Editor’s note: These posts were written back when my brand name was Remodel Fitness. I’ve decided to include them here without editing them, in the interest of…well… transparency. 😉
The truest thing I have to share today is about relationships.
I assure you, the last thing I want to write about right now is relationships. But as promised, when I sit down to write these emails, I search my heart for the truest thing I have to share that day.
Specifically, what I want to talk about is how we often think something is going to come along and change us. We have a tendency to think that some person will come along and turn us into the version of ourselves we’re meant to be.
This isn’t an especially new or creative fantasy- I mean my god, the Disney princesses were all hostages, and in comas, and sometimes even slaves before they met Prince Charming. I don’t buy into the disney princess bullshit, and I don’t need a man to save me from jack shit. (And you probably don’t either.) But you can’t help but acknowledge the number of love stories that really do sound like transformations, you know?
“I never believed in love until I met…”
“I never wanted kids until I met…”
“I was a complete loser until I met so-and-so and cleaned up my act…”
We hear it all the time. So many people talk about how finding the right partner just changed them, and took their life into this totally wonderful and previously unforeseen direction. It’s hard to ignore the message hidden within this kind of story, that it required someone else to “fix” us, improve us, help us rise to our potential, or complete us.
We do this about other stuff too, it’s not just relationships. We think “when I get that promotion, I’ll finally feel like an adult,” or “when I find my life’s purpose, I’ll finally be happy and get up every morning at 5am to do yoga as the sun rises,” or other equally unlikely stuff. Sometimes even inside of a relationship we have the same fantasy, thinking that maybe by breaking up with our partner, we’ll finally access the personal growth needed to become our best selves.
I happen to think that this approach to life is basically a living, breathing guarantee you will be disappointed by absolutely everything that ever happens to you. Why? Because no matter what happens to you… you’re still you. It’s just YOU, only now you’re dating the partner of your dreams. It’s just YOU, only now you make more money. You know that nothing is different. You know that it’s still just you. And that feels like a real fucking bummer, because you were hoping you would become… someone different.
Can you relate to this?
In my experience, the missing piece of the inspirational “you too can be transformed!” message is that you have to do the work to transform yourself.
Lately I’ve been seeing someone. Someone pretty amazing. Someone I think I want to build a future with. And I’m not gonna lie, at first I kind of found myself waiting to feel different. Like… ok! I’ve found him! Now I’ll just suddenly “get” relationships, right? Won’t all my old relationship issues kind of just fall away?
Hahahahahahaha. Ah, no. No, no, no. That’s not what’s happening. Instead of a magical transformation, I’d say what I’m going through is more like… a bloodbath.
In the fairytales, you see, the transformation is something that always happened to the woman. All she has to do is just show up, and then some magical godmother comes in and takes care of the rest. That’s not how it works though. I think you have to be your own fairy godmother, except the job isn’t as sparkly and pretty as you might imagine.
In my experience, transformation is more like wrestling an alligator with one hand tied behind your back. It’s terrifying, and exhausting, and messy; it might even be objectively unwise.
But my goodness, is it exhilarating.
Maybe that’s just me, though. Falling in love with this person feels like it has exposed a whole goddamn minefield of wounds and triggers that I didn’t know existed. It feels like I’ve (wisely) never let anyone into this room before, but now someone is here, and he keeps stepping in traps and setting off explosions.
So, I’m still me. In fact I might even be a worse version of me right now. (In my defense though, someone is blowing shit up deep in my psyche. It’s kind of hard to concentrate.) My point is that as usual, my transformation is entirely up to me. I have plenty of raw materials to work with right now, but the work is mine and mine alone.
In fact, the work is always ours, and always ours alone.
Are you going through a transformation right now? Can you relate to any of this?
Come on over to my private Facebook community Women Who Empower Other Women, Unite! And discuss this with us– feel free to share your experiences, wisdom, questions, or anything else!
Oh, and if you see her: feel free to give your fairy godmother my number. 😉
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