Love alone is not enough for truly whole, authentic and intimate relationships…courage, vulnerability and the strength to dare greatly to see, and been seen by, another on a truly whole and authentic level, once the initial attraction falls away is what makes truly nourishing, honest, openhearted and authentic relating with others. Sophia Grace
In this blog I would like to share the realisations that I’ve come to see over time that allow me now, after abuse, to develop whole hearted relationships in which I can be truly honest, open, authentic and Me.
I have realised over the years that love or common interests alone are not enough for me to be able to live truly open heartedly, authentically and wholly as Me when it comes to coexisting in close relationships with others. Whether those relationships be with my husband, daughter, extended family, close friends or collaborators with whom I work – I’ve come to realise that I need so much more that those feelings of butterflies in my stomach, love in my heart or feelings of passion and excitement for shared goals and ideas in order to be able to connect with others at the level which I need in order to stay whole, true and authentic within myself in relationships.
I have come realise that in order to be truly able to be me, which is the most important thing for me in any relationship, that I need to be able to have or develop the following with the other (s) with whom I’m relating:
Shared values, core beliefs and principles,
Shared goals, passions and desires,
Honest, open, authentic and true communication, where all parties are able to hear and be heard freely, openly, safely and non judgmentally,
True intimacy and by that I mean the ability to mutually meet, see and accept wholly and unconditionally the other without judgement or fear,
Vulnerability – where both I and the other feel safe and trusting enough to dare greatly to open ourselves up to the other, to share our stories, feelings and truth. For it is in our voices and the stories that we tell that our truth is heard and our true gifts can be found, to help and inspire ourselves and others to heal and grow. In addition, in allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, in daring greatly to open ourselves to others, we have the opportunity to discover and uncover a real sense of our true self, our true meaning and purpose in life,
Willingness to go to the places where we may not want to go in order to evolve and grow. Yes that means going to the places where we are forced to;
- be vulnerable talking about feelings, our needs, how we really feel.
- work through our relationship struggles, ruptures and fractures and repair any broken links to develop greater connection and intimacy. And also,
- go to difficult places where we are forced to learn how to compromise, as well as manage differences, and navigate conflicts, tricky situations, disagreements and all that stuff, to grow individually as well as collectively with those with whom we are in relationships.
Courage and strength – which all of the above require,
Clear boundaries, and
The ability to dare greatly to go beyond the boundaries, limitations and resistances of our ego mind to push each other forward to become the very best that we can be.
Of course there will always be difference between myself and others in relationships and that is not only part of life, as no two people are ever completely the same, but also necessary to stretch me beyond my own viewpoint and mindset. But what I have found to be important to me is that I am now not only more able to stay true to myself in the midst of those differences, when they exist, but also I am more able to find like minded relationships where those differences are not only honoured and valued but also nurtured and respected. This has enabled me in my relationships to expand, learn and grow at a very deep level.
I find that without this and the qualities mentioned above that I feel frustrated, unsatisfied and unfulfilled in relationships. At worst too, I find that I lose my truth and own sense of self trying to fit in with, or mould myself around, the other in order to connect … and that is just too painful inside for me.
For many years I found myself trying to make myself fit around the other or even trying to get them to fit around me. Not only was I trying to make the impossible happen but also I was giving away too much of myself. Too much of my time, energy and sense of self trying to connect myself with someone who was just not aligned with who I truly was or was wanting to be. That was so exhausting, frustrating and unfulfilling. And so now I choose to invest more time, love and energy in building connections and friendships with people who are on the same wavelength as me and who share those qualities that I look for. In doing so I have created relationships that nurture me, fulfill me and support me. And, relationships that are based more on wholehearted connection and less on codependency which I needed in the past to fulfill, the insecure, fear based needs and desires for approval, ‘love’ and acceptance of my wounded inner child.
I’ve learnt that true, openhearted and authentic relationships, in themselves take commitment, time and energy to nurture and grow and that whilst I would very much like to have such connections with all of my friends, I know, realistically, that that is not possible. So I choose to focus on a handful…yes literally 5 friends, that I commit to dedicating my time and energy to nurturing and growing a meaningful relationship with. I have found that in doing this that I am able to develop closer relationships where I am able to connect on a truly nourishing, loving and authentic level.
Building authentic relationships, based on trust, clear boundaries and authentic communication is possible with clear focus and intention ( a broader conversation for another blog). Whilst for me this isn’t totally possible in all my relationships, particularly I am talking at this point about longing running and well established relationships of old that are stuck in old ways and require willingness on both sides to adapt and change, I have found now that as I form new relationships that I am able to attract more like minded friendships. As a natural course some of the old relationships that have been unable to adapt and evolve have fallen away. With that, space has been made for new connections to be made that have enabled me to develop deeper, more authentic and fulfilling relationships and for that I’m really grateful.
Whilst establishing new relationships in a more consciously openhearted way has pushed me hard at times out of my well defined comfort zones and into places where I really have had to challenge old beliefs, judgements, trust issues and ways of relating in order to connect, they have totally been worth the time, effort and commitment that I have had to put in. Not only do they fill my heart with joy and love once again but they allow me to rebuild the trust once lost to abuse. I am now more able to open my heart, to giving and receiving love once more and, to allowing others in… this time on a truly loving, whole, more meaningful and authentic level.