I turned to him and said “I feel like you’re getting defensive, and translating what I just expressed to you as criticism. The truth is, I’m just reflecting back to you tendencies that can help you have more of what you want in your life.”
He said, “Yes it does feel like criticism.”
I said, “Okay, I’m sorry it sounds like that. Let me ask you, if you were to take in my feedback, of what I’m seeing for you, how would you feel?” (I had never asked him this before.)
He said, “I think if I were to take in what you’re trying to show me, I would feel like there’s something wrong with me.”
“Ahhhh. I didn’t know that.” I said.
“Just to clarify, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. Who you are is divine; you are soul. I’m just showing you some of your human (imperfect) behaviors that if shifted, can give you different results in life.
But it’s interesting how our mind/ego will immediately go to there’s something wrong with me as a way to stay stuck. If you could just look at the behavior that’s no longer serving you, without making it mean there’s something wrong with you, does that change things?”
He said, “Yes totally. It’s much easier to hear what you’re saying and take it in.”
Relief, is what I felt after that conversation with my husband, Hemal.
It shed a light on a nuance that I hadn’t quite seen before.
I often deeply reflect on what motivates someone to look deeper into their own conditioning and behaviors that are no longer serving them, so they can open up to new experiences and really live life full out, versus someone that is okay with being okay.
One of the major barriers I’ve found is that it’s hard to be honest with ourselves and admit the truth about our life, who we have become, or who we are.
Two years into our marriage Hemal said, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”
That was a big wake up call for me. For a little while I panicked, thinking of all the ways I could convince him to feel differently, but he wasn’t buying it, and that was a hard pill to swallow.
Then I asked myself with total honesty, “Am I happy?”
No, I wasn’t happy.
It looked good from the outside. But I was so afraid of losing him. Anxious. Desperately keeping the “looking good” on the outside in tact.
Because deep down, admitting to myself that I was unhappy, meant that there may be something seriously wrong with me.
I wasn’t willing to allow myself to think or feel that, so I avoided it for a long time.
Energetically it felt like all my energy was consumed by things external to me. I couldn’t feel the connection to myself, that groundedness, anymore.
Allowing me to stay in a delusion about myself or what I felt.
We are good at feeding ourselves delusions because we are terrified of what that means about us. This is the work of our egos.
Admitting and getting honest is crucial to really feeling connected in our lives.
After I stopped trying to “convince” him and myself of things that weren’t true, I faced the feelings underneath. I admitted to myself that I wasn’t happy, and in turn, faced the thoughts of maybe there’s something wrong with me. I allowed them to come up and show themselves, all those “ugly” thoughts and feelings.
I sat in them for a bit. That was hard and yet liberating.
I didn’t even know how much energy I was spending in avoidance, until I gave these thoughts and feelings space to be seen.
It was freeing.
And slowly I felt my commitment to myself and finding my happiness come through. I had the space to feel this for the first time versus spending my energy trying to avoid these feelings.
I didn’t know the exact path to my happiness or how to feel connected to myself and Hemal again, but I knew I was going to get the support to help me.
So, now it’s your turn, if you were to tell yourself, “There’s nothing wrong with you,” what truths about yourself or your life could you admit to? Truths you haven’t allowed yourself to own or look at. Let me know over on the blog.
Would love to hear!
To being honest with ourselves in every moment of every day,