Something strange happens when you receive something that feels so foreign you didn’t even remember you wanted it. It questions who you’ve come to know yourself to be.
Sunday, about an hour before my partner was going to leave after a wonderful weekend together, I asked her to just let me hold her. I wanted to soak her up like a hot shower in the dead of winter. Instead of controlling my behavior to avoid looking clingy, I let myself indulge in my desire to be as close to her as possible.
I’m so used to that behavior driving partners away, that it was almost confusing that she welcomed me in a way that suggested she’d hold me until my heart’s content. “What’s happening?” I thought. “Why isn’t she pushing me away or growing impatient?” In the aftermath I found myself questioning long-held conclusions: “Maybe there’s nothing wrong with what I want, maybe it just wasn’t right for everyone.”
Today I had a similarly surprising moment in a completely different arena. I shared a very vulnerable project with some close friends, and got feedback from a friend of a friend that I’d never met before. I felt very touched by the feedback, and was absolutely flabbergasted by the response it generated inside me. Here’s what I replied to him:
I am laughing and releasing as I receive this. Something feels really loving and almost surreal about someone I didn’t even know taking time to contribute to something so important to me, and being impacted by it.
My body is activating old patterns and releasing them. I’m having a trauma response of “no!” Immediately followed by laughter and a genuine smile. Like some threat I was living under is being lifted.
Wow. I didn’t expect this to feel so healing.
“Wow. I didn’t expect this to feel so healing.” I could say that about a lot of things I’ve experienced in these first six days. Fear is starting to abate in favor of acceptance. Living a life full of rich and rewarding support feels more and more like the future I want to live. And I’m going to continue living it.