Love Lesson #5: How Our Fears Can Serve Us
Shock waves were felt through the room as their eyes met. She was running a sales meeting as he was passing through the corridor and noticed her at the front of the room. He stopped and never took his eyes off her. She noticed this oh so very handsome man standing at the back door while 200 people were watching her every move and she had to keep her focus on what she was presenting but . . . he was so attractive and so distracting. Who was he? And why was he just standing there staring? She hadn’t been involved with a man in six years. She felt the shivers that alerted every hair on her body to stand on end. Ready to be touched and satisfied.
Darla and Monty flashed like lightening at first glance and dove into a wild, exciting relationship that involved all aspects of their lives.
Darla is a competent and resourceful woman with great spiritual depth who loves to be involved in projects with a global healing vision. Monty had it all. A high-intensity genius with a vision, an inventor and deeply devoted to the development of healing through music. Darla has devoted her life to learning and teaching healing techniques. She knew a man with these qualities was a rare find.
Darla made herself completely available to be the super-woman support-team to Monty's creative genius. Together they appeared to be the dynamic duo of all time. Everything fit perfectly. She was the woman of his visual fantasies. Even at 50 she had a body that most 22-year-olds would envy. She looked fabulous in a bikini and always wore thongs. She had beautiful face like Janet Leigh (for those of us over 50 who remember how beautiful she was). She was also an amazing marketing expert because of having her own business and she loved to help Monty with his business. She could easily pick up the slack and organize his business deals with complete integrity. She knew how talented he was and she knew how to protect and nurture that talent and encourage him. Monty was Darla’s Prince Charming and he needed her! This looked like the perfect arrangement for her to be totally acknowledged, appreciated, and consumed in pleasure for the rest of her life.
Instead it was quick sand! Each of them had fear agendas that ended up short-circuiting all the good they individually brought to the table.
Darla had been adopted as a child and grew up always trying to please her adoptive mother who had some major addiction problems (as well as being impossible to please and not emotionally available). Even now, in her relationship with Monty, Darla was still trying to earn the love she always needed and never received. In her eagerness to prove how valuable she could be to him and his vision, she would do anything for him. She wanted him to see how completely indispensable she was to his business and to his personal satisfaction. The unfortunate side of this is that she completely abandoned herself and her vision. And her greatest fear was abandonment.
Monty--dashing, exciting, a risk taker with a creative genius imagination, driven! Frantically he worked, worried, created, worried . . . underneath it all he was desperately afraid of loosing himself. This relationship was so powerfully beautiful. Just what he always thought he wanted. His fears surfaced by blaming her for taking up too much of his time. He accused her of distracting him. He made tentative dates with her based on when he would finish his work and then called late to say he wasn’t finished yet or had no energy left to get together. When he showed up for a date he sometimes had drank too much and his fears would show up in his abusiveness.
It all dissolved into a shambles of fear and pain. Darla became miserable and despondent, waiting for his calls, focusing her energy on respecting his needs and wishes, and making herself available just in case there was anything he needed from her. Her days now seemed endless and empty without their constant conversations, and joint creative efforts, and mutual excitement about the completion of the vision. She became very depressed. This dynamic and beautiful businesswoman now stayed at home and watched movies and, in her depression, neglected herself, her home, and her business. She became more and more despondent. Her income began to show the effects of the neglect to her business dealings. This created more fear and depression.
After talking with me, her coach, Darla became aware of how she was again abandoning herself. She was the one abandoning her. I helped her re-focus her energy on loving herself as much as she loved Monty. We did some sessions about what she wanted in her life.
Darla finally had to make the choice for herself, to free herself. She had learned how not to abandon herself. How to stay centered and focused on her own dreams and also enjoy a healthy relationship. Only when she learned how to “be there” for herself was she able to heal her patterns of abandoning her life to a man. She feels safer now to trust herself in a relationship and keep her life in balance.
She has spent the last six months with a wonderful spiritual partner who has been perfect for her to practice keeping her life in balance. He knows how to stay focused in his life and he values his time alone and his time in spiritual intention. He also really knows how to play!
If Monty ever finishes his project we hope some friend or counselor can help him see how to set limits in his relationships so he won’t have to stay trapped in workaholic avoidance.
Love Lesson: Our fears actually serve us by helping us to get clear about what we really want in our lives and what we are willing to do to clear out the obstacles and the ego barriers that make us want to blame someone else for our problems. The trick is to break the spiraling pattern of rambling on and on about the apparent situation and start focusing on the solution. Sometimes we need an objective outsider to help us identify a pattern that is no longer serving us. If all we ever do is all we’ve ever done all we’ll ever get is all we’ve ever gotten.