Your surprise relationship superpower
Updated: Feb 27
It has almost been a month since my last post and curious thoughts set sail in my mind...
Namely, about the essence of vulnerability - that delicate, beautiful quality that is present in every gentle touch-point in nature - from a flower's petals to a butterfly's wings - yet when it's a part of our emotional landscape, we're so scared of its revealing.
What is Vulnerability?
I see it as the tender sensation arising once we surrender control.
After all, when the unconscious structures that we rely on in order to feel safe collapse, we either enter fear-mode, or let our inner truth, however uncomfortable shine. Unfortunately, we often lean into the former.
When a certain status quo in our life is threatened, our immediate instinct is to amp up the control.
Consider how you do this in your own relationship to ensure you uphold your agenda:
Do you nag your partner until the thing you want gets done? Do you guilt trip them until it happens? Do you sulk? Or become commanding and bossy?
You may have good intentions for these behaviours, and getting your way may certainly help you to feel better in the short term, but when you look at the lack of connection that arises from control, there is more harm than good to always getting your way.
When you go into your controlling, dominant, self-serving mode, you diminish your partner's sovereignty, and erode the Presence in your exchange.
And no human truly wants that.
Feeling Safe in Your Surrender
Next time you trying and "get" your partner to behave in a certain way, ask yourself:
Are MY good intentions to the greater benefit of ALL involved? Whose interests is this this really benefitting?
Since control is a form of fear, your control is a self-protection mechanism from something deeper that is at play. And exploring the depth of how you really feel, and sharing it courageously, is the essence of vulnerability.
A further case in point that controlling your partner's wishes doesn't work: Notice how drained and exhausted you feel when you take on the responsibility for "rescuing" them from their choices. You work over-time to offer your partner advice they'll never take, or get angry when they fail to behave in ways they "should". (By the way, "Should" is such an unsexy world in your vocabulary. Why not replace it with the more expansive "want" or "prefer"?)
And yet we rescue often times not because we want the best for our love, but because we we worry how their behaviour ultimately affects us.
Indeed, control is always selfish.
When you are in controlling mode, you are doing so because you fear of what it would mean to YOU if the situation were to escalate. If you were to really care from your heart, it would warrant a totally different conversation... where your person feels you're actually there for their well-being.
See the difference?
Sometimes being a good partner means supporting your partner's choices even if they make you uncomfortable (provided they don't break your moral code). The discomfort and lack of safety you may feel within as your agenda remains off the table is precisely what vulnerability is.
Vulnerability is the tenderness you feel when your heart opens as you release control; when you allow the moment to be and to trust that, even though you don't know what will happen next, or what allowing your partner to be may hold, act from the powerful place of your heart means ultimately, things will work out.
Ironically, the more we give our partner the space to pursue their individuality, the more they gravitate back to us. It is suppressing their desires and individual progress that will tend to push them away.
Now, Allow for Truth and Observe
This week, imagine just pausing and just letting your uncomfortable feelings arise; letting it all be... Allow your partner to make a big or small decision that you don't feel compelled to fix or chime in to. How they stack the dishwasher. What they fed the kids.
Their decision for a week-long trip with their friends.
Imagine saying nothing disparaging when your boyfriend or husband forgets to do something?
Imagine going with the flow, letting friends run late, or changing last minute the plans you have together?
What comes up?
This is not about being a 'doormat'. It's exactly the lie your controlling self would want you believe!
Rather, when you connect with your own human heart, that tender, petal-like feeling of being with what is, the reality of not having your own way... the truth from that situation will present itself, a reality that encompasses both parties.
And then you can act. With the fullness of heart-fuelled, abundant insight.
Please let me know your thoughts - and share with those who may enjoy this post.