“Sometimes to lose balance for love, is part of living a balanced life.”
(Ketut) Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
So profound and absolutely 100% true!
Often what I experience is people “over-correcting” or trying to “protect” themselves from getting hurt by trying to keep things “balanced” or “even” in relationship.
I’m just going to cut to the chase and say this plainly (you know me).
Look, we’ve all been hurt. We’ve all been crushed before. If you are over 20 years old (and I’m pretty confident you are), you’ve had your heart stomped on already. A few times. Some were devastating and some were just awful. Yes?
Yes, I know. I’ve had this experience too. A few times.
Here’s what I’ve learned…no matter how much you try to keep it even, no matter what you try to do to protect yourself “the next time”, you cannot protect yourself from the PAIN of being hurt. You might protect yourself from the SHAME, but you cannot protect yourself from the PAIN.
What does that mean?
When we try to stay balanced, even or protected in intimate relationships, often the driving force behind it comes from the aftermath of another awful heart break. That moment when we say something to ourselves like “well, I’m not going to let that happen to me again”.
And in that moment, we make some kind of decision to change our feelings, actions or thoughts next time to protect ourselves from that kind of hurt.
Maybe you decide you will never say something so vulnerable again. Perhaps you decide that you won’t take such a vulnerable action next time. Maybe you make a new “rule” for yourself on what you are willing to give and what you will never give again. Whatever it is for you, it’s usually about being less vulnerable and more protected next time so it doesn’t HURT quite so brutally.
Any of this sounding familiar sweetie?
But, if you’ve ever loved, you probably realize that no matter how much you try to protect yourself from the PAIN, it still hurts like hell when you get hurt in love! You can’t protect yourself from how badly it’s going to hurt.
So that brings me back to my statement “You might protect yourself from the SHAME, but you cannot protect yourself from the PAIN.”
When we make these new rules about keeping ourselves more balanced, keeping things even, or protecting, what we are really doing is trying to protect ourselves from the SHAME of being hurt in intimate relationship.
So that if we do get hurt, at least we will be able to stand with our head held high feeling like we didn’t let anyone walk all over us, we weren’t a needy or vulnerable puddle on the floor…etc.
This is an equation for a very lonely life. How do I know? Take a wild guess 😉
Yes, this was my pattern in the past too! But you know what this leads to? It leads to half-assed living! You love, but not in a way that you give yourself freely. You GIVE, but only to the extent that you already got, so you feel balanced.
It’s what I call “luke-warm” living. Not very exciting, passionate or fun….just kind of “getting by”.
I was watching Eat Pray Love a few days ago, and I stopped in my tracks when Katut said to her “Sometimes to lose balance for love, is part of living a balanced life.”
That’s it! That’s phenomenal wording for the dynamic that so many people are living when they live 50%/50% in relationship or stay balanced out of protection (fear).
Until you LOVE fully, you are not really LIVING fully!!!! Truly LOVING your intimate partner is part of living a balanced life! Go all in! Put some skin in the game! Play full out!
You were given life so you could LIVE IT! Go live it! Don’t spend your life balancing your life…..live it! And start with the sweetest part of life….LOVING FULLY!