No matter how much and how deeply you profess to love your partner, if you take an honest look, you probably hold back in your relationship. We all do it.
Some more than others. You may have “good” reasons to not completely open your heart wide open to your mate. You might have experienced disappointment or betrayal from this person or from a past partner.
You want to feel love again but also keep a portion of yourself apart from and invulnerable to any possible future pain.
Not only is this tendency (which may even be subconscious) an ineffective preventive to feeling pain, it is also keeping you from the deep connection you could be experiencing with your love.
If you’ve cared for a young toddler, you probably know the protective measures adults go to so that the little one will stay safe and unharmed as he or she discovers surroundings, learns to walk, climb and run. You can completely babyproof your house and walk behind the toddler constantly and perhaps prevent a fall, bruise or skinned knee.
No matter how ironclad your care is, that little explorer may still get hurt. And if you are indeed “Super Caregiver,” how much will the toddler actually learn about his or her world?
It’s much the same with your heart when it comes to love. You can hold yourself emotionally apart from a partner and have a relationship, of sorts.
Chances are, you could still get hurt. And perhaps even worse than the pain of betrayal, the emotional shields you’ve put in place are not keeping out hurt, they are blocking the love and connection that is there for you to share with your mate.
The toddler babyproofed into his or her nursery may be “safe,” but is also missing out on the wonders of the world.
How wide open is your heart?
Take a few moments to check in with yourself. Do you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable when you even think about being completely yourself and absolutely open with your partner? How does it feel to consider completely trusting and accepting him or her?
If the prospect is uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Don’t judge yourself but just notice how you feel.
Are there secrets sides to yourself that you hide away from your love because you don’t think he or she would approve?
For example, maybe you had a wild past and fear your current partner will be disappointed in you or not love you anymore if you are honest about it. What would it feel like to let your partner see you for who you are– so-called “warts” and all?
We’re not suggesting that you re-hash every past event with your mate or make a confessional list of all of your (or his or her) unsavory habits.
Instead, tune in to how much you may hold back. This could be holding back information but it can also be a holding back on how you’re feeling.
Perhaps fears of rejection cause you to be cooler with your partner than you really feel inside.
What steps can you take to open up?
Now that you have a clearer idea of the specific ways you stay closed or held back from your love, you can make conscious steps toward opening up more. If you notice that you put up a cool facade with your partner when inside you are bubbling over with loving emotion, ask yourself what a step toward openness might look like.
Maybe you’ve wanted to surprise him or her with a romantic, sensual dinner that you serve au naturel but are worried about your partner’s reaction.
Take a chance! Your fears may actualize with your love not being in the mood for such a passionate dinner. Or, he or she may be thrilled and excited by this surprise and join right in.
You will never know from a closed and held back place.
How wide open is your heart to you?
Often resistance to being completely open and vulnerable with your partner has more to do with the way you look at yourself and less to do with the other person. As you recognize your habit of holding back and protecting yourself from pain when it comes to your relationship, take a look at how you may also do this within yourself.
For example, between you and your partner, it is likely that you feel more embarrassment and self-judgment than he or she ever could for your wild past.
Encourage yourself to open up wide and truly love you for who you are– “warts” and all. This may mean forgiving yourself for decisions you’ve made or habits you’ve developed.
This may also mean taking some conscious risks to open just a little bit more to seeing all of you and accepting what you see even if you don’t like it 100%. You could also find this practice benefits your relationship too.
There are no guarantees in relationships or in life. You might open yourself up, allow yourself to be vulnerable and get hurt or feel betrayed.
Even in the same relationship, you might open up and discover a deeper, more passionate love than you’ve ever before experienced. You really will never know unless you make that conscious step.
For more information on how to open your heart to more romance, love and connection, visit http://www.StopTalkingonEggshells.com