let love in

Sounds like a strange topic eh? You’re likely thinking, “Who doesn’t want to be loved?” The ability to let love in sounds so easy, right? Not so much. 

Some of us want to be loved but struggle with being able to receive it. Guilty. My childhood had lots of love. Being one of many siblings, I tended to be shy as a defense mechanism I suppose. I was the only child of divorced parents and had half-sibs and step-sibs, but I always felt kinda “on my own.” I gained a lot of social independence during that time, but still felt a little “out of the loop.”

When I got older and began to date. I’d find myself diving right in and falling fast. I would always guard my heart because I had felt the heartbreak of “losing” siblings, so I didn’t want to feel that I would be losing a friend too. For me, it seemed best to just not get too close to possible to lose friendships or make sibling relationships uncomfortable. 

You may have struggled to envision your future without Joe S’moe being in it, right? In reality, they were put in our lives to learn something from and move on. Ever heard Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers”? The man speaks 100 truths in his lyrics. Praying for someone to stay in your life when it turns out, you are grateful God had other plans. God doesn’t always give you what you ask for but more for what you were meant to receive. Thank God for the prayers that did not get answered because only God knows what’s in store down the road!

Otherwise, you’d have missed out on your present gifts (suppose you’re happy about those right now, hate to assume but sure hope you are!)

 

A BEAUTIFUL MESS

My husband Ryan and I grew up with similar backgrounds with both our parents being divorced. We don’t want to put our kids through what we had growing up, so that option isn’t an exit plan in our marriage. We don’t blame our parents. They were in bad relationships they needed to not be in.

Sadly with that in common and as much as we love each other, Ryan and I “cut” each other’s hearts with harsh words and jabs. If one started, the other would shoot to defense mode by returning with hurtful words. We’d have screaming matches (trying to be the one who could get in the last word.) After some arguments, we wouldn’t speak for quite some time.

So, then my mind would wander. Would we be destined for divorce? Who would I use for an attorney? Would the mess be worth it? How would split custody? (We only had one kiddo at the time, thankfully we matured before having more kiddos in the picture. WHEW!) These bad thoughts used to race through my mind like a wildfire burning down the brush, exposing insecurities I didn’t even know existed within me. Ever have that?

I didn’t believe in my heart or soul or gut for that matter, in divorce. Why were we so hurtful to each other when we’d blow? Didn’t we love each other enough to not do this? Why couldn’t I open my heart to hear what his heart was saying, rather than being so defensive? It’s inevitable that all couples argue and fight and say hurtful things at times. 

 

NOT SEEING EYE TO EYE

Now “I’ve learned” to be open to his words, working hard to let them roll-off. Most times I’m not the reason he’s upset or stressed. The same goes for my moods when I get home. Most times my mood was set off from something during my workday, or the hustle and bustle of picking up kids from daycare on time, quickly feeding them before shuffling them off to the next stop. Those are the real causes of stress. Rather, I take it out on Ryan who has no clue what I’m going through unless I tell him. I could make him aware of rationally rather than being short and snippy.

Have you noticed that we must treat our co-workers with respect and can’t blow up on them in a workplace, but that is not the case with personal relationships. Why can’t we let the steam that has built up, roll-off rather than taking it out on those we love? By not letting it roll off, we are putting up a concrete wall forcing out the love others are trying to give us.

Fighting fire with fire has never worked in history, we weren’t above the rule. After being together for nearly 15 years, we “pause” and think how our words may come out, so we don’t throw swords in our words. This must be what experienced couples refer to as, “learning how to argue.” Before we were both too stubborn to be the first to surrender. LOL! Successful couples remember to give the benefit of the doubt and know they both are doing the very best they can. Instead of trying to change your partner be the change you wish to see. 

 

GIVE N’ TAKE 

I strongly encourage manners with our girls. Therefore “we” realized to get that instilled we need to be the ones setting the example. We are learning (much after that 36 love quiz I’ve referenced so much) to treat each other with kindness and love.

On our past winter vacation, I packed us both for 6 days in paradise. If you know me well enough I’m not the 50’s housewife that does everything for my husband. Ooooh no. I push that he helps out with things in the house (even if it’s minimal like emptying the dishwasher, I take it!) When it came to packing in our history, I used to say, “You’re wearing it, your problem – take care of it yourself. I have to pack for myself and the kids.” Then we’d get somewhere, and I’d criticize what he had packed…and how much more he packed than me! The man likes options and packs twice as much as me.

This time I laid out some options and even fit it all in two carry-ons and two backpacks. Win-win! 

On this particular trip, I wanted his opinion on my swimsuits. We dressed for each other instead of each other’s acceptance. We tried to let those iron curtains down, and let each other’s love and respect in, one mundane task at a time.

 

THE BEST THING TO HOLD ONTO IS EACH OTHER

Ryan and I have 10 years of marriage and the best is yet to come for us! We are learning and growing together. Like anything else in life, if you aren’t growing, you’re dying. Which do you want your relationship to be?

My best advice to you is taking a deep look inside. Look at your past that keeps holding you back. Reflect on any recurring “issues” you may be having. Happiness isn’t about getting what you want but wanting what you already have got. Always remember that all couples argue and fight. The difference between the couples who stay together and who divorce is the way they repair after a conflict. If a couple doesn’t repair the hurt feelings or wounds, they tend to grow and get bigger and bigger, and day by day, month by month until there is nothing left and it breaks apart. 

Break down those walls, and the let love in! Your life will be even more fulfilling. 

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