Monday, May 5, 2014

Changing the Patterns of Love

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove
than the hunger for bread."
~Mother Teresa

"I'm not a pattern," he says to me. And, while my brain was on overdrive yesterday, I realized that if I don't want the same things to happen in relationships as I've had before, I need to change my own patterns as well.

My coach once told me that he was in a relationship with someone where his girlfriend was convinced that he would cheat on her. It'd happened to her in the past, so she was sure it would happen again. My coach, on the other hand, had never cheated on anyone and never had the impulse to. Yet, her energy around this belief was so strong — as were her behaviors — that she was willing this misbelief about him to become truth once again, to the point that he said to her, "Look, your words and actions towards me are now making it so that I want to cheat. And I've never wanted to do that with anyone before. So, we need to do something about this."

Just like that. Our beliefs are that strong. People are willing to live or die by their beliefs, but even more so, they're willing to suffer for them.

I've been willing to suffer for mine.

My patterns have kept me safe. They've kept me confined in a world I know, even if it's not a world I want to be in anymore. Patterns are habits and as we know, habits are extremely powerful.

I realized that if I don't want this beautiful and special connection we have between us to falter or fade, then I need to do things differently, too. It's wonderful that he's aware, he's open, he's willing to communicate any and everything with me, even admitting that sometimes, he might be more direct than tactful. But that's only one side of the equation and there are two of us on either side of this addition sign.

So, what do I need to change?

I need to change my belief that he will change somehow. Of course he'll change, I get that. I'll change, too. But what I've been anticipating is the other shoe to drop. When will the "real him" come out, I've wondered, because this "him" that he's shown me so far has been a dream come true, and I haven't knows what it's like to receive such good.

Which brings me to the next thing I need to change, which is the idea of struggle. I've been so used to fighting for everything, of competing, of attacking, of aiming to win, that I haven't let things come peaceably to me as they would like to. I'm slowly (and sometimes a bit more swiftly) adopting the belief that life can indeed be easy, and it doesn't mean any less for lack of fight.

I haven't allowed for the fact that just by being, I am enough. I could sit there beside him, sharing space, and he is as contented as if I were to gift him his favorite things or make him a delicious meal. There is nothing I need to DO other than to BE me and that is more than plenty.

Going back to "the other shoe dropping" phenomenon, I believe that I've been waiting for that moment when will everything come cascading down. Like, "Haha, just kidding, you thought you could be happy?" Because if that's what I'm seeking and that's where my energy is going, then of course, ta da, it's likely to happen. None of us — not even him — can predict what'll happen, and the other way to assuage that worry is to live in the now.

He often catches me staring off into space, knowing that I'm lost in too many thoughts. He gently brings me back into the present with a smile, a touch, a question. And then when I tell him what's on my mind, he encourages, "How about we don't live in the 'what if's' but we live in the 'what is' right now? And, what is right now is wonderful."

He's right. He's not like anyone I've ever met before, which means that the work I've been doing on myself attracted a different match. Since we're all on an upward spiral movement in life, I'll keep evolving too. Change is good.

Actually, when it comes to patterns, change can be pretty damn great.