I am so humbled by life sometimes. Often, actually.
Two years ago today, Matt took me camping--my first camping trip--in Montana. It was only two days after we'd had a big relationship talk--on day two of a five week road trip. Inevitable that when you're trapped in a car with someone all your issues come to the surface, am I right? Anyway. If you want to address your shit, I can't recommend a long road trip highly enough.
It was a powerful conversation, and afterward, I took a nap. I didn't know if, when I woke up, Matt and I would still be dating. It was one of THOSE conversations. But we were. And. Something BIG had shifted between us energetically. It felt like all of a sudden I was living in a new relationship...which makes me think maybe I should take more naps.
So two nights after the big talk--in Montana--I went camping for the first time in my life, and I had an experience that would make me fall in love with camping forever. I won't go into it in detail here, other than to say it was downright magical on all fronts.
I'm sharing this because two days ago, on the anniversary of that talk, Matt and I had yet another big talk. Surprisingly, or maybe not at this point, the themes of this talk were exactly the same as the energies coming up in our talk two years ago.
Also surprising, the thing that set this conversation off? Trying to plan a camping trip!
Different time, different context, same conversation: I want what I want to be honored in my life and I do not want to feel like a burden in my relationship because of that.
Now listen, I know that feeling like a burden...that's on me. My partner is always a reflection of my inner belief system. And thankfully, we can count on the lessons to keep coming up, over and over again, until we learn them. Matt will continue to grow, as will I, and, more likely than not, we will continue to have different versions of this conversation until I have cleared the niggling belief that I am a burden. That I could ever be a burden. That honoring my needs could ever be a burden to the people who love me.
I'm also clear that if it does feel like a burden to them, THAT is on them. Cool how that works, huh? If I feel like a burden, that's on me. If someone else feels like I am a burden, that's on them. Responsibility!
I knew I needed help to move through what I was feeling, and poor Matt was headed off to work (I have great timing), so this time I didn't take a nap. I called a best friend. Meredith. I cried. I raged. I laughed at how hilarious it is that the same things keep coming up--over and over and over. I made a knee-jerk decision to go camping alone, to spite Matt. To show him: I don't need you to have what I want. And. I'm feeling a lot feelings about you not being willing to show up for me the way I want you to.
Before he went to work, I definitely made it a point to allow him to witness me in all I was feeling. And then I let him go.
After he left, I stayed present to what I was feeling, and let me tell you, spite and anger are not energies that feels good. Yet when they're present, we require to feel them. To express them. To be witnessed inside our pain and anger. To be held in loving presence--whether by our selves or an other--so that we can allow the energies to shift.
As I stayed present, as I kept talking with Meredith about all the things that were coming up for me--many of which had absolutely nothing to do with Matt--things started to change. Where I initially felt pressure on an old wound, I started to feel: relief, expansion, possibility.
Next week, I am going camping.
For the first time ever.
And I am freaking excited.
Have I ever lit a campfire before? No. Can I put up our tent by myself? Probably not. What about food? Honestly, I think that I'm going to do a juice cleanse the whole so that I don't have to worry about what's going to happen if I can't get a fire lit. It's the kind of camping where you get to park your car right next to the campsite, so it's not ludicrous to take like 30 juices, even though, at the same time, it's a little bit ludicrous. Whatever. It's what I want!
For the record, I do not think you can be truly excited and joyful while also being spiteful. You have to let that energy go to move--into an energy that feels good. Which I'm proud to have done. Now, I'm excited. I've booked a primo campsite. I've allowed myself to open up to the possibility that THIS is exactly what I need right now.
Quiet. Alone-ness. Time to get re-sourced.
I've been saying since that first camping trip two years ago that I want to go camping way more often. That's been challenging to do with Matt and I, given the pace of our lives and the difficulty of scheduling. And so, if I'm going to have the life I really want--a life with lots of camping--maybe that means that sometimes I go it alone. And maybe that's okay. Maybe it's perfect.
Maybe it starts now.
The life of my dreams?
It's now. I choose it.
I'm deepening into the Truth--that I don't NEED Matt in order to do or have or be all the things I want to do. That having a partner isn't about sharing everything. It's about sharing what you can, when you can, and trusting that it's enough. Because it is.
And if it isn't, you talk about it. Over and over again. And a little at a time, if you work really hard at staying present to what you're feeling, things shift.
I firmly believe that sharing is caring. And. When sharing everything doesn't feel good, you need to realize that maybe sometimes not sharing is caring too.
Because when it comes down to it. I don't want to camp because it serves my relationship with Matt, although I believe that it does. I want to camp because it serves me. I want to do it for my self. And if I want to do it for my self, I need to get comfy with doing it all by my self.
So that's what I'm going to do. Hopefully.
Wish me luck!
ps - If you want to hear a lot more about that initial conversation with Matt in the car on our roadtrip, I actually recorded a whole podcast episode about it with my best friend. Sally. You can listen to it here. It's one of my favorite episodes we've ever made.
pps- If you listen and like it, I'd be really honored if you'd share it with your besties. Or on your social media. Or rate us on iTunes. It's incredible to be supported by listeners--no feeling like it. I appreciate you!