My heart was pounding so hard. At certain points, I could literally hear it beating. The bump, bump, bump in my chest was almost painful.
I thought to myself, “This is too hard. I don’t know if I can go through with this. I could hang up soon and he won’t know the difference anyway.”
However I knew what I had to do: Have the ‘difficult’ conversation.
You know the kind I am talking about. The conversation where you bare your heart and have no idea how it will be received.
Pushing past discomfort is tough. I mean, let’s get real. Who would want to consciously put themselves in a place of fear and possible rejection?
From experience I have learned that as uncomfortable as it feels in the moment, it would be ten times worse if ignored or avoided.
And believe you me, I was uncomfortable. Not just capital U, capital the whole entire word!
The thing is, it was not just the conversation that was forcing me outside of my comfort zone, it was the whole situation.
I had never been in this position before. Ever. The dynamic of this relationship is brand spanking new. There is no reference point for me. No previous experience to aid in navigating these waters.
Here I have the chance to explore a connection with someone who inspires me, brings out my best self and has me laughing like no other. Yet the idea is also a bit terrifying to be radically honest.
Reason being: my feelings were evolving and I didn’t know what to do or how to be.
As exciting as it had been and continues to be, it was becoming equally as awkward. Especially because I was resisting vulnerability.
I was swimming in uncharted territory and was anticipating being eaten alive by sharks! Do I really want to put myself in this position? I am completely content being single after all!
Okay, so I am being a bit of a drama queen, but in the moment that is what it feels like on a physical level. Flight or flight man! This girl is not going down. I am swimming to save my life!
Fear and excitement feel no different on a physical level.
This is where the decision comes in: Avoid the risk, stay safe and comfortable or feel the unease, put yourself ‘out there’, and see what is available on the other side.
As scary as it was for me, I decided to take the road often less traveled. I had to have multiple conversations with friends to push me off the ledge. The idea was still scary.
My body was flighting it (would get slightly nauseous at the thought). My heart was fighting it (“I don’t want to get hurt again”). Even my head was fighting it (“Just focus on your career and forget this love business”).
But my intuition said, if you do not let him know how you feel, you will never know what might have been. You will live with the regret of “what if?”
So I did. I set up the call and after a little while of catching up on the latest, I let him know that there was actually a reason for my call.
I told him about my evolving feelings, that this was all new for me, that I had not experienced this type of relationship dynamic before and that I wanted to explore it further when I move back to California.
I truly did not have expectations going in because it was more about me pushing past my own insecurities than what his response would be to my admission.
Regardless, I was eager to hear his thoughts. Holding my breath after each time I shared. In the end, his reply was not what I may have hoped for (I am a a hopeless romantic after all) but it was exactly what I wanted.
“Thank you for sharing how you feel. Give me a call when you get back to California.”
Funny thing is, after I hung up the phone, waited the entire 10 minutes for my pounding heart to calm down, and sat down to journal, one of the first things I wrote was:
“But it’s done. It is out of my head and my heart.”
I experienced a sense of peace. More than that accomplishment. It took some courage to be vulnerable and share all of those thoughts and feelings. I overcame my fear and it felt damn good.
With every challenge is the opportunity to learn and grow and strive to be a better version of self. That is what I love about it. That is what keeps me coming back.
The cherry on the sundae: The possibility of exploring, and hopefully experiencing, amazing love … aka true intimacy and connection.
I don’t know about you, but that makes it all worth it in the end.
Besides, as he pointed out, it makes for great blog post material. 😉
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