It can be really hard at times to own up to what is happening inside your crazy mind.
This is particularly true when it comes to intimate relationships.
The stories we tell ourselves!
Come on I know I’m not the only one.
However, you know what?......
One thing I have found that really develops intimacy - is to begin to dare to reveal yourself to your partner......
Yes, and even ( actually especially) the parts we are least proud of.
What this does is something really astonishing, it creates a greater level of trust within the relationship, because you are trusting the relationship can hold it.
When we share things, that we really do feel would cause the other to walk away if they knew, when we really lean into the discomfort, in my experience, magic happens.
By trusting the other person we create trust in that relationship, we also potentially invite them to do the same.
It can be super confronting, for the thing that we fear the most, the thing that surely makes us unloveable, we are about to expose! This potentially could end the connection to someone to whom we deeply care about, it is kind of like jumping off a cliff into the unknown, and trusting in LOVE.
Every relationship we have is a reflection of the true relationship we have with ourselves. As Anais Nin most famously said ” We don’t see things are they are, we see things as WE are” This is so true.
Here is what happens on the journey of relating:
Say we have an underlying story of being unlovable or undesirable, we will go out into the big wide world and we fall in love. However we unconsciously pick someone to prove to us that this story is true. We will SELECT a partner, or a job, or a group of people and at some point, we will face this story, and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For instance if we believe we do not deserve respect, and we do not respect ourselves, we will SELECT the exact right situation , relationship, job, etc that totally reinforces our story. We will pick situations and people that do not respect us. Our unconscious ego identity loves to be right and it also loves to survive, so it is really good at detecting the exact situation to perfectly reflect back our story to us!
So what do we do? if we are conscious, ie we are looking at the patterns in our life, and the situations, relationships, experiences that are repeating themselves we might get smart and see it. We might see where we weren’t loving ourselves enough, maybe we saw warning signs and we did not heed them, and so we will go off vowing to never let that happen again. Maybe we will read some books on relating, do some workshops, and hopefully do the inner work and begin to love and honour ourselves more.
So then we go off again out into the sea of love, and maybe this time we meet someone who truly does love us, but because of past experiences we are still sure that at some point the truth will come out and then do not love us, and that it will be proven that we are undesirable or unloveable, or that we do not deserve this job, this community, this friend, this luck!
There may be no signs of this, but still deep down somewhere in our neurology we feel vulnerable to this story, and we are simply waiting for things to go wrong.
What we may do next is we check to see if our suspicions are true and we PROVOKE the person, or community, or group to see if our story is true. We test, maybe asking trick questions and challenge the love. There is a part of our identity that is still attached to this story, and this story doesn’t really care about LOVE it just wants to be right, it is like a part of us that doesn’t want to die, and as sick as it is, is programming us to once again (unconsciously) to feel that our underlying story is true. Because that is what this part of us knows, at some weird level this part of us may even seek comfort in this.
And so we PROVOKE, but maybe this time, if we have done enough inner work, we have actually attracted someone into our lives that is prepared to love us through this, that will not listen to our story, and still continues to love us. This is challenging for this part of our identity, but eventually, it will surrender for a while, and we will be amazed, our story isn't true, we are loved, we are respected whatever the story is, it isn't actually true. Hooray we are free, hmm not quite there is another part to this that we often fall into..
Yes, alas it doesn't stop there, because life happens, and we get triggered, we get so triggered, we get really triggered because we are actually starting to really become attached to this person, or community, we really love it, we feel just a little bit vulnerable at losing it, so the stories sneak back in again.
I'll tell you a funny story, this exact thing happened to me whilst I was travelling with my love in Europe a while back. He had come with me to the UK, we were visiting my family. We decided to go to the supermarket to get some food for dinner. Whilst wandering around the supermarket we lost each other. I began looking up and down the aisles for him, I couldn't find him anywhere, so I continued shopping thinking I was bound to bump into him soon. But as time ticked on I began to imagine all sorts of things, I began to DISTORT reality. I began to imagine that he had become so fed up with my family and me, and that it was so boring, and he really wasn't up for all this family stuff, so he just bailed, he just left me there in the supermarket. He had done a runner. I began to imagine what I would do? Would I just go home and tell my family he had scarpered? I was starting to feel ashamed already, and embarrassed. Would I ever talk to him again if he contacted me? Would this be it? Was this a deal breaker? Was there any going back from here? Or was this simply too much? I was deciding in my mind if I could forgive him or not, I was planning what I would tell my Mum, I was starting to feel sad, embarrassed, overwhelmed . And then I saw him standing next to the spice jars, dried fruit and nuts, holding a packet of almonds in his hand. He looked up "what's up babe" he said "you alright?"
I grinned, and inwardly laughed, oh wow that was one hell of a crazy distortion that just happened all inside my own little mind and none of it was true.
"Yes I said, I'm good, I couldn't find you, thought I lost you I said with a slight giggle"
Distortion can happen over many situations, it is again our little ego up to no good, its trying to reinforce our story "i'm unlovable" "I'm unworthy" "I'm not enough" . It will cause us to remember conversations differently, even hear things differently , imagine scenarios that aren't even happening, it's crafty you have to be cunning with this stuff and catch it.
Something that I like to do with my partner, is to laugh about it, or at least confess, sometimes its hard to laugh about it as it can be painful,
It can cause a lot of anxiety, and worry. But if we get used to airing it, and releasing our shame around having these crazy neurotic, insecure parts of ourselves, it does get a whole lot better, trust me.
For a start you realise ( if you have an honest partner) that they do it too, they invent silly stories. They have parts that don't feel worthy at times, or feel not good enough, or too much even. We all have these parts.
So lift the lid, within your relationship(s), and see what it feels like to confess some of the stories. Try a little cliff at first, let me know how you go, see how honesty, transparency, and vulnerability can take your intimate relationship to the next level.
Maybe don't try it at work though, unless your boss is super cool. We do need to
revolutionise the workplace, but thats another blog altogether!