First, thanks to those who reached out to me last week. I shared a vulnerable post and an outpouring of support, trust, and connection came my way.
A few people asked me, “Are you ok? I am here for you.”
Others said, “Thanks for sharing. This really helped me during a hard time.”
And some said, “You’re really brave.”
It touched me. And it got me wondering, why was a simple sharing of the heart so poignant for people? Is it uncommon in daily life? Are we so disconnected from our hearts?
In my experience, the answer is yes. And most challenging of all is when we hide our heart where it matters most – in our most intimate relationship with our primary partner.
We experience disconnection, loneliness, and a hunger for intimacy in relationship.
And yet when we open our heart, our partner opens to us. But we must have the courage to act first. Still, often we don’t.
We fear being seen, weak, vulnerable, and scariest of all, rejected. It happens when in response to sharing, we hear…
You’ll be fine, honey.
Just get over it.
It will pass.
Then, we feel even more alone. Did he even hear me? Does she care? We wonder. We feel invisible in a most tender and sensitive moment. It’s too much. It really hurts.
But I want to challenge you. So what if it hurts? Will it kill you? Is it worth keeping your heart locked up?
For some people, the answer is yes, without even knowing it; it’s unconscious.
We lock our hearts away to stay safe and ironically, it makes us less safe. And over time, we lose one another.
“There are parts of our personal story that are top secret. They are off limits; we do not dare reveal them to anyone.
“All this holding back makes us believe that our partner also has no further mysteries to reveal. At this point, Eros begins to recoil.”
-Prem Baba, “From Suffering to Joy: The Path of The Heart”
Eros, that exotic part of us that is deeply curious about our partner. When it’s gone, we suffer. Vital parts of us die. The spark of relationship simmers out.
Simply said, the locking up of one’s heart is a form of self-betrayal and self-abandonment. It’s as if you’re saying to yourself, I’m not worthy of being loved; not worthy of being seen; not worthy of connection.
So then, how do you keep your heart open in relationship?
Without the fear of burdening your partner?
Without the fear of being weak?
The answer has to do with you, more than your partner. And it looks like this… cultivate healthy self-relationship… experience your own heart.
Sit with the parts of you (fear, hope, loss, judgment, etc) that you resist sharing with your partner. Work with those parts. Connect with yourself.
As I said in my post last week, if I’m not connected to me, I can’t be connected to you. It’s that simple.
Healthy self-relationship is the foundation for a heartfelt, energized, and fulfilling partner relationship. When we practice it, we learn to open our heart to our self and our partner – without fear of judgment.
When you commit to being in healthy self-relationship, you’re saying, Self meet self. We’re in this for the long haul. We better get to know each other.
It empowers you to approach your beloved in a responsible way – with a tender heart, stripped of projection or blame, and a courageous sense of vulnerability.
“Babe, I’ve been in a lot of fear lately. I want to talk with you. And yet I’m afraid you might not be open to hearing me. Can I share what’s been going on with me?
“I feel like we’ve been losing one another lately. I want to feel closer to you.”
Notice all the “I” statements. Very few “you” statements or accusations.
Self-responsibility is sexy. You’re in your sovereign, building integrity with your desires and needs – and creating authentic, empowered, and energized relationship with your partner.
And your partner feels it. She or he can relax, feel connected to you, and trust you to stay connected, even when you disconnect from yourself.
Originally Published on stuartmotola.com