When loving you is hurting me

love and kindness

When loving you is hurting me, I can soften to the situation at hand and allow it to tenderize my heart. Healthy, loving relationships require each person to be responsible for healthy boundaries, clear communication, and self-care.

action based on pure intention

Love is a verb, an action based on pure intention. In my nervous system wiring, part of how I learned to love is to take care of you. If you feel good, then my nervous system relaxes and I feel good. This learning did not get me where I wanted to go. This is a wee bit enmeshed and dare I say, unhealthy. Remember, healthy, loving relationships require each person to be responsible for healthy boundaries, clear communication, and self-care.

a kindness, unwelcome, is an unkindness

I’m growing ever more aware of my own tendency to rush in to “fix” people. Recognizing I can be okay even if you are not okay allows me to be more tender in the moment. A kindness, unwelcome, is an unkindness. You see, much of the time people don’t want to be “fixed.” Oftentimes they want to be seen and heard and sometimes held.

somehow responsible

My energetic field is rather attuned to what is going on around me. I sense it in my body. I can tell if someone is okay or not. My problem is I then conclude that I am somehow responsible for getting that person back to “ok-ness.”

Call me an empath, call me sensitive, call me what you will, I have come to think this quality I hold (and perhaps you do, too?) can be both a blessing and a curse. I would rather it be a blessing, so I do what needs to be done to maintain clear boundaries. I can enjoy tuning in without charging up and going into fix-it-mode.

even if my intentions are good

When loving you is hurting me, when I feel I am going down a spiral of negativity with you, I need to seriously wake up and change something. I speak out against abuse or mistreatment. I advocate for assertive and clear communication rather than passive aggressive and cloudy communication.

I once heard a story of someone so eager to help that she became an ambulance driver. Hyped up on the speed of helping, she ended up running over innocent pedestrians on her way to help. This begs the question, is doing what I am doing really helping? Is it hurting the other person and/or myself, even if my intentions are good?

ironically, everything is then okay

Quite simply, instead of rushing in with what I think is best, with what I think the other person needs, instead, I ask, How can I help? Truly I can simply ask. I can be present with another’s pain in a way that can be healing. When I no longer reject that person or his experience, AND I no longer reject myself and expect “ok-ness,” ironically, everything is then okay.

We’re wounded in relationship, we heal in relationship

heal relationship hug

My partnership is helping me heal in all sorts of surprising and challenging ways. First of all, when I love the man I am with and not the man I think he should be, I always feel more accepting of myself, and vice versa.  When I am more accepting of myself, my man is even more adorable. He is amazing. The story I tell myself at these times is that his presence in my life is truly a gift.

We were wounded in relationship and we heal in relationship.

This I believe. I also believe in the power of pouring energy into upriver nurturance as much as possible vs. using precious life energy in downriver clean-up. I can tend to my relationships with positive exchanges, bids for connection, and building a culture of appreciation. In all my relations. I can break the legacy of wounding that rears up from a scared, lonely person.

“Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real. Love…is the discovery of reality.”

—Iris Murdoch

Waiting for others to change and circumstances beyond my control to be just so in order to heal and be happy was a vicious cycle. It was exhausting. It didn’t get me where I wanted to be…a place of unconditional love, respect, and understanding.

We all have these moments. It is part of the human condition. But I no longer need to perpetuate the cycle of drama/trauma by reacting to life that is done to me. Then I feel caught in a vicious cycle; the guilt/shame, apologize/forgive, and blow-up/repair.

relationship hug

It is the season to reflect on love. As a couple’s coach, I am reflecting on the following inspiring points from an Imago International Conference Embodied Therapist training to help break from this seemingly familiar cycle:

Remind Old Brain

1. This is my Beloved (my husband)

2. Seeing this person as an enemy is a choice

3. Interdependence is NOT DEATH.

4. It takes gas to move a car forward (or it takes a lithium battery). Positive energy must be present to move forward.

5. Clearing up my side of the street performs miracles.

6. Change is a constant in life. Relationship requires the ability to adapt to the world of change.

7. In order to adapt to the world of change we need these skills:

  • letting go
  • resilience
  • humor
  • non-judgment
  • appreciation
  • compassion
  • wonder
  • curiosity
  • acceptance

Can I tend and befriend myself, in every moment, with gentle curiosity and tenderness?

Maybe not in every moment (that is the perfectionist in me leaking out). But when I do lose loving contact with myself, my husband, and/or my sons, how quickly and gracefully can I return to the peace that passes all understanding? How can I once again return to self-compassion?

Tapping the vehicle of my breath as a guide home; reminding my old brain, “I’m okay, I’m safe, I’m loved, right here, right now.” When I do this with myself, it is putting that message out in the universe that this moment is enough. This breath is enough.

It is the return to gratitude that builds the foundation for satisfying relationships and a life worth living. When I am grateful, I feel full, I feel complete, I feel whole. 

The invitation is to allow your life to get B I G G E R!