Mr. Love-A-Lot decided last week that he needed some time alone. In the past, those words would have made me crumble and ask, “Don’t you love me?”. Confession: A few tears did fall from my eyes but what I was really crying about was how I had that same thought days before but didn’t say it. I wanted to get away by myself but I looked at all the things I had to do and just sighed while he did the same thing and took care of himself. Men!
Over the past three seasons on Starting Over I had to learn how to take care of myself. The grueling hours wore me out the first season so season two and three I practiced asking for what I needed and putting firm boundaries in place. But now I am in love and those same skills I became so good at seem useless to me now.
I applaud parents everywhere. Adding a three year old to my life is an absolute joy but also presents a dilemna: how do I relish the time I have with her, stay sexy for my man and still get business done? For the past six months I have been navigating that tightwire act with some, and at times no, success.
For instance, Mr. Love-A-Lot tells me he needs time alone. What do I do? I applaud him. I’m jealous. I can’t believe he took the words right out of my mouth (even though I wasn’t speaking).
Now I know some of you are thinking, “Well Rhonda, you got your time alone.” Yes, that’s right I did. And I have been so productive with no man and no child around my body can barely sleep. All I want to do is do, do, do. Clearly, that is not what I planned for my ‘away’ time. I dreamnt about a beach, a blanket and doing nothing for days on end. But my ‘away’ time ended up as ‘stay-at-home’ time so stay at home I did and worked like I hadn’t worked in months.
This has been a wake-up call. I have realized that I better get busy practicing caring for myself or I will get burned out on love, motherhood and nesting. And that’s the last thing I want to do. Being single for the past six years taught me to appreciate relationships yet now that I am in one, I appreciate singlehood a whole heck of a lot.
That’s doesn’t mean I want to be single because I’m madly, wonderfully in love yet it does bring to mind that the skills and boundaries I had when I was single are not being utilized inside my relationship.
The coach needs coaching.
Every time my life changes, no matter how confident and successful I feel, lessons are on the horizon. More skills are needed. Awareness must increase. Self-responsibilty must not go away just because someone is loving me. I know I have the skills I just have to apply them to this new situation and what’s at stake: my fear of being rejected.
And that is the crux. Facing my fear of rejection forces me to put my life on the examining table and look at how I am contributing to my own happiness. Mr. Love-A-Lot is smart about all that stuff. He looked at me last week and said, “I don’t know how to help you if you don’t tell me what you need.” I looked at him, with yes tears in my eyes, and said, “I have no idea what I need.” And that was the truth.
That is what I must discover for myself. No one can figure it out for me. I have to decide what my needs are and then I can ask Mr. Love-A-Lot (as well as Marta and my own coach) to help me brainstorm some ways to get them met without compromising my dreams and desires.
In the past I would have waited for Mr. Love-A-Lot to make me happy but now I know that is not what real love is all about. Real love is having the courage to love myself enough so I have more than enough love to share.
Are you loving yourself enough?