A while back I dug up a poem from December of 2006. I wrote this piece when I first started making one of the most poignant connections in regards to relationships.
“The sexiest thing is trust.”
For what are the chances of finding someone,
Who you can trust with your mind, body and soul?
That your tears will find a safe place?
Your fears will be met with compassion and understanding?
Your desires will be fulfilled without guilt?
Your happiness will be accompanied by joy?
Your darkness will be directed to the light?
Your eyes will be mirrored by unconditional love?
This trust allows you to shed your outer skin.
What is discovered is your true essence,
Big, bright and beautiful,
Amplified as that trust runs ever deeper.
Strengthening our innate magnetism,
Pulling towards us all we require
As honey draws not only flies,
But bears and bees alike.
During that time I was in my first serious, long term relationship. We were on the marriage track, that is how serious it was, rings and everything. Back then I thought I trusted him completely and was pretty proud of our level of communication.
However it was a false sense of trust and pride. I found myself keeping things from him more and more. I felt I could not be open and honest with him. I feared he would take information I shared in moments of vulnerability and use it against me.
I also did not trust that he loved me unconditionally. He wanted me to change. He was uncomfortable with my super social nature. He was insecure when I would travel/be away from him.
Regardless of all of the other stressors we had to endure, and there were a lot, at the heart of it we were on shaky ground. No trust plus no communication equals no relationship in my book. When I looked at the mirror one day (after two and a half years) and could not stand the person I had become that was staring so sadly back at me, I decided to split with my ex. The next day I packed my things and left.
Communication, in my opinion, has always been high up on the list of non-negotiables when it comes to a healthy partnership. A close runner up has been trust. However I am beginning to realize you have to have one in order for the other to even be present. Yin and yang. They are inseparable.
If you do not trust the person you are in relationship with, how could you be truly (radically) honest with them?
I had an experience recently that confirmed this so strongly. I moved to Austin less than a month ago to follow a dream of mine to live here, but also to follow my heart. The man I love, like I have loved no other, lives in Dallas and I could not stay away any longer.
It was one of the biggest moves of my life. It did not feel scary when the decision transpired. It felt effortless and exciting. Momentum and magic were on my side. But once I got here, and had the chance to be still and realize what actually happened, I cracked. That is when the fear set in. And the voices:
- “Oh my god! What the f()@k did I just do?”
- “I can always go back to California. Just pack up a Uhaul, load up my new furniture, hitch my car to the truck and head west.”
- “He will understand. My entire life is in California and we will figure it out somehow. Long distance wasn’t so bad anyway.”
- “I miss my friends. My support system is no longer close enough to see in person. I can’t do this!”
As if this was not enough to cause me to spontaneously burst into tears on occasion. Add to that all of the work I have been doing around my family, my childhood and my relationship with my dad. Basically you had a recipe for complete and utter meltdown.
I had let him know in the past when I was experiencing sadness. When these breakdowns started after the move, I would share as well, but selectively. And over text. Never in person. Never over the phone. It wasn’t until he told me “You know you can always vent to me” that I lost it. The voices came back, louder and clearer:
- “No I can’t. I don’t trust him.”
- “I have never been able to trust a man to care for me, support me, stick around, etc. Why would he be any different?”
- “I refuse to be vulnerable because he/they will probably either freak out not knowing how to handle my emotions or quietly slink off and leave me alone and broken hearted.”
- “Fuck that noise … not falling for that again.”
That realization brought a fresh wave of tears and sadness. Here was a man who was saying he wanted to be there for me and I had to literally wrestle with myself in order to accept his offer of love and support.
I thought to myself, “If I can’t let him see me in this state, then what would our relationship really be based on? A sterilized version of commitment and love?” I had to decide: Open up and be vulnerable or continue to have a ‘nice’ relationship that lacks truth and trust.
As hard as it was, I decided to push through and allow him to be there for me. Not only did he hear me and console me, he offered some perspectives that shifted my way of thinking. The part that still makes me smile was when he oh so slyly coached me on my own coaching business! The coach got coached … Hilarious to say the least!
Besides, he was right on when he basically said: “If you can’t trust me to be there for you, how is this relationship ever going to work?”
Bottom line: It wouldn’t work. Not in the long run anyway. I experienced that once before with my ex. I learned that lesson the painful way. What I say to that now? “Fuck that noise … not falling for that again.”
This time around I get to be naked, in every sense of the word. Because when I do, that is when I can truly show up my biggest, brightest, most beautiful self. The self that I have come to love. And the self that he also sees and loves.
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As a thank you, you will get a surprise from me as well … an in-depth worksheet where you list out your ideal partner and relationship. When you are clear, they appear…It works like magic I tell ya. XO
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