Recently, I began developing feelings for a man I’d been spending time with. As things progressed, I found my heart expanding and my love deepening with each interaction we shared. It felt like it had potential. It felt real. And then, of course, ‘stuff’ happened. You know the stuff I mean – triggers. I said something, he had a knee-jerk reaction. He did something, I had a knee-jerk reaction. And BAM! There I was, spiralling into the abyss of my unhealed Wound of Self-Worth.
In my mind, he no longer wanted to spend time with me, it had all meant nothing to him, I had got it all wrong again, and here I was playing the fool in a sorry heap on the floor. My mind righteously scorned, “See? THIS is exactly why you shouldn’t open your heart to people!” And at first, I listened, nodding in bitter agreement as my heart crumpled in whimpering defeat.
But when this man and I reconnected, I was hit with the sobering realisation that my mind had gotten the better of me. None of those thoughts and beliefs were true – the integrity of our connection was palpable. We just had a moment of humanness; snagging on a reflection of ourselves in each other’s mirrors.
Where were the Limits of My Love?
I knew this man was not one to be bound by limitations. Firstly, because he was going through major shifts and transitions in his own life, and secondly, because that is the nature of his personality. A trait I recognise in myself. He did not want to be in a relationship, and I understood. And so began my head-long dive into the rabbit-hole of self-enquiry … was I happy to continue spending time with him on a casual basis? Or did I want more? Are there limits to my love?
My mind told me I wanted more; I deserved more, and whether this was true or not, the empowering feeling of aligning with self-value was seductive. So, I took hold of my energetic sword and allowed its weight to charge me with the confidence to tell him – we could only be friends. I drew a boundary around my heart, for my heart. Or so I thought.
But I soon noticed this was no line in the sand. It was a wall. I curiously observed the heaviness in my being when we spent time together, the tendrils of my heart desperate to intertwine with his. I was holding myself back from revealing my truest, most authentic expression with him, and in doing so, I felt like I was extinguishing this smouldering love. I no longer felt empowered as everyone said I should. It no longer felt like my truth. So back down the rabbit hole I ventured …
What was My Truth?
What was my truth? My heart longed to drop into that rich, deep and expansive place that was so naturally unveiled when I was with him; to surrender all ideas of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and just let go. But my mind kept telling me, I was falling into an old pattern of putting the needs and desires of others before my own, “You have to make a stand for commitment!” It echoed. Because that’s what single, thirty-something-year-old women want, right? … But did I?
Don’t get me wrong – commitment is something I want, in a sense, but this is where my heart and head kept tripping on each other. My head was telling me I wanted commitment from a person. I wanted someone to tell me they wanted me and only me, for the rest of our days; the fairy tale ending. In other words, I wanted to be told I was enough. Yet my soul knows the potential of my love goes beyond the restrictions of time, place, person, house, job, family, hobbies and so on. It just felt wrong for me to sign my heart to these terms and agreements, and so, I unlocked the shackles of my mind and slowly softened into him. Into us. Into love.
It was scary, throwing caution to the wind and investing all my trust in love and love alone, rather than in a person. But it also felt true to me. Of course, my mind quickly rebutted, reminding me what that meant, “Well if that’s what you choose, you need to be okay knowing he’s not YOURS and with no commitment comes no security.” I knew. And to my surprise, I was okay with that. In fact, the idea of him being ‘mine’ and me being ‘his’ felt odd and incongruent with the expansiveness of this love we were exploring. I know the truth and depth of our connection is real and mutual. We’ve spoken about it openly. The commitment we are making is to a love that’s beyond us; a universal Love. To each being the truest, fullest, most expansive expressions of this love, individually and together, that we possibly can. Whatever that brings forth, may we hold this promise in our hearts and move through it with Love as our sign-post.
You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I AM Enough
Brené Brown speaks about worthiness being the core of many of our human struggles. It certainly rings true for me. It was a profound moment when I realised not believing ‘I am enough’ was motivating me to find my ‘someone.’ A way to convince myself that yes, I am worthy. But that realisation became even more profound when I realised it was only a belief. Who was running the show here – my heart or my mind? But more importantly, who did I want running it?
I know in my heart I am worthy. I know I am enough, and yet, some invisible wiring in my brain still had me believing I needed to prove it to myself and others through the commitment of another person before I could truly accept it.
It was time to re-write that story.
I Choose Love and Glitches
So I choose love. Love for me. Love for him. Love for Love. And hey, in all its magnificence and glory, it isn’t without glitches! But these are glitches I choose. These are glitches I commit to transcending and transforming, so I can learn to glide more fluidly through these waters, moulding myself in, around, and through the cracks and crevices; letting go of the way my mind thinks I should love and instead filling the spaces that invite me into them. I can’t be attached to the idea of how a relationship, a situation, or even a moment should look. Because if I do, I’ve forgotten the essence of what this is all about.
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what lies ahead in my journey with this other soul, or any other soul for that matter. Perhaps we will outgrow each other. Perhaps our love will change. Perhaps we will discover we are on different paths and go our separate ways. Who knows. Perhaps through the relaxation and commitment to Love we may remain in love for a very long time. But what I do know is, in our short time of relating, my eyes and heart have been blown open to the potential and limitlessness of love.
And whatever happens between us:
I cannot un-know this place
and this space in my heart.
My heart is the Love I commit to;
Love is a huge and mysterious thing and it’s different for everyone. There are so many kinds of love and there is no right or wrong when it comes to expressing it. If you have a story, memory, enquiry, question, or thought about love you would like to share in the comments below, we would be so happy to hear it.