But what if?

There comes a time when it’s a good idea to take stock of why we do the things we do and why we hold tight to the “rules” that are in place – put there by us.

For myself lately, a renewed interest in connecting and a new relationship has given me some motivation to take a closer look at the “truths” that I’ve held for a few years now. Time to question the “why” behind the beliefs and the boundaries, self-imposed as they are.

Looking at my firmly held, and often repeated, conviction that I am happiest in a non-primary style of relationship. The strongly held belief that I don’t want a primary relationship – that it isn’t a relationship dynamic that  appeals to me. That I want to be the secondary, the third wheel essentially. Single. Solo. Poly. Open and unable to be hurt because I’m not actually invested or committed to something that could hurt me by being gone one day. Always one foot on the other side of the door basically. Starting an interaction with someone by expressing clearly that I value my independence and solitary status above all else pretty much ensures that you are relegated to being held at arm’s distance; and that’s been what I have told myself for so long that I believed it.

Then little by little lately, feelings started peeking in and thoughts started circulating. Feelings of wanting more than what I said I did. Feelings that scared the shit out of me and made me want to reinforce the walls and re-establish my boundaries – fast and hard. Also though, feelings that have made me start asking why exactly I have decided on the dynamics and the limits I’ve placed on myself and those I am involved with.

It has been a ride the last few weeks of looking , honestly , at my feelings. Weeks of realizing that some limits were placed not out of an intention to enrich my life and to see it grow, but rather to hedge the bets against being hurt again – they were put in place out of fear and pain. Coming to see that it’s not bad to admit – to myself and to someone else – that I want what I believed for so long that I didn’t want. That awareness can bring understanding. Knowing finally that making decisions based solely from a place of fear will only result in a confined and limited existence. An existence that won’t protect me anyways – there are always going to be risks. Starting a relationship and having it feel great and having your first thought be that it’s going to be horrible when it ends isn’t a good way to live. As I’ve heard lately, what if it doesn’t end?

To be able to experience good, I have to be willing to risk the possibility of hurt. As one of my favourite sayings goes –

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” Erin Hanson


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