“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow–this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
The floor of the theatre on the cruise ship was woven with colours of a deep sunset. Worn and tired, my hands danced across the industrial feel as a way to ground myself. I was summing up the courage to initiate a soul-wrenching conversation.
You see, what a lot of people don’t know, is that I struggle with connection. The physical response in me, to anything that could or is ‘sisterhood’, feels palpable on my skin. Often a shiver or a shake, as it’s too wrought with being seen, being vulnerable, being myself.
The conversation was sparked from a place deep in my soul. Somewhere primal, longing for a tribe of women I could belong to. The words came out of me, spilling like water over a flood wall. One drop, then streams, then the flood. Pouring out all of my insecurities, as a true confession of my judgement of someone because I felt that their projection of ‘sisterhood’ was inauthentic. How could they have such an amazing community around them and it be authentic? Surely it was all just a marketing ploy! I internalised their truth, their tribe, their journey as inauthentic out of my own jealousy and longing.
As I sat on the worn carpet, I chose to lay down all of my judgements directly to the person, as a way to relieve the pressure it was causing me and also as a way to seek forgiveness. As my voice shook and the tears fell, my soul softened. My heart pounded. A sliver of hope shone in, the path of true connection and deeper relationships had begun.
I knew that I wasn’t done with my confession. Through the narrow hallways of the cruise ship, I bounced around with each wave, both physically and emotionally. I needed to now do something even more difficult.
I walked in into the tiny cabin ready, to be honest with my Husband. With fresh tears, a deep sense of empowerment and a continued desire to be vulnerable and courageous I said one of the hardest things I have said to someone I loved:
“I just want you to know that I love you, but I haven’t been all in. It’s not that I haven’t loved you or have wanted out, but I haven’t invested 100% emotionally because I have wanted to protect myself from getting hurt. So, baby, I’m 100% all in. I am here to show up 100% and open myself up even more.”
My Husband looked at me, hugged me and held me. I fell in love with him more. I fell in love with myself.
We all bring our own limitations to our marriage. We bring our baggage, our strengths, our gifts and our protection. It is each of our choices in our marriages to show up with everything that we are so that we can connect on an even deeper level. After that conversation with my Husband, I felt so more present, aligned and in sync with myself in our marriage and with myself as a woman trying to learn how to cultivate meaningful relationships.
Our limitations can be our freedom.
What are the lessons of your limitations?
So real and raw. Completely exposing and surrendering your soul to your spouse is a brave thing to do. When one has been hurt and has scar residue from a broken marriage it is the hardest thing to do. Beautifully written and encourages me to take another brick out of the wall.
A beautiful confession. Being 100% takes time and trust. Simon Sinek talks about the Circle of Safety and uses the 7-year mark as an arbitrary measure of time before you feel real trust. (He did say it’s different for everyone, but on average, this is so)
I totally understand your trepidation, both in leaning into vulnerability and being brave enough to confess. You are amazing! xx