How Spring Can Help Heal One Aspect of Relationship Anxiety

by | Mar 27, 2022 | Break Free From Relationship Anxiety, Podcast, Relationships | 12 comments

For those of you who struggle with the relationship anxiety spike, “I’m not in love enough with my partner”, I have a cure for you: Spring!

Okay, maybe it’s not the type of “cure” that our black-and-white minds would like to believe exists – that magic panacea that eradicates all doubt and sends us into an ecstatic upswirl of certainty – but Spring does carry some kind of magical potion that, when harnessed, helps us to find our own place of aliveness, which is at the root of the expectation that our partners are supposed to make us feel in love.

Here’s an excerpt from the recent Gathering Gold episode where Victoria and I gently explore many layers of the gifts and challenges of Spring, and the opportunity that Spring carries for healing this one aspect of relationship anxiety:

In the episode, I also share a poem that I wrote over twenty years ago in the early stages of my relationship with my husband, and when I read the poem during the recoding I was brought to tears. I introduced the poem:

“The poem speaks to this time of year, to things not yet born, to potential and possibility. This was years before we had children, when our whole marriage and life as parents was ahead of us. And there’s some pain when I read back on it now: the pain of knowing the challenges that were ahead of us; the loss of innocence when it was just he and I and we were in a bubble of more ease; this was before we moved to Denver, before he left his career behind in Los Angeles. We just had no idea how our collision of traumas would manifest. And we had no idea about the goodness, either: that our two sons were on the way; that I would grow my work in the world; that I would write two more books after the first one; that he would find his way into a new career; that he and I would have two more marriages all with each other. Spring speaks to this place of innocence and nascent possibility.”

Feeling quite emotional, I had to take a breath. And after I read the poem the full release of unexpected tears arrived, and I tried to make sense of them:

“I think what’s coming now is the… the extraordinary gift of Daev’s love. That he has never, ever stopped loving – and there have been so many hard times, but his love has been unwavering. And his seeing of me. I was just a spring chicken when we met! I was so young. And he saw… he just saw my soul, he saw me like nobody had ever seen me. He saw our babies. He saw what would end up being my work in the world. That innocence of young love. The innocence of that time in our life. It was spring, We were spring. And we’ve gone through so many seasons since then. And we’re in such a good place now. So to be at this spring and reflecting back on that spring twenty years ago…”

I hope you listen to the episode because the vulnerability that poured through my heart cannot be communicated in these words. The tears speak to the pain/goodness of this life, and it’s important to say here that relationship anxiety is, at a core, the vulnerable heart that senses into the enormous risk of committing to one person, a risk that will invariably include pain. Some part of us knows this, and that’s when the mind steps in to try to protect the heart by convincing you that your partner or the relationship itself isn’t “enough” in some ways. Loving is the biggest risk we take, and highly sensitive people know this.

If you’re with a good partner (and I’ve expounded on what I mean by “good” in multiple posts) but relationship anxiety is trying to convince you otherwise, hang on. It’s worth every ounce of hard work you pour into deactivating the potency of the fearful thoughts and convictions. Take the course. Join us for the live round. Do the inner work that will allow you to find enough spaciousness and clarity that you can say YES to your loving partner and create a beautiful life together. It will not be a perfect life; that does not exist. But it will be a shared life with someone who has your back and you have theirs. And this is worth more than gold.

Choose love. Choose YES. Choose to harness the healing potential of spring and allow yourself to toss a few layers of fear into the rushing waters. Choose your loving partner and do whatever it takes that allows you to make the choice. It’s one of the most important choices we can ever make, and it’s not one you will regret.

The next live round of Break Free From Relationship Anxiety starts on April 10th, 2022, and includes four group coaching calls with me. I look forward to meeting you there.

12 Comments

  1. O, my, I don’t know what to say…
    Our 11 year old Aussie bulldog family dog suddenly passed away on Friday. Full of grief, I didn’t feel like reading, but I opened the email anyway.
    And your words, Sheryl, met my heart in that vulnerable place.
    I remember writing to you about the sudden death of our 17-year-old son nearly 11 years ago. It was his dog (then 6 months old who passed).
    In 11 days my husband and I are celebrating the 40th anniversary of first looking into each other’s eyes and clinging together for life.
    We went through so much. Both in our relationship and life.
    You are such a healing presence, inspiration and role model for me since before 2009…
    Blessings on your strong-vulnerable heart.

    Reply
    • It was spring when we met in Hungary, it’s autumn here in Australia where we live and these loved ones returned to the fragrant earth with the falling leaves and so much rain.. both times…

      Reply
      • Hi Sheryl! This post is so incredibly timely and heartwarming. I am 22, in a relationship with the most fantastic man ever. I am suffering severe relationship anxiety every single day, thinking that he is not the one or even doubting that I even love him at all, it’s not easy. During the first year of our relationship I was incredibly jealous of him, that caused me to be controlling at times, he didn’t want to loose me, so, he changed the things that made me feel insecure to give me peace and confidence in the relationship, he has showed he is an amazing and loyal partner, and I feel like I have asked him everything there is to know about jealousy, he has done everything he could to ease me in that area, and now I feel tired of being jealous anymore, I know he is faithful, he is in love with me, and I rarely feel jealousy now. Is this a good thing? It’s a new experience for me, my previous boyfriend cheated on me, and I never even suspected it, I trusted him, he seemed like a nice guy, and everyone liked him, but in private he was violent and often made me do things I didn’t like. My current boyfriend is a saint, and his family always tells me he is a good man, and that he loves me, I guess that triggered me, “the good guy” vibe triggered my anxiety, suspicion and hiper vigilance, but he has proved he is loyal and true, so, I don’t feel like I have the right to be jealous anymore.

        I just want to know if this is a good thing or maybe I lost interest, RA makes me think that I don’t even love him anymore, there are no red flags, we share core values and life goals… I don’t want to loose him, but sometimes this battle feels too big for me. Any tips or advice is welcomed.

        Reply
        • I’m not hearing any cause for concern. It sounds like you have a very healthy relationship and that his steady love has helped you heal from the past.

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    • Oh, Ildiko, I’m sending you so much love and very big hugs. I’m so glad that my words met you in that vulnerable place of grief, both current and past and the interweaving between the two. Thank you for your blessings, and sending them right back to you.

      Reply
  2. Sheryl, thank you for sharing your light and vulnerability with us, it is so beautiful and special.

    I feel like I’m trying so hard. But it’s SO difficult. The thoughts are relentless and feel so real and the anxiety is overwhelming. I show up for the work and I dip into feelings for minutes, seconds before the thoughts pipe in again and I tense up and shut down. My partner is the sweetest, most patient and loving person I have literally ever met. My thoughts mostly center around being attracted to other people, wondering if it’s wrong for me to be in a monogamous relationship or if an open relationship/polyamory would be better for me. But they have been different in the past. And before this relationship they were about something else altogether. Sometimes I really wonder if there will be a way out for me. The fear is so strong.

    Reply
    • I am in exactly the same place, Julia. It is so so hard. I always wonder why my thoughts about cheating are there – why I am still attracted to other people — whether I should be in an open relationship/polyamorous. I also wonder if there will ever be an end to these thoughts and feelings, if I am just a broken human who will never know the safety and comfort and ease of a monogamous relationship. But my partner is also so special, so pure, so good. And it’s SO so difficult. Many days, the fear wins. But there are days it doesn’t, and I try to remember how good I feel on days when I am calm and at peace.

      Reply
      • Hi Leah, It’s so nice to know I’m not alone and I really appreciate your response! I just want to say you are not broken (although I totally know the feeling) – being present in a loving relationship can be really really really hard and being attracted to other people is normal. I think it’s the fixation and panic and unrealistic expectations and information about love, attraction, and relationships compounded with high sensitivity and the defenses that arise from it that can cause tremendous suffering.

        It’s great to hear that there are days when you are calm and at peace – I feel like those are seconds or minutes for me. I’m curious about what allows you to reach that sense of calm and peace when it is there?

        Reply
  3. I listened to this episode today and it was potent because of the timing. I just received news that my stepdad passed away yesterday, someone dear to my heart. And the fragility of life that I often feel was heightened. The longing for more time and memories to be made. Thank you for your words, it helped me work through these feelings today and was like a balm to my grief.

    Reply
    • I’m so sorry about your loss, and I’m glad that this episode was a balm. Sending hugs.

      Reply
  4. Hi Sheryl,
    Your work has helped me take responsibility for my own peace, fulfillment, and purpose while allowing me to trust my incredible partner (who is now my wife of 3 years and partner of almost 8!). We truly have a beautiful life together.
    I’m wondering if you take any requests for future podcast topics. I’m currently a teacher in a stressful and challenging district, where I’ve taught for 5 years. I’ve been fully immersed in our community here and felt a responsibility to be a part of a systemic change. I love my kids and give them my all, which includes many hours of work and a stressful work life balance. I’m extremely tired, burnt out, and feel I’m at the end of my threshold of being able to “handle” every day at school. Your escape hatch fantasy podcast was so helpful, and it left me wondering about the career escape hatch fantasy. Im wondering more specifically if there are situations with work, as I assume there could be with relationships, where escape hatch fantasies might illuminate a need for change. I know that will spike some relationship anxiety sufferers which I completely understand and empathize with, but at my work I feel as though I’m walking into various levels and types of trauma each day and the personal responsibility is leading me to want to leave and find somewhere more peaceful and less stressful. Is this an escape hatch fantasy as well? I am in therapy but your framework for these types of issues has been incredibly helpful, so I thought I’d try posing this question here. Thanks so much 🙂

    Reply
    • This is a wonderful question! We’re about to announce a Patreon page that will allow patrons to submit a question to the podcast so if you feel called to become a patron you would have a much higher chance of having your question addressed.

      Reply

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