One of the biggest problems I see facing us in love is that we are terrified of getting hurt, feeling pain, or of making a mistake. This fear keeps us feeling comfortable and safe, and yet leaves us unfulfilled and in a state of yearning for connections and relationships where we feel seen.
I get asked questions like this frequently…
“I’m into my friend, but I’m scared of letting her/him know that I want to pursue something romantically, because I don’t want to lose the friendship. Is that the right thing to do?”.
“I like a co-worker, but I know it’s wrong and inappropriate to mix my personal life with my business life, right?”.
“I love my spouse, but I don’t want to hurt him/her by telling them that I’m not feeling sexually fulfilled, what should I do?”.
“I’m not sure if the person I’m with is the ‘one’ for me, but do you ever really know if someone is right for you?”.
Can you spot what’s underneath every single one of these questions, Melissa?
Fear. You see most people are terrified of getting hurt, so they play it safe through justifications instead of accepting that pain and hurt are crucial parts of life and necessary to have what you deeply desire in love.
You have to be willing to face the possibility of hurt and pain to indulge the idea of falling in love, committing to someone for a long time, and letting someone into the vulnerable spaces of your heart.
But, it’s not your fault. You’ve had a lot of conditioning along the way that tell you avoiding hurt and pain is the safe way of living life. For example, when you were younger maybe you experienced:
Your dad saying, “stop crying, only babies cry”. The message translated was that feeling sad isn’t okay.
When your mom freaked out when you fell off your bike and skinned your knee, and told you to never ride without your knee pads, that translated into it’s not okay to get hurt.
When you were yelled at by your grandmother for accidentally spilling a whole glass of milk on her new couch, that translated as mistakes aren’t okay.
I could go on and on and on.
The truth is that hurt and pain are inevitable, and when you stop sweeping these feelings under the rug or suppressing them, that’s when you give yourself permission to follow the impulse of love no matter what the circumstance.
That’s when you stop putting walls up to protect yourself, and instead commit to love – receiving it and giving it.
So, how do we begin to accept hurt and pain instead of resist it, so we can allow ourselves to experience deeply meaningful relationships?
First understand where the messages of getting hurt, feeling pain, or making mistakes, are wrong or bad came from. Meaning with your parents or those that raised you, what do you remember translating from them around hurt and pain, or making mistakes?
All you need to do is to spot one memory. We don’t have to dwell in the past, but you have to recognize the root to then shift the pattern today.
Second, and this is a big one. Acceptance of what is. To do this, you need to take that moment from the past and and see what you gained from it, how it wasn’t bad or good, so you can relate to it from a more neutral space.
This allows you to increase your bandwidth and resiliency for hurt and pain, and turns it into something that is a part of life versus something to avoid in life.
Lastly, after all of this awareness, it’s time to put it into action. So, you take a step today that has you face the possibility of getting hurt in love.
Maybe you have a conversation letting someone know you like them more than a friend.
Maybe you throw out the idea that you need to be appropriate, and let someone at work know you like them, and trust that you can figure it out even if they don’t feel the same way.
Maybe you tell someone you’re falling in love with that you love them, and see how they feel.
Maybe you tell your partner the places you aren’t feeling the most fulfilled and trust your partnership to work it out together.
I know, there’s a lot in today’s post, and I don’t expect you to discover all of this and move through it on your own. You need support. I know I did.
In fact I see most people, especially in love, being afraid of even asking for support because they don’t want to feel like they’ve failed by not doing it on their own.
But you can start to see how our avoidance of hurt and pain seep into every part of our life and will try to stop us from really living the most epic fulfilling life.
I want to explore this and more with you. Soon, I’ll be sharing information about a brand new upcoming webinar where together we’ll explore where your walls and self protection mechanisms are coming from, so you can have the kind of love that fulfills you on a soul level.
(If you’d like to receive an invitation to attend this free webinar, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Can’t wait to help you kick off 2017 in the best way possible!
Wishing you the best year EVER!