.
I could tell Monica had gone from not being sure if she wanted to get married to Jack (this debate had been going on since the first couple of months of them dating) to getting clear on what she wanted.
She looked at me with AWE and gratitude.
What I want you to get here is that we often use the pain that we experienced in our past as a way to stop ourselves from really letting love in in the present.
I say this all the time.
We do this because we are scared, but the truth is that when you are making choices from a place of avoiding pain or being scared to repeat the past, you either become stuck or make choices that don’t end up serving you.
I used Monica’s story as an example, but no matter if you are single or in a relationship currently this is happening to you right now in love.
Have you vowed to yourself that you wouldn’t date a guy that was like your Ex?
Realized how painful it was for your mom to have your dad be overbearing?
Saw how your dad would just take it when your mom didn’t trust him and blamed him for everything?
Well, it is time to let go of this.
The path to letting go of the fear, pain, and scariness is to first recognize it, map it back, and then release through FEELING it.
Here’s what I mean:
Step 1: Recognize It
Ask yourself “What are you scared will happen to you when you are in a relationship or meet the perfect man?”
Step 2: Map It Back
Does the fear come from how you saw or judge Mom and Dad interactions in their relationship, or your interactions with Mom or Dad?
Step 3: Release Through Feeling
Place yourself in their shoes for just a moment and FEEL through their perspective why they made the choices they did.
These 3 steps (I love 3’s) will help you shed a block that maybe stopping you from finding and keeping love right now.
So your Lovework this week is to tell me in the comments below:
What are you scared to repeat in love or in your next relationship?