I find it interesting at a certain age how much easier it is to believe that bad than it is to believe the good. Specifically in relationships. We start out all innocent and sweet hoping and praying for that special person to “fall” for us. When they finally say they love us, there’s a part of us so elated to hear it, to believe it, to want it so badly, but there’s also a part that sneaks up into our consciousness that reminds us that it couldn’t possibly be true. Why is that? Are we so undeserving of real, true love? Have we been conditioned that it no longer exists? Something of a time long ago, for those in generations past? Has life really tainted us that badly that we can no longer believe someone would actually love us, warts and all? I think the answer is a resounding YES.
In an argument for example; we sometimes say things we don’t mean. We revert back to being a child having a tantrum, incapable of finding any adults words to communicate our emotions. Our feelings take over like a kid who wants a lollipop so badly and the thought of not getting it is virtually life threatening. That child cannot verbally communicate to their parent how utterly important that lollipop is to their existence, so instead of calmly explaining to their parent how much it hurts to walk away from that candy store, they go stiff as a board, begin to turn red, scream, yell, cry and sometimes even throw things. In adult relationships we hope to be more sophisticated, able to grab our adult words of which we have many and explain our woes to our partner. Unfortunately we are all guilty of throwing that two-year olds tantrum with our partners. Screaming, yelling ,saying things we may regret, throwing out daggers that hurt and wound and can desperately change our entire relationships.
Do we mean the words we throw out while upset? Sometimes. Do we want it to change things forever? Sometimes. Do we wish we were heard and understood and valued and respected? Always. But here’s the underlying question….why do we, as adults, find it so hard to believe the kind-hearted words that come our way and find it so easy to latch onto the words that are so damaging? I say I love you and you question me. I say I can’t stand you and you stand by it like your life’s motto. Why is that? Are we so damaged by our past experiences that we have forgotten to believe in goodness and kindness and love? That it does exist, that it is real, that it can withstand the tantrums of the two-year old. And just like that two year old grows, so do relationships. Those tantrums become few and far between because as we all do, even without even trying, we grow up. We need to use the words we have to express ourself. We need to use our actions, our body language, everything about who we are to show someone we love them. And that through actions, consistant, unwaivering actions, we can begin to believe again.
Over time the hope is that the hurting, fighting, damaging words become less and the happy, kind, love filled words become more. Don’t be the two-year old. You are too old for that, you are too strong for that and you don’t even like two year olds that much. Be the adult. Be the person who believes in good. You can’t throw love away just because it’s easier to believe the bad than the good. You have to push through, you have to allow yourself the vulnerability to believe you deserve it, that you’re worth it. Let go of anger and the words that tear us down. Life is too short not to hold on to what matters. And if you think holding on to anger, resentment and fear is for you, then reread this cause that’s not living.