There was a time, not all that long ago, when I was sure I wanted to go it alone in this world. I didn’t need anyone – certainly not a life partner. I told myself, and anyone else who would listen, “I suck at relationships!”
I had plenty of proof that this was true. I had two failed marriages. Now (if you count common-law) three.
I hereby rescind that statement. I refuse to let it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I will wholeheartedly admit that I have made mistakes – lots of them. But I am willing to learn and I am more than willing to once again jump into the fray.
Because, here’s what sprang to mind today. I believe that intimate human connection is primal. In fact, I think it’s necessary for us to realize our full potential as loving, caring, creative human beings. We’re programmed for connection.
It starts when we’re born (or possibly even before that) – we are so connected to our parents – especially our mothers at first. We are utterly dependent on that connection and we thrive on it. I remember visiting a friend about 24 hours after she had given birth. She was lying on the couch, her arms wrapped around her baby, holding him close. Her partner said, “She hasn’t let go of him since he was born.
Lucky baby. That’s the kind of connection that that we need and want. There’s enough science that tells us that without this connection we grow up stunted.
That need for connection doesn’t magically disappear when we grow older. It may manifest in different ways, but we want it, need it, love it.
So we fall in love because someone “sees” us – accepts us – connects with us at a deep, primal level. Or, at least, we think so. And then we get hurt and we put up some guards and it repeats and repeats and our skin grows thicker until it becomes more and more difficult to truly connect. Because we can’t connect unless we are willing to show up naked and vulnerable. That’s asking a lot – but it’s necessary. Vulnerable – willing to be hurt.
If I want to experience the fullness of life, I have to let my defenses down. I have to tell the truth: I want an intimate relationship in my life. First (and this is important) I have to tell that truth to myself. No bluster. No sticking my chest out with bravado and saying, “Nah! I’m good. I can go it alone.”
Of course I can. But I don’t want to.
I want to show up authentically and courageously. I want to give it all I’ve got. I want to be brave. I want my emotions to share equal billing with my intellect.
I want to love.
I want deep human connection.