Mini Relationship Tip: Fearwalk
How can we expect to have a great relationship with another without one with ourselves first?
A couple weeks ago, I sat in my living room, talking intensely with my husband. I forget what about, actually. Without meaning to be unkind, he laid some kind of truth on me, and up came some very strong emotions in me.
Shame. Feeling like a victim. Self-pity. Despair.
My first reaction was, “If I feel this, I’ll die.” Followed by, “OK, what if I fall into you, rather than resist?”
I prepared myself for a long ride. I pictured myself flinging myself on the bed, crying for days, fully feeling the breadth and depth. I opened into the strong emotion when usually I would have clamped down, closed, denied and resisted.
And yes, a flood came. It burnt and seared, tore and scratched. I breathed, relaxed, did my best to just not flex and tense up it as it came.
And 3 minutes later it left.
Huh? I had prepared for 3 hours, 3 days, but 3 minutes?
A friend of mine told me that researchers say the life-span of an emotion is 90 seconds – if we don’t “feed” it with our resistance, judgment, denial, etc. Who knew?
I can’t promise similar brevity, to you, or even to me next time, but I took the lesson to heart:
“Practicing love often means feeling through fear: intentionally opening yourself when you would rather close down, giving yourself when you would rather hide. Love means recognizing yourself as the open fullness of this moment regardless of its contents — trenchant thoughts, enchanting pleasures, heavy emotions, or gnawing pains — and surrendering all hold on the familiar act you call ‘me’.”
~ David Deida
So, today, your mini relationship tip is:
1. Next time you notice a strong emotion coming up, and the familiar feeling of “If I feel that, I’ll die,” try feeling through the fear, the reaction to blame, lash out, crumple or run.
Intentionally open yours elf when you would rather close down. Give yourself when you would rather hide.
Why? To not move the way fear makes you move; to move the way love asks you to move.
To your fearwalk,