Winter is over, my friends. It’s time to open the windows and clean out any stuck areas of your otherwise amazing relationship.
But how do you know if there's an area that's stuck?
You know you're stuck if you find yourself full of fear when you think about it.
You want to talk about it - but maybe you don’t know how to go about it exactly. Or perhaps you tried talking about it, but it didn’t come out right. So you say nothing more about it...and the fear festers.
When you withhold your fears, your relationship stagnates. You create distance. The only way to resume healthy relating is to systematically clean out the fears together.
Step 1: Admit the fear about the situation.
Step 2: Allow yourself to feel the fear.
Step 3: Move forward in spite of the fear.
It’s a simple method, yet quite profound in execution.
Being forthright about your fear is the first step towards loosening the grip that it has on your thoughts and actions. You deflate the power of the fear by saying it aloud to your partner.
Then you move into the fear - you feel it fully. You see the fear for what it is. You play with it. You exaggerate it. You imagine the worst possible scenario and realize that it’s not actually life-threatening. (Whew!)
It’s helpful to offer yourself compassion around this fear. You may discover that the fear originated from a childhood pain or other past experience. If that’s the case, you’ll come to perceive this fear like an old scar, irreversible but not damaging.
"We love more freely when we let go of fears that have been shadowing us for a lifetime,” says David Richo, psychologist and author of When Love Meets Fear.
Taking the time to voice and feel your fears together is an incredibly liberating experience. Yet so few couples recognize that they have the power to shift out of the pain of fear so easily.
It’s akin to an aikido move. You enter the zone of fear and you move toward it in a non-invasive way. You blend with its energy with no attempt to oppose it, stop it, or strike back at it. You meet this oncoming energy and you experience it intimately. The energy then gets folded back into a resolution.
Now that the fear is disarmed, you move forward with grace and ease. You make a plan and support one another as you proceed boldly in the direction of your desires, knowing that the fear still exists but you have minimized its effect.
This is how you develop confidence and trust as a couple. Equipped with a technique for surfacing fears and moving through moments of uncertainty with courage, you cultivate greater strength to take on more of life's challenges together.