Relationships · Self

In vulnerability, we find strength

We are all products of our relationships. We are a testament to the kind of love that shapes our lives.

We cannot harness the transforming power of love if we hide from it. We must have the courage to be vulnerable if we want love to lead the way for us. Love is the only compass in life we can trust.

This article is in connection with my previous one, “How I Deal with my Fear of Abandonment”. They are related because they both deal with the power of love to transform and transcend limitations.

Part of my struggle with my fear of abandonment is my unhealthy habit of overthinking and always doubting myself and putting myself out in the open up for harsh scrutiny. I would have this habit of ruminating whether I am doing or giving my partner too much or too little of myself. I am always afraid that if I give him too little, that he would not be committed enough in the relationship or that if I give him too much, that he would be overwhelmed and leave me. Well, whatever I do, I’d always end up rejected and abandoned and finding the perfect balance seems totally impossible. So I am just fucked up either way. I am basically just fucking myself up.

It’s pretty obvious that doing this to ourselves is unhealthy and plain destructive. It’s a breeding ground for powerlessness and insecurity. But it’s not just unhealthy for us, it’s unhealthy for our partners as well.

We are not doing our partners a favor by trying to protect them from the realities of life and love. Each of us has our own battles to deal with. We cannot fight their battles for them in the same way that they cannot fight our battles for us.

I am not saying this as an excuse to be difficult and irresponsible in relationships. What I am trying to clarify here is that we cannot protect our partners from heartaches that can come from our relationship with them.

It will not always be butterflies in the tummy, sunshine, pink hearts and clear skies. We won’t learn how to love if everything’s always easy and nice.

We cannot be perfect in a fairy tale-character-sense.  We can only be authentic; authentic in our awesomeness and in our messiness as humans.

If your partner wants to be with a fairy tale-perfect-character, then he/she is not ready for a genuine love relationship. There’s no reason to hold on to that kind of person. But if your partner loves and accepts you in all your beauty and madness, then there’s no reason for you to always be second-guessing yourself and putting yourself up for criticism.

Don’t be afraid to put your relationship out there in the battlefield. It’s part of discovery and growth to see how you both respond to different conditions inside and outside of your individual selves and your relationship.

It’s only by doing this that you can put yourselves, your strengths and weaknesses and capability to love to the test. It’s only by doing this that you can discover if you really have what it takes to build a solid, genuine and long-lasting love partnership. If you don’t do this, you won’t really see the truth. You won’t also give yourselves the chance to transform and be transformed by love.

Stop believing in the illusion that you can protect your partner from the messiness of love and relationships. Trust him/her as an equal and give him/her the space to prove himself/herself. Give him/her the chance to grow and transcend his/her limitations. Let him/her fight and win his/her own battles. He/she needs it not just for your relationship, but most importantly, for himself/herself. Don’t deprive him/her of that right.

Letting someone love you isn’t only about letting someone be happy because he/she can freely love you. It’s also, and most importantly, about letting someone become stronger and wiser and deeper because of loving you. We don’t just serve our partners by making them happy, by making things lighter for them. We also serve them by challenging them to be their best selves.

So if your fear of abandonment is stopping you from disclosing enough with your partner and trusting him/her enough to show your real awesome and messy side, always go back to the truth that nobody’s perfect.

Again, we choose to be who we are with not because it’s easy but because it’s worth it.

Let your partner see the truth of who you really are. If he/she doesn’t accept all that you are then he/she is not meant to be with you. There’s no reason to overthink, doubt yourself and let yourself down. That’s the simple truth behind it. 🙂

Become who you really are. The right person will always find a way to be with you no matter what.

My partner has his own issues he needs to confront and deal with. He used to have an issue about taking risks and becoming more open and vulnerable to love. But I was able to challenge him and crack his shell open. He has already had milestones in that particular issue, but it’s not completely over. I must continue helping him how to overcome it so he can live his life more openly and passionately.

He also has issues regarding jealousy. He doesn’t want to talk about the other guys in my past. I tried to talk to him about the recent ex I wrote about in my “How I Deal with my Fear of Abandonment” article before. But he just shut down. Later he told me that he knew it shouldn’t be awkward to speak about it (about other guys) but it was awkward for him so he didn’t want us to talk about it. Right then I knew that it was an issue that clings to him, that he needs to get rid off.

It’s not wise and healthy to not just talk about certain things because it’s uncomfortable for you to do so. There are many things in life and in relationships that are uncomfortable to talk about but are totally necessary. We cannot just shut down if we don’t like what we hear.

I believe it’s unhealthy to censor topics that can be discussed between partners. Censorship creates a gap that might be filled up by other unwanted things and people. It’s always best to know what your partner thinks of and how he/she feels about all the various issues that matter to both of you. It’s always best to know where both of you stand.

I cannot censor parts of my life and pick only those that will be convenient for him. He has to know the things that mattered to me and shaped me into becoming the person who I’ve become and who I am becoming. It goes the same way for me. I cannot close my eyes from all the things that might hurt me or make me jealous when I look back on his past. It’s his past. It’s part of who he is. If we love someone, we don’t pick only the parts that are easy for us to like. We love and accept everything about that person. It’s all part of understanding and appreciating the person we choose to be with.

If I want to help him grow into a man, I should let him handle the truths of life and love like a man. There’s no other way to do it but to let him get bruised if it’s necessary to complete the process of learning and being.

If we’re looking for a long-term relationship, we won’t want someone who will chicken out at the first sight of difficulty. We want someone who commits, stays, endures and becomes better when the going gets tough. That’s the reason why we have to put our love, ourselves and our lovers out in the battlefield.

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