She had gone through this process in her mind a thousand times; “he’s a great Dad. He’s a good provider”, “he’s super handy around the house”, “he takes good care of the lawn”.
“Why is it that I’m focusing on the positives, but it isn’t changing the way I feel about him”?
Her voice was shaking with the intensity of the matter. She loved him and their life together very much…but she didn’t believe she was in love with him. Yes, there is a difference.
It can be really challenging, especially as a woman, to keep all the plates spinning in the air (sometimes they feel like chainsaws…running at full speed…and on fire); a wife, Mom, career woman, the volunteers for everything at school and extracurriculars, the community volunteer, the church supporter, head grocery shopper, meal planner, the list for many goes on and on, and on. And, she had. She had done all of those things she was supposed to do, only to find herself here – not knowing herself, her needs, or that of the partner she lives with. We only have so much energy for each day. She simply had to choose who and what needed her most.
Lost. Over the years they had basically gotten lost. The more distant they became, the easier it was to stay that way. One less thing for either of them to worry about, work on, or get done. Until the day started to loom that it would just be the two of them around the house again. Then she knew something needed to change, and she knew it was her. However, it wasn’t her thoughts that needed to change, it was her feelings.
She very much wanted to feel the love she used to have for him.
The wisdom came, “You’re trying to solve an emotional issue with an intellectual answer”, I said.
“I don’t understand,” she replied.
“You don’t need to change how you think about him, you’re wanting to change how you feel about him. Stop thinking for a solution you need to feel into.”
Her Spirit steps in. They spoke about all the time she has spent building her walls. The hurts, fears, frustrations, words that get said and can’t be taken back, the day-to-day of raising kids and how easy it was to get lost in the “to-do list” and forget to pay attention to her partner. This my friends, this is real life.
“It is time to heal, and to be real with her feelings”, Spirit said. “If her desire is to feel differently, she must truly be willing to let go and feel differently”.
So, we talked about her feelings for him, and where there are opportunities to practice allowing herself to safely feel into him. To be mindful of her old habit of holding back from feeling to protect herself. To stop and allow herself to notice how she felt something positive, in moments she was trying to think something positive. What would feel positive feel like? In truth, how could her love for him start to feel again like being in love with him?
To risk our heart is the greatest risk of all. My friends, I believe we all know love is worth it.
This story is ongoing, so I won’t say it has a happy ending.
What I can say is it is very happy right now, and happy loving days create happy loving lives.
Even feelings can require practice.
Forever the journey, Anne