To be without Claire is to be like a guitar that’s missing a string.
It can still be played, but there will always be a note missing from every chord.
I’ve made mistakes. Plenty of them. Especially when it comes to relationships. With one partner in particular, I criticized, coerced, undermined, and attempted to control. Why? Because I was scared.
Scared of being left behind, scared of being outgrown, and absolutely terrified of being alone. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Through my actions, I brought about all of those things that I feared. I turned a stable nine-year relationship into a battleground. And it was a battle that I lost.
I’m determined that I won’t make the same mistakes with Claire. Her commitment to her career, her children, and her own personal growth is nothing short of inspiring. And in many ways, the old fears are still there.
She’ll outgrow me. She’ll leave me. I’ll end up alone.
Unless I commit to growing with her.
That’s not to say that my motives are ulterior—that I’m only attempting to grow as a person in order to keep her. Far from it. I’ve recently had the realisation that if I don’t commit to my own personal development with every fibre of my being, I’ll simply continue to destroy my relationships by making those old mistakes again and again.
Why do we enter relationships and make the same destructive choices every time?
Why do we criticize, coerce, and undermine our partners, whom we claim to love? Why do we fear their growth? Is it because we’re bad people?
My argument is no; most of us are not bad people at all, we’re just stuck in bad paradigms. But bad paradigms can be realigned with a little effort.
No problem can be solved at the level of consciousness at which it was created. The only way to fix a broken paradigm is to rise above the state of mind that birthed it.
I’ve been a slave to my unconscious programming for far too long. It tells me that I’m not good enough, that I’m not worthy of love, and that I deserve to be alone. But, after years of soul-searching, the fog of self-loathing is clearing and I’m beginning to see that I do in fact deserve the love that I have always so misguidedly coveted.
We should never let our old paradigms get the better of us, let them tell us that our happiness is in the hands of our significant others. Our happiness is in our own hands. When it’s placed in our partner’s care, resentment blossoms. We blame them for our unhappiness. We fear their growth, and seek to keep them in the state they were in, because what if they outgrow us and take our happiness with them?
We need to be happy in ourselves, to love ourselves unconditionally. That’s when we can finally love our partners correctly. That’s when their growth is a thrill to experience instead of a threat.
They say you should surround yourself with people who inspire you, who motivate you, and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Claire is one such person. I can practically feel her consciousness ascending as she continues to work on herself. I’m blessed to have found her and even more so to have convinced her that I’m worth loving.
Make no mistake, she’s a rising tide. And a rising tide lifts all ships.