How I’m Learning to Handle Feedback and Let Love In
Relationships are funny. I had no idea how much easier my life was when I was single. Ha! To be on my own meant that there was much less feedback. I was only worried about myself, my schedule, my needs, and I wasn’t having to explain myself to anyone, or to consider how my behavior was affecting anyone other than me.
But starting in a relationship that I deeply care about has brought learning lessons that are two-fold. The man I am with is very special, and he is opening things for me emotionally that I didn’t anticipate. This is the beauty of letting love in, letting a relationship happen, letting love into your life without boundaries or expectations. But along that same vein, what is becoming apparent to me is that if I’m going to let the love in (which is the fun part—the companionship, the cooking meals together, the travel, the sexual intimacy), it’s the feedback that comes with all of that that has taken some getting used to.
Let me clarify first that not all of the feedback is negative. Dating this man has helped me appreciate and love my body probably more than I ever have. And that was feedback I didn’t anticipate. I’m really embracing my shape, my softness, my sexuality…all because of his tenderness, and he’s opened that door for me.
But I have also gotten feedback that I didn’t want to hear…
The feedback isn’t quite that I’m selfish, but that I’m can be so self-involved that I miss a lot going around me… Including how my pace of life can affect myself and others close to me poorly. To be honest I hated even writing these words down to share them with you. I’ve always felt that being super dialed in was a good thing, so I’m used to doing what I need to do to get through my day and not thinking about the consequences of another person in my immediate, non-professional space. It has been an adjustment for me to shift my senses around that, but as I allow this lesson to seep in, I find it shaping me in a way that is helping me be a more conscious human and a much more connected partner.
It’s interesting that I’m just learning this now, but I guess unless you’re in an intimate setting with someone you love, you don’t quite realize the reverberations of your emotions, your choices and the impact of your decisions on your relationship. That feedback has been hard on me, because what I’ve realized in this relationship is how much you need to examine yourself. Take a deeper look at the things you don’t want to know, that you don’t want to see, or that you’ve been ignoring. Ignorance is truly bliss, until it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror.
I might not perceive that I’m selfish, harsh, or one-track minded, but maybe there are some behaviors I need to adjust because they’re having an effect on my partnership. I’m realizing that the power of relationships isn’t just a shared vulnerability with the person you are intimate with, but it’s the power of being given access to achieve something greater within ourselves (if we’re willing to go there).
When you allow relationships to be a mirror, reflecting your truths with a loving perspective and constructive life lessons through the words of a love one, there is great value in listening to that information and sifting through it to explore where you’d like to take it.
This has been a special outlying and unexpected gift from my relationship, and I know it can be a gift within yours too.
Always in your corner,