How understanding the signals sent by our emotions will open up the door to true love.
Back when I was still in the dating scene many years ago, I had hard time believing that one day I would find the right partner for me and be in a great long-term relationship. Even though I was pretty successful in my career, I found it challenging to transfer that confidence into relationships. I wasn’t comfortable showing someone what I was feeling and thinking. I had a limiting belief that very few good men exist, and I didn’t want to risk revealing myself to the wrong one. Deep down, I lacked trust in my own judgment to pick the right man. I feared repeating a mistake I’d made in the past, which had led me to believe that trusting and being vulnerable in a relationship would only set me up for hurt and disappointment.
Although the fear of making the same mistakes is valid, the truth is, we’re not really scared of repeating our mistakes; we know deep down that we’re smart enough to fix them. What’s scary is the thought of reliving the same negative emotions, such as shame, hurt, loneliness, and disappointment that we once felt as a result of a relationship that didn’t work out. The need for certainty is often a top priority for many successful women, and we would do anything to keep it — including avoiding the uncertainty of what potential love and new committed relationship bring to the table. And so we put up our guards to protect ourselves.
My personal experiences taught me that being guarded was not going to get me what I wanted in a relationship, including equal support, love, openness, great communication, intimacy, and growth. Instead, being guarded drove me farther away from what I desired. The truth is our external world is nothing but a reflection of our internal world. When I opened my heart to both my negative and positive emotions, I realized that even though a breakup seemed like a hurtful experience, my feelings were signaling to me that something deep within me had a message for me. That message was about letting go and changing.
When I became more intimate with my feelings, I trusted my judgment in men more than ever, and I made better decisions in my love life. Vulnerability became natural to me, and it helped me attract a beautiful marriage. Vulnerability is the door to living an honest life and revealing your true self. We all have fears, and everyone has endured bad experiences, but what shapes our future is the meaning we give those experiences. I believe we all have the courage to step into this space — our own vulnerability — in love. Take this one small step at a time.