OK this might be one of the biggest, most challenging parts of Loving Unafraid. I left it until now because I didn’t want to scare you away too soon….
I’m kidding, but there is a kernel of truth here. I will go out on a limb and say that Testing love, rather than Trusting love, is one of the top reasons that people walk around in a half state instead of being their whole selves.
And if you’ve watched my previous podcasts, you know that healthy, joyful, fulfilled relationships require you, first and foremost, to be your whole self.
Let’s look more closely at Trust.
When we are in Test love mode, we set up a lot of expectations. We expect our partner to constantly prove that we are loveable…and when that person tires of being tested all the time, or simply ‘fails the test’, we throw up our hands and say…”See! You never really loved me! I knew it.”
What a huge burden to place on another person. It’s a no-win situation. And if both people are engaged in this constant testing, life becomes a marathon of unreasonable expectations and bitter disappointments. Sound at all familiar? Well it certainly does to me!
This was the story of my first marriage and many other relationships until I finally said “Whoa! Stop.” I decided …things are going to change! For me, this began a nine-month period of intense inner work. Here’s what that looked like.
There was a whole lot of self-inquiry involved here….and a whole lot of being quiet, being in nature, realizing that yes, trust had been broken in my young life, but that can’t be where the story ends.
I discovered I could first build a trust in the Universe and then I could begin to trust myself as part of that Universe. By spending time in nature, I could allow Life outside and inside to come into sync. I was building trust in myself….a hugely important first step.
I began to see that everything is a mirror….positive and negative. Seeing a
beautiful loving exchange between a mother and child made me realize I had that love inside me. And negativity outside also showed me those parts of myself.
Trust/ Distrust is your teacher
I came to understand the things that were pushing my buttons…they were just telling me what was inside me. And so that meant I had to go back in and do some more self-inquiry.
You can recognize when you are Testing by looking closely at your expectations, at your level of neediness. That’s a pretty clear sign. And we all do it, so there’s no reason to punish yourself. Just go back inside and find that Trust again.