Yes, I know that sounds grandiose, but all joking aside, I’m actually serious.
In my experience, it really does come down to one thing.
Want to know what it is?
Each day, in a thousand small ways, life asks us to dance, and we can say yes or no.
It can be a sexy someone that we meet. Do we allow ourselves to feel the attraction, or do we shut it down? It can be an invitation to go somewhere or to have some experience. An instinct to take a break away from what we’re doing. Or even the invitation to lose oneself in some creative work in the face of outside distractions.
Whatever it is, the choice is yours. I bet you can feel it in the body when you think of a situation like this. One will feel more open, more free, but also more scary. The other feels more closed, and safer.
Feelings of attraction can be scary if you’re in a committed relationship. What might happen if you open up to those feelings? Maybe they grow bigger? What if you can’t control them. Maybe you realize that the relationship you’re in isn’t working. Maybe you won’t be able to keep your feelings a secret. Maybe your partner will feel hurt. It can be very scary.
But here’s the thing: Not opening up to those feelings is much worse. Initially it may not feel so bad. Everything’s almost as it was. But over time, it really gets to have an impact. Closing down becomes a habit. You hardly even notice just how numb you’ve become.
The connection to yourself has suffered, and as a consequence the connection to your partner and other people suffer as well—you can only be connected to others to the extent you’re connected to yourself.
It’s like a kink in the hose. The water no longer flows freely. You can fiddle with the nozzle all you want, but if there’s a kink somewhere, the water’s not going to flow.
Once you open up to those feelings that you denied, the water will start flowing.
The key here is that it’s nat about what you do, it’s all about what you allow yourself feel and communicate. The kink in the hose comes from closing down to feeling and communicating. Unkinking is about opening up to those.
You might find that as you allow yourself to feel the attraction and share those feelings with your partner, that it was never about this other person, but about how you weren’t fully expressing yourself creatively, and by realizing that, you open up to a new layer of creative and sexual expression inside the framework of your relationship. I’ve certainly experienced that. Had you not opened up to those feelings, you would have never gotten to that point.
Like we talked about yesterday, there are over 7 billion people in the world, and almost all of them have found some way of close down to life. And they all have good reasons for why it has to be that way. “Well, you can’t just go chasing your dreams, somebody has to do the unpleasant work, I have to …, I can’t just …, that’s just how it is”.
Whatever their poison of choice, they’ve found it, and they’re sticking to it. Why? Because living closed down feels comfortable and safe, even if it’s dead. Opening up can be scary as hell. You never know what’ll happen.
There are millions of ways to close down, and they all seem so right and noble and true. But they’re all lies They’re all just fear.
What are you going to choose?