For those in a relationship: If I ask you “What’s the greatest challenge you have overcame or are going through now with your life partner?” and “Is there any pattern you have noticed in all your intimate relationships so far? If yes, what is it?” What answers jumped off the bat?
Like any unhealed wound, a part of yourself is in need of healing and it will come through in all ways that might get your attention.
It can manifest through a pattern in a relationship, something that gets you stuck in a loop of some sort – acting out similar situations with similar people.
To me the greatest challenge I have had peace with was my fear of abandonment. Like most stubborn fears, it’s rooted in childhood. I grew up with an emotionally (and physically for the most part, too) unavailable father. My parents were in a codependent marriage. My mother felt abandoned and unloved for the majority of their relationship. I am the eldest, too, which has put me in a position to experience the emotional chaos firsthand. My parents had me when they were in their early 20’s. They were basically kids, themselves, who were forced to grow up.
I had a series of relationships during my twenties with guys who were unavailable, too, in all sorts of ways. It almost always ended up with me getting hurt, feeling guilty and embarrassed. After so many “second” chances I had been given and I had taken to start again and make things right – I finally did it. I took a good look at myself, gave my full love and attention to the unhealed child in me, and ended up the long cycle of abandonment that I was trapped in.
Little did I know that it was just the beginning of healing.
What happened next was one of the most beautiful things that happened in my life – my relationship with my current partner. It’s not a coincidence that the love of my life happens to be from another continent, 15 hours away by plane from me. Almost everyone I know didn’t believe in long-distance relationships. To them it never works and never will. We’re on our third year together this year and we’ve known each other for four – and we’re just getting started 😉
This is the second volume of my healing. By being in a long-distance relationship I was able to make further peace with my fear of abandonment. I was able to ace the challenge of growing together with my partner in a loving and intimate relationship despite being geographically separated. We’d only see each other anytime between four and eight months at a time, and we have the six to seven hour time difference on a daily basis.
Like any kind of healing, this has caused me to be grounded again, to feel more supported again not only by a partner but by life itself – and not only by life itself, but above all by ME.
I felt abandoned for so long because the painful truth was – I’ve abandoned myself over and over again by making decisions not out of self-love but out of self-lack. I simply repeated patterns I grew up with instead of making conscious, empowered choices.
Isn’t it sweet how all our challenges – especially the most stubborn ones – lead to the same thing? Deep, juicy, bottomless, nourishing Self-Love.
What’s your self-love story? 🙂