Taking a chance on a new relationship is proving to be quite the experience. It has thrown me into both romantic bliss and uncharted territory. Recently, I met a man who has challenged every understanding I have about the opposite sex, and the meaning of love. A person who, despite my initial hesitation, which was based solely on fear, has shown me what it means to trust another and slowly take down my emotional walls. This is the first time I have been 100% myself; truly comfortable in every sense of my being. Trusting that what we share is real and meaningful, I am making a choice to participate here. Knowing that my job is to show up and be my most authentic self.
I wasn’t looking for, or even expecting a relationship. I’ve so often heard, it is when we least expect it, the next right person comes into our lives. In many cases, I believe it’s a time when we are our best selves, unconsciously attracting someone who is at their best self, and this can certainly be said about us. Although, if I’m being honest, as much joy as I’m feeling right now, there are brief moments of panic, fueled by my past and limiting beliefs.
Somewhere along the way, I developed a poor standard for what I believed I deserved. Always settling, and forgiving in instances that required me to stand my ground, or put myself first. I was disrespected at times, mistreated and devalued. As confusing and uncomfortable as these experiences were, I allowed for them to happen. Instead of seeing my worth and feeling comfortable in saying, “I deserve better,” I justified the behavior as some form of the male standard, and I stayed. Unhappily hiding behind this sense of self that I no longer recognized. Feeling trapped until I couldn’t stand who I was pretending to be any longer, I would finally get the courage to leave. This pattern continued until I chose to take action, looking inward and doing some serious introspective work.
That brings me here, to this moment, one that starts with self-love and respect. Through my internal remodel, I built a relationship with myself first. Eventually identifying the core attributes I desired in a partner, and wanting something based upon trust, admiration, empathy, support, laughter and so much damn love. Once I was able to get clear about where I saw myself in relation to another, and most importantly, unwilling to lose myself in the process, I turned it over. In letting go of every past experience and expectation, I allowed for this person to meet me where I was at.
I’ve often heard the expression, ‘feels like my heart is outside of my body,’ when describing love and vulnerability. At times, I feel this way too. This beautiful and foreign feeling is a constant reminder to be courageous and true to myself. And when I’m in my truth, I no longer feel weighted down by fear or what ifs. When old stories show up, it gives me an opportunity to change the dialogue, affirming that I AM GOOD ENOUGH (and deserving). Instead of running away, I am making the choice to embrace every aspect of myself and this other person, my person; flaws and all, to love and be loved regardless of where this road may takes us.