With grateful permission, I’m sharing this post from my E-Course forum. This will give you just a taste of the brilliant wisdom that often passes through the virtual doors of this very special forum via the words of the compassionate, supportive, wise women and men that are working their tails off to break through their relationship anxiety.
I had these two MAJOR REVELATIONS running through my mind as I went to bed last night, and I forced myself to remember them! So thought I would share: (sorry to soapbox, it’s just a major mental breakthrough for me!)
1. You know the “doubt means don’t” thing – well I was thinking about what that all these experts and ‘people’ are saying and what Sheryl has just posted about in her blog / Oprah’s response, etc. Well, maybe there are two kinds of people: People who are unaware and people who are fully aware. The first kind are the people for whom doubt SHOULD mean don’t. These people may actually need to be hit on the head by a 2×4 to stop them making a bad decision – people who cannot see what you are on about and are hell-bent on doing something that IS actually bad for them – red flags and all and even make excuses for them.
People who are on the less intuitive side, perhaps less conscientious, immature, less aware. It’s not a criticism, I was that kind of person. When I was 10 years younger, I had absolutely NO clue about what real love was. I knew what it was supposed to feel like, though. I was ‘in love’ with this guy who never thought about coming over to see me (I used to drive an hour to see him all the time). I never questioned his bad moods and it was only in realising he made me feel like crap about myself (why didn’t I doubt? duh!!) and was not committed to us at all that I finally got the idea of wedding bells out of my head. Seven years ago (2 years before I met my now *husband* – love saying that! :), I met the man I thought I would marry. He, too, was someone I was totally into, never ever a doubt in my mind. I told everyone, “this is the guy I’m going to marry” – and same thing happened again. Do you think a doubt entered my mind about the relationship? No. Did anyone warn me about these guys – mum/family/friends etc? No. It hit me that no one questions you when you say you are ‘in love’ – they just go along with you, trusting when you are right for each other, no, they are damned HAPPY for you. No one questions your feelings of ‘love’ and yet they are all over you like a rash when you say you are having doubts – and even when you explain there are no red flags, no, still ‘doubt’ seems to mean ‘don’t’ to these people.
Well, I think this confusion is messing with the second type of person – HSP and intelligent / introspective / anxious people’s heads – I think, like Sheryl always says, the whole ‘doubt means don’t’ advice actually excludes people who are looking deeply at their relationship before marriage – ie (us) people who don’t need to be told that doubt means don’t.
So yeah: Say ‘doubt means don’t’ to a conscientious person is like a fricken red flag to a bull, we will go for it – looking (and finding) reasons to assume it applies to us.
Say ‘doubt means don’t’ to a person who isn’t aware and they will make excuses for the person’s behaviour and their own doubts.
Just my two cents here but I’m totally over these blogs about marriage that say these blanket statements to everyone and assuming everyone is the same. Moving on…
2. I also has this thought about the influence of the myth that meeting the One has on our modern culture (ruminating on Sheryl’s books here) but finally ‘getting it’ that people in Western culture really do cling to fairytales to give their lives meaning. As a single person I LOVED travelling alone, just the excitement of having the world open to me was addictive. The fairytale of ‘The One’ was indefinitely suspended when I was single because this intangible hope still existed that my life could suddenly change and become awesome/more fulfilled. I would go out to see romantic movies & buy magazines about people who made it clear that ‘the dream’ existed. When someone wins the lottery it entrenches the thoughts that instant ‘Happiness’ CAN exist and be ‘solved’ by this magical meeting of ‘THE ONE’ or by money. (Few people go beyond the happily ever after story into the aftermath of many lottery winners – there is often a lot of heartache there too that proves money, like another person, does not automatically bring happiness).
So to crush the myth that ‘love’ can ‘happen’ in our popular mythology is like saying to an addict that there is no more drug left, that you have to make your own happiness from your head, that the stimulus, the panacea to your LIFE, isn’t something you GET but something you create yourself. I reckon this fits in very well with our fast food – fast everything culture – the idea that love can suddenly hit you on the head and your life changes. If we didn’t have myths like that, god help us, we may have to find happiness from within, and like cooking vs fast food that takes time and patience.
Combined (and I’m only really just getting my head around it and probably not expressing it very clearly) these are really important revelation for me right now because I have been questioning WHY I have held onto the ‘dream’ in my darker moments of anxiety about past unavailable people and questioned the shit out of the amazing guy I have. I’d bought into the myth – hook, line and sinker – that a man, full of red flags or not, SHOULD just come out of the blue and make my life feel better. The idea that my feelings of ‘love’= real love and that doubt = don’t. It’s all opposite. No one can make me feel happy except for me, due to my own background, my feelings alone are a terrible indicator of what real love should be like and doubt DOESN’T mean don’t!
Spoken like a true conscious bride, now conscious wife. THANK YOU.