For the majority of my life, navigating romantic relationships was like trying to reverse the Titanic. My past romances were filled with tons of mini-dramas and fearful illusions. I exuded fear and grasped unto relationships for my dear life. This behavior was very unattractive. I thought I'd never "figure it out." I often wondered why some of my girlfriends had such an easy time in relationships while many of us were left in the dark struggling to make sense of it all.
Then one afternoon, while coaching a young woman on her romantic relationships, reality struck me. The voice of my ~ing (inner guide) spoke up. She said, "Girlfriend, you MUST get it together. You can't be coaching this stuff if you're not living it." My ~ing was spot on. I had to stop hiding and surrender to the voice of my inner guide. It was time to resurrect my fear in romantic relationships.
So, I got my ~ing on. The first step was to witness my behavior. Rather than blame others and search for answers "out there," I looked inward. I took an inventory of all of my past relationships and limiting beliefs that had kept me stuck in negative patterns. I quickly realized that my fearful mind (my ego) had convinced me that without a man I'm incomplete. Boy, did this fear-talk really screw me up. Consequently, this thinking kept me grasping onto the wrong relationships for fear of being alone. In addition, these thoughts made me totally inauthentic and insecure. Witnessing this behavior was the first step towards changing it.
Then I went deeper. With my newfound consciousness of how fear had paralyzed me, I chose to stretch beyond it. At some point in my life I'd learned to be afraid of being alone. This fear lived deep inside my body and the only way out was to stop avoiding, rip off the band-aid and start feeling. With this in mind I embarked on a daily inventory. Each time I noticed the limiting belief (without a man I'm incomplete) come up, I'd check in with my body and allow myself to feel the discomfort. I'd sit in the discomfort for ninety seconds and let it transform. I did this all day long. Each day the pain became less crippling and my fear began to dissipate. I learned that feeling it meant healing it.
Though I'd felt serious relief, there was more work to be done. The final step in my transformation was to activate the F word. Forgiveness. I had no other choice than to wrap my fears with love and forgive my past. I made a list of all of my former relationships. I looked over the list and committed to forgiving them all. I wrote each of them a letter (which I never sent). The purpose of the letter was to accept them and honor them for doing the best they could. At the end of each letter I thanked them for teaching me the lesson of forgiveness and for guiding me to change. I reread these letters nightly for a month. They were very therapeutic and transformational. By forgiving these past partners I was able to release them and the ego's fear-based story that I'd replayed for way too long. I released the role of victim and set myself free.
As a result of this work I was able to transform my actions and relinquish my fear. I shed the relationships that no longer served me and stepped into a newfound sense of confidence and self-love. I was totally comfortable being on my own and knew in my heart that there was a great relationship for me. At last, dating had become fun and entering into a new relationship flowed. I'd set myself free and learned the most important lesson of my life: transform your fears and love will be your guide. Love always wins.
If you'd like to learn more about releasing fear in romantic relationships join me on 2/11/10 in NYC for my LOVE WINS lecture. Details at addmoreing.com/speaking