Without realizing it, I’ve almost always loved expecting a certain kind of love in return. Giving people the opportunity to shut down on me or walk away is playing Russian roulette with my confidence. I get why it’s scary and want something in exchange for my risk. I do it for love, for the hope that by putting myself out there, I’ll make a new friend who really gets me, find a partner that loves me how I want to be loved, meet a mentor who pushes and appreciates my promising potential. But in that expectation, there’s desperation, a need that’s burdening and casts a looming shadow of disappointment.
The love I sought was dependent. It requires my love to be an exclusive gift, the real me something only a deserving few get to see. What I considered love is what David Hawkins describes as an “intense emotional condition combining physical attraction, possessiveness, control, addiction, eroticism and novelty.” Yea, that pretty much sums it up. Even in friendships and family relationships, remove the physical aspects of this definition, and the elements still fit.
I didn’t know that I didn’t want what I was searching for until I showed up in an incredibly uncomfortable, vulnerable conversation. It was a perfectly placed stick of dynamite and I grasped at the crumbling stones of my ego as they fell. Like the chisel Jenny so wonderfully describes here, I’m grateful for the parts of me that emerged from beneath its blows.
If our hearts are so sacred, why only share them with one person? Why should only a few be able to “get” us, to share in our dreams, our wounds, our ridiculous tantrums? Your anger won’t scare me, your joy won’t lessen my own. I want to know you. What if we all showed up with everyone? If we lived believing in an abundance of love rather than a shortage for which we must prove worthy and compete?
Brene Brown talks about building a shame network – a group of people who understand you, people you can reach out to when someone does shut down or walk away and leave you questioning yourself. With these pillars supporting me, my own self included, I can risk letting a few bulls trample through my sometimes china-like self worth without retreating back into myself. They provide me an arena for heartfelt, often embarrassing discussions about my confused insecurities. Instead of humiliating me for my feelings, they reaffirm that I'm learning, growing and on to something. The good people are worth it. These uncomfortable conversations matter because it gives us a platform to challenge our current thinking, to inspect the beliefs we hold without question, and to dethrone them so we can live the life we might not yet know we want. People are people. Fallible. Beautiful. Unexpected. Show up. Show me who you are. Let’s enjoy our real company while we’re here.
Meet the author! (Seriously. You should meet her. She's really great.)
Website: www.graceopens.com (under construction)
Dream Job: Novelist, sculptor, filmmaker, psychologist, and physicist rolled into one.
If I Had a Million Dollars: I’d invest in ten different start-ups and spend the rest pursuing my dream job.
What I Wish Everyone Knew: We don’t know what we don’t know - it doesn’t have to be the way we think it is.
What I Want: To genuinely love without expecting love in return.
What Motivates Me: My intuition. Certain things call to me and push me into action.
What Holds Me Back: Periods of low self-worth and fear of what other people think
| || |
What I'd Like to Let Go: The spider in my room, but it’s too cold outside.
What I'd Like to Keep: Long beer nights with good people.
Biggest Fear: Not being loved.
God Is: Everything and nothing, the grace that holds me, the flow that moves me.
Prayer Is: Only as strong as your intention.
What is Sacred: Individuality. Me-time.
What is Teacher: Everyone I meet who thinks differently and isn’t afraid to discuss it.
Quote of the Day: People are people.
Current Book Obsession: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.