How to Come Back To Love Even When It’s Hard
Recently I went through one of those life trials where I might instead think, “Another f—ing growth opportunity!” F.E.A.R was running the show. Do you know some of the acronyms for “fear?” Fck.Everything.And.Run is my favorite. Also, False.Evidence.Appearing.Real another favorite of mine.
As you know I spend my life practicing “come back to love” — not only professionally…but very much so personally…in everything I do. From parenting to relationship to taking care of my pets to self-care and so much more….BE-ing LOVE is what I believe is the reason we are here on the planet. And it’s a spiritual practice. It’s not just a state of being (for those you thinking that if you were in relationship, you could BE LOVE then…..”if only.” No, it’s about BE-ing LOVE now. In this next breath you take…and the next one).
I know it’s just words on the screen right now for many of you. And for others it’s easy – you feel happy and joyful and, well, loving! But what about when it gets hard to love? When the rubber meets the road as it did in my life recently. “Oh, I got a taste of my own medicine,” Greg said. (smile!) And I did (the good tasting kind though).
What I trust is that the Universe brings us around and around to experiences on purpose. It isn’t random — it is purposeful in that the experiences have sometimes hidden, and sometimes obvious, but always POTENT — messages and growth opportunities for us. And it is the ones that touch upon our deepest wounds where the rubber meets the road, coming back to love feels impossible and we’d rather run in the other direction instead of facing the truth. This is CBTL at its best and highest level.
My personal story:
Many of you know that I have experienced a fair amount of loss in my life. My mother died when I was 10 years old, my father 20 years later and my partner a few years after that. That’s the very short butchered headline version but it’s enough in order to share the rest of this story. You get the point.
In the early days after my mother died, I felt very closed off, shut down and not open to deep connections. I had a boyfriend who loved me but I could not open my heart to him. I had a few good friends but feared making new ones lest I need to share my heartbreaking story and feel it all over again – so I stuck with the friends I had.
Growing up and good therapy (and a supportive husband) really helped. I spent the better part of my 20s and early 30s healing some very deep wounds. And guess what happened? I learned to trust again, open my heart, connect in precious ways with my children, my partner, my friends. My whole life changed. I felt happy. I was beginning to learn that love was available to me.
These days I experience myself as someone who trusts people, trusts the world and trusts life.
Enter new relationship.
As I said just a moment ago, the Universe (God) brings us what we need to heal the next piece on our life journey. The specific details of what happened aren’t important to share. What IS important to share is how mistrusting I had been in this new relationship – which SURPRISED ME so much!!! What? Me? Seriously.
Of course, God set it up so that I could feel mistrusting. But mainly I watched my mind create story after story – chock full of reasons to mistrust him, to mistrust the relationship. Stories the mind makes up are very easy to believe. (Try it right now….tell yourself a story about something or someone and see how easy it is to believe!)
You see our minds (I call our minds, our egos…the opposite of love) do not want us to wake up and BE LOVE in a conscious way all the time. The mind has another agenda — attachment and distraction mostly. The mind wants to bring us down. (Look at any sad or angry feeling you have right now and you will see that it comes from a THOUGHT or belief you have; a thought that comes from the mind. The thought shows up and the feelings in response/reaction happen as a result.)
I told myself a lot of stories that led me to believe that my partner was not trustworthy and that I could not trust the relationship. And what I wanted was for him to do something differently.
Here’s the key: The key is that I wanted him to change; to do something differently in order for me to feel better. I wanted him to stop X and do Y so I could rest easy and feel trusting. HOWEVER (and here’s the key really), if he had acquiesced, I would not have had the opportunity to turn it around and look inside instead. And this was the HARD PART. This was the “Come Back To Love” boot camp. My triggered parts were screaming and yelling (inside) in fear….I wanted to run away, leave and I felt very justified to do so. I even had some of my friends convinced (hey, a good story is a good story!)
- It’s easy to be loving when all is going well.
- It’s easy to be loving when you’re not triggered, or feeling reactive.
- It’s easy to be loving when something, or someone is nice, kind, open, heartfelt, adorable.
It’s really hard to be loving when you’re doing the really hard work of healing; this needs to be done first. AND, as I said before, this is where the most POTENT opportunity is. This is where you clean out the cobwebs. This is where you have the opportunity to experience LOVE at its highest level; getting closer to a state of awakening, or enlightenment or perfect peace.
This is where you begin with yourself (and God/Universe who brought you this experience) and know that it’s between “you and you.” I knew after looking at this over and over again for a few months that I needed to focus on my part. And my part was between me and me. My part of the story, of the roller coaster I felt like I was on, was about my own mistrust. Ways that I was still not trusting men, not trusting love and not trusting myself.
It’s too much to put in this one journal entry, this one article (you’ll hear A TON about this in my book when it’s published) but suffice to say that:
- I felt triggered because I was telling myself reasons not to trust.
- I believed my mind was telling me the truth. Then I was reacting to those thoughts.
- I wanted my partner to change so I could feel better.
- I had the awareness and wisdom to look at myself and turn things around so I could see what was happening between “me and me.”
- I trust the Universe brings me situations/people/circumstances so I can do the next piece of healing that my soul is ready for (in this case: TRUST)
- When I looked at myself, I could see there were still things from my past (that had to do with my parents and my father in particular) that still needed healing.
- I did a lot of really deep healing work.
- I learned to trust at an even deeper level than I had been trusting; and I see how mistrust had crept in and was hanging around…until I could see it and heal from it.
After reading this, I’m curious what your take-aways are? (click that link and you’ll land in my inbox.) I said a lot and any one of those paragraphs above could be a chapter in a book. There is so much to say.
Come Back To Love is a practice. I had an experience of CBTL when it was hard to do. It felt impossible. I was convinced I was right and he was wrong. I wanted him to stop. Once I saw myself, my own story from my past, worked on my relationship with my parents, my parts inside relaxed and felt trusting again. Or perhaps trusting at a level that I haven’t before.
This to me, is CBTL at its best!