THE RELATIONSHIP YOU CAN TAKE OR LEAVE
There I sat at the Ruth Mayer Gallery on Catalina Island, California. I had fallen in love with this breathtaking painting that looked like a stunning, romantic expression of Italy. The beautiful bright colored flowers hanging from the baskets under stone village windows, the blue waters of the passageway for the gondolas. I was in love with this piece of work. And it was being purchased. Purchased for me.
Purchased by the man that I had been in what I thought was a heart centered relationship of seven plus years. I can still see him standing there at the desk, figuring out how to ship this painting back to Texas to the home that we were designing together. Where my personal tastes were in the very finish of the floors, the tile in the shower, the backsplash of the kitchen. The lighting choices I had chosen, and my favorite soft blue gray paint on the walls. I could see this amazing art work hanging over the fireplace mantel that was refreshingly updated and painted strikingly off white. The man at the desk shared the story of the artist, his relation to her, how unique each painting was and he looked at me sitting on the waiting room couch, asked the man I was with if he wanted any special message from the artist on the back of the painting written for the Mrs.? He turned and looked at me, smiled and said, “ I hope that one day she will say yes to me.”
My heart soared that instant.
I felt like he finally heard my desire.
That he finally understood all my messages.
That he wanted me as much as I wanted him.
That he wanted “us.”
That he wanted to “take me,” – to “fully “claim me.”
I felt like we had reached some new level of commitment, future together instead of just wishes and talking. I felt like at this moment he was wanting me to know my value and importance to him and that he was not good with ever losing me.
However, that was short lived.
So short that not four days later he came to me telling me he needed to take a break from our relationship. That God was sending him a different way. That he loved me but…
We danced in and out of his want for our relationship for months, with him holding me at arms length and giving me hope here and there, only for me to discover that he was not “all chips in,” that he was looking elsewhere and as soon as he found what felt more comfortable or right he told me that he loved me, that he knew that we could have had another forty years together like the last seven, but that he just wanted me to go away without question, without struggle.
Come to find out he could take me or leave me without any remorse or issue.
Our love was not so special.
Was not valuable enough to put all his chips in.
That all his words, his promises, our dreams and the very life we were building and creating down to the stain of the wood floors and the measurements of the bathroom tub and shower, those life plans, could all be washed away with seven little lines for seven little years of what I thought, what I believed was something so much more than it was in truth.
Now granted, from my vantage point of today on this relationship I can tell you my gratitude for it not working. I can see the struggles that we would have had. I can see how I would have had to become someone that I might have not been fully good with to fully fit into his world, his life, his expectations. I can tell you the extreme gratitude I have to this man for all the beauty he bestowed on my life, the things he revealed to me about life, love, my heart, and the world. He was a game changer for me.
Even in the seemingly crushing of my heart that day of goodbye, he brought far more joy and beauty into my life than pain.
But not all relationships can say that.
Matter a fact, the majority of “take it or leave it” relationships do the exact opposite in truth. They damage the parties to the point of no return.
Even in my case, the repercussions of this relationship I share here has a toll on my relationship with Craig. I have a hold back with the man that I cannot see past, that I am engulfed by. I fear this level of rejection that I experienced before and I do not trust that my love or the value that I place on our relationship is met.
Why do I not trust the man that I want to spend my last breath of life with? If I say that I want nothing but him, but us and I long to fully submerge every cell into this relationship then how can I hold this fear as well. And the answer is simple and has zero to do with what my partner does.
It’s because I know that people are fickle.
That words are easy to say.
That one person’s love and commitment does not mean that it is equal to anothers.
And because I have been left there in the land of believing that I was someplace that I was not.
I actually believed that I could not lose this relationship above.
It felt so immense, powerful and deep at the time that I had a certain level of cockiness about it.
My lesson was – ‘You can lose anything. Don’t take anything for granted.’
The challenge with the wound created is that it creates a barrier to love and commitment in my relationship now. It prevents trust from fully getting established because of the fear of abandonment.
I see this very issue over and over again in working with people.
Men come to me, telling me that they want a partnership. They want a wife. A partner in crime.
They want rock solid. They want her unwavering attention, desire and they want her to be willing and even excited about this “future plan,” of together where a life is manifested and they live out their days together, and then they turn to me and say, “ but I can really take it or leave it, balls in her court, we will just see what happens. I am not getting caught up in this too much.”
THE TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT MINDSET IS AVOIDANCE TO TRUTH
Let’s just get really real here.
Two things are happening when we have a “take it or leave it,” mindset around intimate relationships.
- We are not all that sold on the relationship and we just don’t know or want to say it. So we are ‘killing’ time to see if anything comes along that we like better. Unfortunately we are doing this at the cost of another human’s feelings and even life. Because this other person may make life choices based on the idea that there is a future when there is not. It’s potentially one of the most inhumane things we can do in truth, because it does not stem from a place of love or even care or compassion but from our source of need derived from our ego state of mind where we keep ourselves in the driver’s seat, not investing too fully but not sacrificing any comfort either.
- We are scared of getting hurt in a relationship, fearful of being abandoned due to our past experiences and therefore we feel this love for another and know just how out of control of the outcome we really are. Feeling like this other person has too much control over our hearts and so we armor up and keep space to protect ourselves not allowing too much hope for the future to form.
Both cases above lead to the same result.
An inability to fully connect.
We are doing intimate relationships from our pain body which is also our ego body in an attempt to keep ourselves safe and in control.
The issue is that we often proclaim that we want for a solid, deep, connected, committed relationship/marriage/partnership but this very attitude reveals the reason why we cannot truly have it.
We are doing a dis-service to ourselves and to the one that we are attempting to be in some relationship with. We are creating potential very long term emotional and psychological issues for ourselves and for the other all because we are scared of losing and speaking our truth.
Let’s just go back to my personal share above for instance.
He knew where I stood in our relationship.
I had written him a ten page letter on where I stood just a few months before.
I consistently made a stand for our love, moving more and more toward him. Meeting him at every corner, leaning in and trusting, vocalizing my heart, my fears, my desire. I allowed myself and expressed it to him, was on the creation band wagon to build a future life together and was actively in the planning stages. Was reinventing my work, my schedule, my life with my children. I was redesigning my world to meet him because all I wanted was to come together and move forward with him. My focus was on that and I made it known.
Why did I make it known?
Because he had asked numerous times for it.
He probed and prodded me for plans, vision, and a future image.
He told me what pained him, what his desire was.
He had me there by his side.
He had brought up our commitment and what that looked like to him.
I wanted it all too.
And so, I started adjusting my world to meet that vision that I believed that we were aligned on.
The issue was, he was not fully sold on it.
Looking back I can see clearly all the times he wavered.
All the times he showed me that I was disposable.
Even the times that I stood and fought for our relationship when he was letting go.
I pulled him back in and I went deeper in a belief that he just wanted more from me, that I was not good enough yet, that I had to prove myself more and I sold myself on having faith in our love.
And that’s what women do.
We believe that love is enough.
That love will get us through anything.
Because that is what we women strive for – LOVE.
We reinvent ourselves, our lives, we give what we would never dream of giving all with the belief that we will gain love from it.
It’s why women give up their sex so easily these days and have always given sex to their men, because they want to be loved. They want to feel safe and they do that through feeling loved.
Men on the other hand hunt out sex and if love comes with it – great.
Men want connection, companionship and sex.
Women want security, intimacy and love.
I would be lying to you if I told you that there was not a pretty big piece of me that wishes that he had never said those words that May day on Catalina Island. There is a piece of me that the romantic escape that he gave me that five days away, the surprises, the connection, the laughter, the evening sailboat where even the captain of the ship thought he was going to propose, never happened. There is a piece of me today that wishes that the whole relationship with all its joy and beauty had never been given to me.
Because it set a stage of fear of abandonment that triggered and supported a lifetime of wounds of being disposable and not being able to trust in love, in the man I have put my attention on.
And it makes it extremely difficult to breathe through all that fear and keep walking forward in any amount of faith today.
And so my message to you dear reader is this:
IF YOU CAN TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT AND YOU KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE, THEN BE HONEST AND DO NOT LEAD ASTRAY ANYONE ELSE. FOR THE DAMAGE YOU CAUSE MAY NOT BE YOURS TO WITNESS BUT IT IS A MURDERING OF ANOTHERS HEART.
The majority of people want to be seen as a good person.
And I ask you this, if you are a good person…
If you truly care about another…
If you feel any sense of responsibility for what happens…
Then are these the actions of one who believes this to be who they are?
To walk in one’s integrity means to have your thoughts, feelings, words and actions all align more often than not. And to take pride in this, shows a brilliant courage to see one’s own truth and to be willing to know that you cannot control the world outside yourself.
If you are in a take it or leave it relationship, ask yourself why you are accepting so little for yourself and of yourself?
Would you be able to commit, to trust, to fully surrender to a partner who says they can take or leave the relationship? Or you?
Ask not of another what you yourself would not give.
Stop Existing & Start Living
“Coaching for Grown A*s Believers”
Hard to believe the year is a quarter over.
Where has the first segment of the new year brought you?
Excited for love? Found your soulmate? Healed old wounds?
Or are you still feeling hungover from all the drama and trauma of the last two years?
Has it taken a toll on your marriage or relationship? Your health and emotional state?
Reach out to me today for answers on how you can live that turned on, connected, and empowered state of being and find the love of your life.