Loving someone when all you want to do is slam the door (to your heart) in their face
I am a huge fan of David Deida, and this morning a quote of his popped up on my FB feed.
“Within a relationship, your responsibility is stated as ‘I am not going to retract my heart from you, even if you’re being an asshole.’”
Yes! It’s so true!
In my wild and amazing, 15-year, roller-coaster-ride-otherwise-known-as-a-relationship with my husband, the times when I have been able to love him WHILE he has momentarily lost his cool or is pretending to be an idiot, have been like a magic serum for our relationship.
And, when he chooses to JUST BE with me, when my emotions are running rampant, and I am watching myself spin my own version of insanity, instead of trying to fix me or my supposed problems – ahhh, its like butter for my soul. I can literally feel myself and my desire to argue melt.
Feeling loved when you are at your worst (or when you think you are), even for just a moment, is like a pebble dropped in a pond, it has an effect that ripples out far beyond beyond what the eye can see.
For me, the ability to love someone else while they’re ‘being an asshole’ (or in my case, “You’re being such a dick!” was my preferred verbiage), started with ME being able to love myself while I was ‘being an asshole’.
I have a vivid memory of sitting in my car, on the phone with my husband, and we were arguing about something. I can’t remember what we were arguing about, but I distinctly remember feeling a shift inside me. I was still yelling at him, but I noticed that my charge around the issue had gone.
In that moment, I felt scared to admit that I had realized my argument was lame, so I just kept going. But in my head, a voice was saying “Wow, Kate, so this is what you do when you’re scared.” And, it was as if something inside of me relaxed. Eventually, I was half-yelling, half-laughing, and even though he didn’t have a clue what was going on and was still annoyed, the tension dropped and connection started flowing between us again.
For the first time, I was able to tune-in, in the moment, to what was happening inside of me AND be OK with it…even as I was continuing to spew craziness out of my mouth. It was a turning point that eventually allowed me to be able to feel love towards my partner when he’s caught up in his own stuff.
So my toss to you, if you want to be able to love your partner, or anyone, for that matter, even in the moments when all you want to do is scream and storm out of the room (or the relationship), is: start with you.
When you catch yourself saying or doing things you know you’ll regret later, don’t try to fix or beat up on yourself. Instead, see if you are willing to get curious – and give yourself a drop of loving attention – in the midst of it all.