I won’t change him from a thinker to a doer.
I can’t unravel the knots that keep him tied up and stuck to his familiar place, where very little changes for him.
It’s not my job, nor can anyone climb inside my head and move me out of my comfort zone peacefully. I have to want to move out first, right?
Perhaps, I can’t even really ever know his truest feelings for me, I only hear the words that he has shared. His action doesn’t follow and therefore the words don’t create a lasting effect.
Now, I don’t write this as a realization that I must stop controlling him, because it isn’t that I am trying to do that. It’s my thinking that if he is acting a certain way, I must respond in a way that fits.
Don’t they say the punishment must fit the crime? Even though this isn’t a crime, it’s trying to respond so as to make myself feel better—to get back into my comfort zone and in control of myself.
Aren’t we always looking for the most strategic response? The quip? The action to create the reaction? The reassurance? The way for us to feel okay and not like our insides are hanging out?
Dreams, relationships and our perception of life don’t happen from coming up with canned reactions or strategies. Things don’t change based on the same old thinking and actions we take, because those are entrenched and normally fear-based.
Fear comes in many disguises that we project onto others. Sometimes when we believe we know their thinking and intentions, we focus there rather than on changing ourselves.
I thought for a really long time: could he show up just once, emotionally and physically in an open and generous way—being all in and completely available—what it would be like? How amazing it would be.
Even though he sometimes admitted to his fears, he couldn’t take action. No loving action for himself nor for me, he hid away from me. He felt as though he was failing, instead.
For a long time, I hoped that my love for him would open the door to him wanting to join me in a full life together. Perhaps the truth was, he didn’t love himself enough or trust that this relationship would be different than what he had experienced in the past.
He didn’t see his value. I kept looking at him to see my value too. I was used to this, because I wasn’t brought up with much value. I was always different and therefore, in my mind, usually coming from behind.
I learned to find myself and even though my confidence grew, from learning to love myself, I can still be triggered.
The trigger takes me by surprise, it can lead me back down old familiar roads and cause me pain. The feeling of emptiness, of a desire unfulfilled. Wondering why easy things had to be so difficult?
It struck me that my perception was what kept me repeating the lesson.
He won’t change.
At least through my words, reassurance or actions. He won’t discover his inner light, or how amazing he is and finally follow through his words with action. He won’t understand how much I miss him, because he was the male version of me.
I can’t make him a giver. He is afraid, because of his own disappointments and not wanting to experience the shame of being vulnerable. I can’t make him a receiver of love either. That’s his choice.
What it means is something new.
I have been changing.
The meaning lies in my core, I have to remove the obstacles within me to love. Every pain and twinge of having circumstances different than the way I want them, is an opportunity for me to just love.
Love myself, love life, love him and love others.
The giving and receiving is what I keep changing, my ability to receive kindness, love, sharing and caring. Feeling it deeply is what changes me. I give, as I have always given, but not from a depleted place.
By receiving I am not depleted and it is everywhere in life, if I keep changing my perception. Where I see obstacles, I can change those to challenges, if my goal is love.
Nope, I can’t change him—I don’t even try anymore—and my longstanding hope has changed too. I can’t make him do what he doesn’t want to, just because I don’t want to lose him.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock