i do: negotiating nonsense narratives
Let’s be clear that this ”100% commitment thing” is not characteristically me. I’m a full-body-in but one-toe-out-the-door kinda gal. I have historically found ways to feel better than, or more deserving than; I’ve been the type to peek over the hedges for greener grass and find fault in others in order to permit myself quick exit strategies. Lately, this has all changed. If you know me well (or troll the social media realms), you know what I'm talking about.
Right now I’m knowingly leaning in to commitment…more than that: leaning in to unconditional commitment. I’m making a personal (and maybe quite public) statement that, yes, I will show up in my best self to strive for my own potential and my relationship’s potential. That I will fight for our mutual happiness. That I will choose to be the best human (and wife!) each and every day (cue the “for better or for worse…in sickness and health…” bit…ehhmm lame, I know). I’m saying yes to not only the lovely moments of love and laughter and memory-making but also yes to inevitable arguing, hurt feelings, and sacrifice. Stepping into (what I’ve now termed) “commitment discomfort” is big growth! But it wasn't easy--and this is where the story gets a bit juicier (and more relevant to meditation and silencing the mind...if you were wondering where this was all going...).
Choosing to propose was exciting and terrifying--especially because I was planning it for three months and all our friends and family knew. When people I’d share these sentiments with would question the fear, I had no explanation for it. I knew it had nothing to do with my now-fiancé personally, or our relationship, or the prospect of staying with the same person for the rest of my life, but for weeks I was stumped as to why this nagging heaviness was on my heart. It wasn’t until a specific yoga class a few days before the planned proposal that I actually got some clarity. It's amazing what quieting the mind and engaging in mindful movement can do!
It may have been during the class’ second warrior sequence, but I’m pretty sure I was frozen in child’s pose while everyone was humbly bowing. I was curled up with all the feels bubbling to the surface when the realization hit me: my fear had nothing to do with the act of getting engaged or being married. It actually had everything to do with letting go. In an instant, I recognized that committing to someone for the rest of my life would mean that two major stories I have told myself—ones that I have used as crutches time and time again—would suddenly become null and void. They would be rendered both logically and emotionally of no use and would have no credibility or verifiability anymore.
I could no longer trick myself into believing that I am unwanted and unlovable.
Because how could you believe such nonsense narratives when someone agrees to spend her life with you, promising to commit and love without dealbreakers? To agree to make and share a home—to build a family? In the blink of an eye (or one vinyasa in Nat's class), the negative stories that had governed friendships, relationships, my own self-love (FOR YEARS!) were gone. Vanished like the mascara on my face as I released what I call “big stuff” (eh-hmmm a pool of Niagara Falls) onto my favourite yellow yoga mat. In a matter of minutes, the heaviness lifted. And in this moment of lightness and peace, I whispered (note to all: don't put your mat next to the weeping and whispering blonde in the corner) to myself:
I am—and always have been—wanted and loved.
It was over. The story (one no one should EVER tell themselves) was over. And not just because someone else loved me and wanted me, but because I realized I loved and wanted myself all along...and that that's what matters most: to accept oneself without conditions or judgment.
Most days I wake up and don’t know how this amazing, balanced life happened, but I sure am grateful. I never thought there’d be a soul who could love as much or as hard as I do; who could ground my spastic (but oh so cute right?!), dreamy spirit; or who could offer unconditional presence. At some point, we have to just let go and welcome whatever it is the universe has to offer. And if you can find someone who supports your dream—who is on board for crazy 2am adventures, renovating a century old home, and creating a partnership that is equal parts cheerleader and challenger, then you gotta dive in. For others, it might be the worry of commitment or, for me, the fear of letting go of my own stories , but regardless such nonsense shouldn’t be a deterrent.
My closing thought is this: if there is something you are holding yourself back from (commitment to yourself or to another human or even to a way of living), check yourself and really look to see if you can release a hold. Is there a story you are telling that is simply not true? Try sitting quietly and let those thoughts arise; having a judgment-free conversation (aloud like me?!) can make a difference. Above all else, loosen the grip and soften into the possibility of these stories being a marvellous gift--one that can create opportunities and abundance you never thought possible. You’ll never know until you give it a go. #engagedaf
jazzy, my love: thank you for ending a story and starting a new, more beautiful one.