One of the tenets Dr. Robert Holden shared in the week lab I spent with him was this:
If you feel like something’s missing in your life, it’s probably you.
Wow. Could it be that simple? Deceptively simple. Upon experience and a personal story below, I think so.
When I started to explore where I felt like something was missing in my life, what came forward was more intimacy in my relationship. It’s been so easy to blame our schedule conflicts, travel, the move and our full lives, that I didn’t slow down to take greater responsibility.
I chose to blame the circumstances and wait until the external changed (which could be a very long time considering we are renovating our entire house), instead of taking ownership and creating what I wanted right now.
So, I decided to share my feelings with my partner—not from a place of making him wrong or me wrong, but from a place of courageous sharing. He listened with his heart as I talked about how I wanted to feel more connected and spontaneous. How I wanted more play in our little relationship bubble.
Being the man he is, he got in action right away! And, this is where the story comes in and gets good. (By the way, I feel highly uncomfortable sharing this story, BUT, it most clearly represents this concept in action.)
We returned from a hike—where we had the above mentioned conversation—and we only had a short time before we needed to check out of the hotel we were staying in. I hopped in the shower to quickly get ready, gather our stuff and get on the road home. (Afterall, I had lab with Robert Holden starting that night and I didn’t want to be late!)
While I was in the shower, my sweet man unexpectedly hopped in with me. I said (in not a very nice tone), “What are you doing? We have to leave and get on the road. I only have 10 minutes to get ready. Get out.”
And, just like that, he turned right around, slightly confused and defeated.
The poor guy. He was only doing exactly what I said I wanted not a few minutes before. But, I didn’t see it. I wasn’t present for it. In my head, I was already packing my things and on the road!
I was the thing missing.
The good news is I realized what happened right away and apologized. I took responsibility and acknowledged my guy’s effort to be spontaneous, and also, my inability to receive in that moment.
This was powerful for me. I got to see how my rigid, rule-making self gets in the way. And, that triggered an even deeper exploration. Did I really want what I said I wanted? Because, if I did, that meant letting my partner in my heart even more. That meant letting go of my self-image even more.
Was I ready for that?
See, not only was I the one missing in my presence, I was also missing in my heart. I was withholding as a form of protection. And, dropping that layer of protection was required to have more connection, intimacy, play and spontaneity. (Talk about freakin’ terrifying!)
All of this awareness came from that one seemingly simple moment, that really could’ve just passed me by.
I think we create safe distances with all people in our lives. Like imaginary borders. Our partner can get ‘this close’, our co-worker ‘this close’, our sister ‘this close’. What I’m doing is playing with lessening the distance just a little with my man. Allowing him to be a little closer than I am comfortable.
I’m still testing this out, but so far it feels pretty good.
Now I turn it over to you. Do you feel like something is missing in your life? And, if so, is there a possibility that that very thing might be you?
Feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comments. I always love connecting with you there.