Updated: Mar 9, 2021
One day there was this incredibly handsome boy who was humble, kind, strong (mentally, physically and spiritually) and an energy that was both confident and humble at the same time. He met a girl. She was blown away by the man he was at first glance. She was used to someone that treated her very different. The girl was broken and slowly repairing herself. She was unsure of her worth. She had nothing of monetary value. Regardless, she put her best foot forward and pursued him like it was her last chance at love. And just like that, they were married 6 months later!
As the girl adjusted to married life, she became consumed by unworthy feelings and thoughts. This boy was not someone she deserved. She was broken. He was strong. She decided that there must be something wrong with him to be willing to be married to a girl who was so broken. She set out to find what was wrong with him. She found it. The girl realized that the boy was closed off, quiet and unwilling to open up to her. She knew it. He wasn't as wonderful as she thought. Perfect. Now she can continue living her unworthy and broken life. She continued to relate to this boy as someone who was unwilling to open up and connect deeply. The boy continued to deliver. This was the miserable life that the girl knew she was worthy of. She finally felt uncomfortably comfortable with the life she was living. She knew she deserved it and she got what she deserved.
Fast forward time- The girl decides she is miserable and doesn't want to keep living this way. She isn't going to give up, so she steps up her game. She tries to open up a little and have deeper conversations to connect deeper. Boy meets her where she is. Girl is confused. She opened up a tiny and the boy willingly shared just as much. Were the walls hers or his? Was he closed off or was she? Whose fears were in the way of getting closer?
Self generated accountability was born for the girl. She decides she was playing victim and she doesn't want to be that girl anymore. She takes off victim and puts on accountability. The girl commits to opening up no matter the walls or fears. The next time the girl tries to open up and go deeper, her tongue is tied and her brain and mouth cannot get anything out. It wouldn't come out even when she tried. The girl learned that day that she was the one with the walls and fears. She was the one closed off. She was the one preventing them from getting deeper connection. Now the girl wants to know why the walls are there and how to break them down!
The girl decided to get to know herself a little better. The girl lost her perfect nuclear family a few years prior and she attributed that experience to her fear of opening up. She was ultimately fearful of divorce. Her parents relationship had failed, so why would hers succeed? She decided this was the reason for her walls. To protect herself from the inevitable pain of divorce. She continued working on self awareness and understanding where her triggers came from. Instead of getting angry or defensive she would reflect. She would go deep and truly seek to understand where they came from and why.
What the girl found was not surprising at all, but not something she wanted to admit. It wasn't divorce. She almost lost her dad to suicide. Her feelings of unworthiness were born soon after. Her dad didn't even want to live for her sake, so why would anyone else in her life choose to live for her? And just like that the walls were uncovered and they were tall!! She had to choose to open up even if that meant being vulnerable to the point that she needed to be ok with losing the boy. This didn't mean that the girl wanted to lose the boy to suicide or that the boy's mental health was struggling. She just needed to accept that she would love now, open up now and leave the rest up to God. The girl needed to take responsibility for herself and her actions... not the actions that could be potentially taken by the boy in the future. That was too heavy and wasn't allowing her to live, open up or love the way she could.
The girl began to train her brain to accept the reality that she was going to open up and talk about her feelings, weaknesses and past trauma in a way that she had never done before to take her relationship to a place it had never been before. There were nights the girl had to lay in bed turned away from the boy to be able to say what needed to be said with tears streaming down her face and fear almost consuming her. She did it anyway. She continued doing it. The girl began to create an environment that allowed for openness, vulnerability and imperfection. The deep conversation was accepted and reciprocated and the girl realized that she created the closed off, quiet and unwilling to open up boy. This required her to close off to him, making it uncomfortable and unsafe to open up to her. She would interrupt or break silence whenever possible to prevent connection or pondering. She was the writer of her misery, but she was also the writer of her joy. She decided she wanted to write and create more joy in her life. She started the journey and practice of self generated accountability. It worked (slowly but surely).
She proactively created a life she loved starting with her opening up about the feelings she was experiencing. This required the girl to be very self aware and to understand what was REALLY happening or being triggered. Honesty with herself was the key to understanding herself and her needs. She practiced expressing them to the boy no matter how silly, embarrassing or uncomfortable they were to say out loud. Over and over again. The boy loved her still. The boy chose to stay even when he saw the ugly, the trauma or the evidence of another wall.
The girl learned a powerful lesson. She had WAY more power than she thought. She had the power to create a love and relationship that possessed deep connection, fulfillment and acceptance. She didn't have to create someone less than they were to meet her where she thought she was worthy of experiencing. She could allow herself to feel worthy of someone incredible. She could accept the fact that she was worthy to be happy. She was worthy of love yesterday, today and tomorrow. She had the power to create that!
They lived happily ever after.
The boy is my loving, sweet, caring, understanding, loyal, genuine, patient, humble and accepting husband. I am the girl. This was our love story.
I hope you know that YOU are a powerful creator and YOU have the ability to create a life and marriage YOU love. YOU have the ability to put the time and energy into YOUR relationship making YOU giddy when YOU roll over and see YOUR partner laying next to YOU in the morning. YOU have the ability to let go and move forward. YOU have the power to be open about YOUR true insecurities and fears. YOU have the power to find joy in your circumstances.
If you don't feel worthy today, then let me be the first to tell you that you are! If you feel like your problems in your marriage are different and won't have the same outcome, then I dare you to try. If you feel like you aren't sure what your walls are, then I challenge you to seek them. If you feel like you are a worthy of the love you have, then I encourage you to look at areas you can improve.
Growth is ALWAYS possible no matter what anniversary you are celebrating. Maintain your marriage and you will never have to work on it. The little things ARE the most important things. They make up your marriage. Do the little things and the rewards will be bigger than you ever realized.
"Live ten feet tall and bulletproof."
- in memory of Desiree Cooper Larsen