Fear will surface in your relationship. I'm sorry, but it's true. It's crucial for you to understand this if you're going to be successful in love.
When we don't realize that it's normal to feel scared, insecure, doubtful and off-center with the people we love, our minds begin to doubt the relationship as a whole. When we equate challenges with something being wrong, we've missed the mark on what relationships are all about.
In a Return to Love, Marianne Williamson equates romantic relationships to earning a PhD in love. She says, "When we're not in a relationship, the ego makes it seem as though all the pain would go away if we were. If the relationship lasts, however, it will actually bring much of our existential pain to the surface. That's part of its purpose. It will demand all of our skills at compassion, acceptance, release, forgiveness, and selflessness."
Once your heart says "yes," you better believe monumental challenges are on their way. This is the point! Love brings our fears (feelings such as doubt, rejection, jealousy, anger, frustration, and confusion) forward so we can set them right.
Unfortunately, most of us get stumped. Why? Because we collectively adhere to the delusion that relationships should be blissful all the time.
We know that relationships take work, but let's be honest, we secretly think they shouldn't be hard. Therefore when they are, we usually point the finger at our partners and miss the opportunity to face the fear that exists within ourselves.
As a disclaimer, I don't support remaining in abusive relationships. However, believing the idea that something's wrong with your relationship if it's challenging is a disservice to you, and to the greater movement of love. Instead, I'm going to tell it like it is: you'll face your greatest challenges within your greatest love relationships.
Our true loves have the potential to bring us to the heights of happiness and the depths of pain. This is what makes romantic love the pinnacle of all experiences! This is why it's so revered.
And this is also why it's so hard.
Don't get me wrong, I believe relationships are meant to feel fantastic a lot of the time. There's nothing more blissful than being deeply connected with another person. Just don't forget the rest of the story: the more connected you are, the more your fears are going to get stirred up.
Let me give you an example from my own relationship.
I have an undeniable soul-connection with my partner. The depth of love I feel for him is truly profound. And, the amount of fear that surfaces in our relationship is pretty profound, too.
Sometimes I'll catch my ego saying things like: I'm not good enough. Is he going to leave? Does he love me? Do I love him? and latching onto feelings such as doubt, fear, insecurity and rejection. At times, it's a challenge for me to remain authentic and vulnerable – fear tries to convince me that I have to be different than who I really am. When this happens, I have two of options of how I can deal.
The old me would indulge these fears as reality, which would lead me to believe that something was seriously wrong. With him…with me…with the relationship. I wasn't able to stand back and question the truth behind these fears (the phrase don't believe everything you think would've come in handy here), so I would take them on as reality and feel overwhelmed with discomfort as a result. Not fun at all.
Luckily, these days I see things differently. I understand that these fears are simply the result of the amount of love I feel for my partner. Because I'm more vulnerable with him than with anyone else on the planet, and because my heart is wide-open for him, I can get flooded with fear. This is not the result of something being wrong. Quiet the contrary, actually; it's the result of feeling so much love.
Knowing this, there's one thing I can do to heal the situation: I have to choose love over fear.
I cannot allow myself to get trapped in believing the messages my ego is feeding me! I am not a small, powerless, helpless self! I am not less-than or inadequate! I am centered. I am present. I am soul. I am love.
Remembering this greater truth (again and again) disengages my ego and aligns me to path of my heart. The more I practice this, the more I identify with the truth of who I am, and the less I identify with fear. This is the evolution of the spirit.
We have to reach deep within ourselves to find the compassion, forgiveness, truth, and peace that will heal our greatest fears. It's inside us if we look for it. But we're only going to look for it if we realize the purpose of relationships is to bring our fears to the surface.
My relationship gives me a chance to fall off my path, so I can get right back on and strengthen my sense of self. This takes courage and commitment. It's not for the faint of heart.
If you're going to find true peace in your relationship, you must realize that its purpose is not to make everything easy. It's actually the opposite; the purpose is to rouse you into a more profound sense of love. I hope you accept the challenge.
Please leave a comment below about how you confront the fears that surface in your relationship, and how you'll continue to recommit to growing in love. I can't wait to hear from you!