Can Love Keep Fear at Bay?
Have you ever jumped all in in love and then later sabotaged the relationship? It’s been a roller coaster entry shortly after diving into the deep end with my boyfriend. My mom said, “Follow your heart, but keep your head on.” I didn’t know what she meant by that and now I do. By roller coaster I don’t mean we’ve had a roller coaster relationship. I brought the roller coaster into our relationship with my baggage. You see, we have this belief that happily every after means that once you get the guy, things will be easy, you’ll always be in this gushy love bubble and there won’t be any challenges or suffering. Well, I’m sorry to burst any fantasies around this, but it doesn’t work that way. At least not for the people who have soul work to do. One of my dearest friends is twelve years into her second marriage, happy as can be. She shared with me that shortly after they dove all in, she had tremendous fear that arose with an image that haunted her of him dying. When I came into this life, I agreed to part of my purpose being to contribute what I learn through my life lessons. It’s not easy to do this because it requires me to expose the ugly sides of myself in the process. It’s vulnerable. People might not like me or the choices I’ve made. It’s worth it, though, because if it helps even one person, I can rest at night knowing that suffering wasn’t for nothing. The only way I know it has affected someone is when I receive the random email telling me. That one email gives me the fuel to pour my heart out in hopes that I’ll continue to make a difference. I digress.
When we come into relationship, we are saying to the Universe, teach me, grow me, show me where I need to heal. Our buttons get pushed due to expectations of how things should be and we try to run the show. Up until a couple of weeks ago, even though, I had the guy, the house, the kitty, new friends and tons of nature, I’d been having trouble adjusting to my new life in Michigan. I was disappointed because I had expectations about how things should be. California, specifically Encinitas, spoiled me with it’s beaches, delicious healthy food options at every turn, country dancing, yoga centers, healers, high vibrating places where woo woo people could gather to meditate and raise our vibration. When I arrived in Michigan, I expected to have those same things at my finger tips, but they are not common out here. I thought that since everyone loves country music, there would be plenty of country line dance places to enjoy. Three months later and I’m still looking for one that’s not three hours away. I had the expectation that since our romance consisted of long weekend rendezvous with just the two of us wrapped up in each other, that would be present when I arrived in the state. That gushy love had me in a fantasy world. I didn’t’ think about the fact that you can’t do that all the time or nothing would ever get done. My boyfriend has a 9-5 job in the city an hour and a half away that he has to go to everyday to pay his bills. He has two children he raised since birth who rely on him for resources, food, love, attention and support. He had a life before me with good friends and family.
I gave up everything moving here. I was ready and my soul was running the show, but just reality set in that if I wanted to hug a dear friend, I needed to get on a plane.
One challenge I’ve had is that the kids use synthetic bath products, which aggravate my breathing, my wellness and therefore, my happiness in my own home. These products are in the bathroom with the bathtub so I’d take a bath and feel awful due to the chemicals seeping through the containers. I’ve finally managed to avoid reactions by putting the chemical products in their bedroom closets. I hated doing this after putting the containers in ziplock bags to no avail. I want the kids to feel comfortable in our new home, but my health is extremely important if I’m going to be happy.
Also, my boyfriend is a major extrovert and I’m a major introvert. He loves having people over all the time and I have the experience of feeling drained from being with people for too long, whether I love them to pieces or not. I started to move into panic mode, started eating comfort foods, getting thrown off and feeling unhealthy. We have had to have heart to heart conversations about how to work through these adjustments, which always put my system into fight or flight as we are so new and I’ve had this fear he’ll think I’m too much trouble.
With all of these changes, I quickly started to move into fear, which is there for all of us and does serve a purpose if it’s something that threatens our actual physical safety. When the fear is fueled by what if’s, that’s when it can sabotage our relationships. Some of my fears consisted of: What if I made the wrong decision to move to the Midwest? What if we aren’t compatible? What if I my health deteriorates? What if he dies? What if I never find a soul friend out here? What if my work crumbles? What if he realizes I’m not all he thinks I am or I’m boring him? What if me gaining weight turns him off? My coach and I laughed about this one because all of our female friends have admitted to having this one: What if he finds someone else and leaves me? What if, what if, what if?
I couldn’t feel happy in my own home. I’d look at the beauty I’m surrounded by and couldn’t feel the joy. I kept telling myself to be grateful. Have you ever had tried to jump from suffering to gratitude? It’s hard if something needs to be healed. This last one is the one I want to talk with you about. These irrational fears were making babies of more frightening scenarios. Then I would put all of that stress that I was feeling on my partner by accusing him of keeping secrets from me about his female friends and ex girlfriend. I watched his every move, thinking I would catch him sneaking around on me. It’s preposterous, I know. When someone is out of balance, even the most joyous people can be hacked by fear. I would try to meditate the fears away, but the fear was coming from my past relationships where I’d been cheated on. I wasn’t completely free from the wounding from that.
I started reaching out to a couple of friends I could trust not to indulge in the crazy thoughts because it’s so easy to go into fear for the ones we love. If someone asked me if I think he’d do that to me, I was an immediate no. We’re amazing partners to each other and communicate well together. I thought if I could tell him about it and out myself that would help, but he would become upset when I brought it up because he interpreted it as I don’t trust him. I DO trust him and I was having these fear moments that were torture for me. He even told me he’s not gonna f#&* this up. Besides, being an intuitive person, I’d know if our connection was off just as I did in all of my other relationships and avoided looking at what I knew. He would over and over profess his love for me and made it clear, it’s only me. In the moments of fear, these things don’t matter. The heart starts racing with the what-if images in our mind. The jaw, neck and shoulders tense up. The mouth gets dry as if we’re in real fight or flight moment. We
seek immediate relief.
Then I remembered a friend I’d helped with this very same thing when she moved in with her beau and his daughter. I reached out to her and she had huge compassion for where I was in the grips of fear. I asked her how she deals with it. She reminded me that for women, most often we view him as our protector and provider. Our worst fear would be that he would leave us for another woman or worse, he would die. Most men don’t view their woman as either of those, so they don’t understand. It doesn’t grip them like it does women. She also said something that helped tame my crazy thoughts, “He wouldn’t have moved you out here and bought a house with you if he was thinking of being with someone else.” Another friend of mine reminded me that I may need to heal for those past wounds from previous relationships. She also stated that sometimes we finally get what we want and can’t receive it because we feel unworthy, so we can’t feel the joy of having what we want, thus sabotaging our happiness. Another friend of mine said, “Honey, move forward and allow the love in. Enjoy it. If he were to ever cheat on you it would be on him, not you, because you chose to trust him.” I returned to myself with the healing of the wounds, the advice of good friends and making a commitment to myself to enjoy what I have, because I no longer want to waste time in fear. It had been robbing me of experiencing the joy of all I have to be grateful for.