I'm frankly shocked at my level of sharing. I still pause and wonder, “Is this too much information?” Well, if you're here you're probably looking to explore some of your own sacred cows. Let's smash them up! Let's have a demolition dance!
One of my early childhood rules was, “Don't talk to anyone about what goes on at home.” Having tackled a number of my own taboos before, I'm ready to take on some more. The secrets are slipping out anyway. All that holding in takes a LOT of energy. Energy that can be otherwise used to fuel your life.
When I look at my own world I notice that relationships are one area where there are all kinds of limiting beliefs, sacred cows, gold standard and secret stuff. I've noticed from my own reflections how there are certain habits that keep you unconscious, especially in relationships.
For the context of this conversation, when I say habit I mean an automatic response/behavior that you do without thinking, repeatedly. In other words, your default response.
There's one habit that has been especially insidious for me, and that's waiting for love. More accurately, waiting for someone to love me back in a way that I recognize. (The irony that this is all about me doesn't escape me. It lets me know what level of consciousness I'm addressing. Carry on.)
Today's musing is on the topic of habits and how they impact your ability to have more conscious relationships.
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I've been known to wait for things to turn out. I've just waited, waited and waited. Worked on myself. Tried it again. Didn't work out. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Did it again… many, many times. Thought I moved on (but really I hadn't). I was secretly waiting. The end. It's done. It really is. Why have I been waiting? (rhetorical question)
I'm prone to wait (and wait and wait and wait and wait) for a loved one to work it out, before I let them go. Letting go with loved ones is excruciating for me. I'll do almost anything to avoid it.
I've given lots of second chances to things I really, really wanted, especially the object of my affection. Yes, I've been known to stay way past the expiration date on my love affairs. It's been a habit, one that I have fed for a really long time.
This waiting habit has had surprising support as early as the cradle. I was weaned on self responsibility and self reliance. The best attribute in my family was not needing anyone for anything. Taking care of yourself was the gold standard. So I did. I learned zero about interdependence, relationship or communication. Luckily, I was wired for some of this. It still created a rocky pathway to explore intimate relationships.
Now I notice that when it doesn't turn out, I pout. I was pouting yesterday, just shy of a tantrum. Couldn't go there because it would be irrefutable evidence that I've gone off the rails. I know it's an early influence, I feel like bawling loudly so someone will come to hold me. I'd rather feel warm and snuggled when I'm experiencing this level of loss.
Emotional Maturity Alert! I'm probably stuck on my two year old timeline right now. I'm staying with my Aunt Pilar while my mom is visiting family in Cuba (that's the cover story, I later discover why she's really gone). My Dad is working. The sun rises and sets on him at this stage of my life. He's dropped me off my aunt's and she plops me in a crib in a dark room. I start wailing and she returns: “Los niños no lloran!” (“Children don't cry.”) Yes, they do! I'm crying right now. Can't you hear me? Won't you hold me?
From this reverie, my focus quickly shifts to my lips. They're painted fire engine red. All I need is a little taste of love to keep me going. Just a few drops of succulent sustenance. It brings my parched tongue back to life. There's a twisted and tenuous grasp on my early sensations. Sparse. Barren. Bitter.
There are secrets sealed within my cells. Like a fine wine they mellow and mature with the passage of time, sinking into the sediment of an ancient wine cask. Just a drop of this exquisite elixir keeps me in the game. My sensations implode, dispersing around my heart like an inverted mushroom cloud. I'm feeling battered, but not broken. The curve of my spinal column pins me to the here and now.
I don't have the conscious relationship thing down by any means. I am, however, willing to wake up. There's something honking huge out there. I cal almost feel it. I barely grasp it. It's calling me, taking me by the hand.
Frida Kahlo captures it perfectly. “Where you cannot love, don't delay.” You know love. You know the feel of real love and conditional love. Don't settle. Don't wait. If it doesn't add to your life, it's not love.
I'm willing to walk with this BIG Love. I'm willing to love, however I'm able, in the meantime. No more waiting, just willing.