Let’s do this.
Myth #1: “I must protect my heart.” Actually, you can’t. Well, you can, but what’s the point? Trying to move through life constantly shielding yourself from being vulnerable ends up making you move as if through quicksand, carrying a heavy burden on your shoulders that everyone hears you bitching about. And actually you’re just not fun to be around.
Engaging with the world in any kind of meaningful way is going to affect your heart. It’s going to make it swell, melt, crack, break, expand, swoon, tear open and fill up. That. Is. Life’s. Purpose. Stop trying to protect something that isn’t designed to be protected. Everyone I have ever met has shifted the atomic structure of my heart due to the sheer fact that they have touched me in some way. Sometimes lovingly,
sometimes . . . ummm . . . not so much. Ouch. But it’s all these experiences that have transformed my life. Good and bad. Not just the warm, fuzzy ones.
Myth #2: “I can’t find a good guy. Or girl.” Well, not with that attitude you can’t! Stop using finite words like “Can’t.” “Don’t.” “Won’t.” “Never.” Sound familiar? “I never meet nice girls.” “I don’t ever meet a guy who likes me the way I like him.” Not only are you declaring what’s not possible for you, you’re setting yourself up for some weird self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe you actually want it that way. To start changing your dialogue around relationships might mean you have to start getting accountable. You might have to face your fears of intimacy. Or look at why you don’t really believe you deserve to be with someone amazing. Or why you keep finding yourself clinging to people who are not available. Really incredibly amazing people exist out there. Maybe the first step in meeting them is realizing that you’re one of those people too.
Myth #3: “There’s someone else coming along.” Well . . . yeah, it’s like public transportation . . . there’s always another bus coming every 3 minutes or so. But the truth is (although Tinder would make us believe otherwise), there is no one sexier, better, younger, hotter, funnier, more together, fitter, cuter coming along. Relatively speaking, yes, like those buses, there are. But the truth is, once you settle down into domestic bliss ”“ be it two days (that was fast!), two weeks, two months, two years ”“ you start to see patterns emerging. What are these crazy things you thought you kicked to the curb with your last boyfriend when you threw his cheating ass out at 3 AM? Here they are again. The truth is it has nothing to do with anyone else. The stuff that comes up for each of us is our stuff. Reflected, projected, and deflected by another. Our impatience, fears, withholds, judgments, insecurities, habits, triggers, blames, upsets, controls are working themselves out through everyone we meet really ”“ but oftentimes the people we are most intimate with. So the outer packaging might change (Oh, that one has such a pretty bow!), but what’s inside the box is always the same.
Myth #4: “I can’t do that to her (break up with, share your feelings with), she’s not ready.” It is not your job to decide (i.e. control) what you think someone can or can’t deal with. That actually has more to do with your own fears of expressing your truth and its repercussions than it does the other person. This is mostly because we value the opinions of others (Please Like Me!) more than we value ourselves. Self-worth is the highest form of self-love because it requires you to put yourself first and stop making excuses for the reasons why you can’t move forward in life. “I don’t want to hurt him.” “She’s not strong enough.” “What will happen if I tell him that?” These are just excuses to keep you from doing the work you have to do to get honest and risk telling someone how you feel no matter how uncomfortable, weird, icky, wild, raw, unnerved, gross, pukey, shut down, vulnerable, exposed it may make you feel. You value someone else’s comfort more than you value your discomfort. It doesn’t matter how much prettier, powerful, stronger, together, successful, richer, more famous, fucked-up, damaged, weaker, fragile, incapable, unprepared, spazzy, destructive, ill-equipped, or innocent you perceive someone. If you can’t speak your truth, you value yourself less than you do their opinion, love, support, money, help, advice, friendship, sex, drama, wrath, upset, disappointment, resentment, guidance, co-dependency, respect or presence.
When we begin to open our hearts, share our truth, expose our insecurities, allow ourselves to be human and acknowledge the parts of ourselves we want to keep hidden, we begin to be the force we always knew we contained within ”“ but oftentimes are looking for everywhere else, through everyone else, in everything else ”“ rather than ourselves.
That is, love.