I have a relationship with someone who has the ability to withstand the most profound fears, who can say no to addictions that once helped him through his emotional pains, who can sit through destructive thoughts, fears, and anxiety that I couldn’t imagine sitting through.

He is a man with the biggest heart you can imagine as well as a tendency to have such negative beliefs and coping strategies to go with that, that the clinical world has labeled him having psychotic tendencies.

During our first 1,5 year of our relationship, I was very careful in what I said, when I said it and how I said it, to not instigate his fears. I took his “tendencies” into account more than I did myself. I endured many experiences with him where he slid into unconscious behavior and made associations and beliefs that weren’t my truth nor his. During which I kept my mouth shut as to how unconscious his behavior was and how frustrating and stressful it was for me.

After those unconscious experiences, he would come out of it wiser and see in retrospect that he was unconscious then.

During those unconscious episodes, he would periodically break up with me. The last time he did that I thought we were done for good. That this time he would stay in his unconscious behavior and would push me away. I believed so because this time he hurt my feelings. He had never hurt me before, obviously not physically but not emotionally as well.

But he came back even stronger and even more appreciative of me.

Although those experiences and periods were hard for me, I could still see the person behind his unconscious behavior. I could see the beautiful soul behind it. I kept my eyes on his tendencies to learn from those periods and experiences. I kept my eyes on his insights taken from those experiences. I kept my eyes on his loving, giving, humorful and supportive behavior.

I could do that because I learn so much from him. By being with him I’m able to transcend or at least work on transcending my own unconscious behavior. We have so much in common, complement and understand each other so well that I cannot imagine we aren’t an amazing fit together.

But I wonder…

Where’s the fine line between setting your own boundaries and seeing the greater picture?

Was I right in setting myself aside for the greater good I saw? The greater good being our relationship.

Was I right in not speaking up for myself in order to prevent him from walking away because me speaking up was still too confrontational for him? Too anxiety inducing because of his still unconscious beliefs?

I could linger on the more superficial story of this experience, that it’s always the best thing to set up your boundaries and say NO to someone who does things that make you feel bad (in my case anxious and stressful).

But I don’t like superficial and I love to dig deeper.

I realized that in my story about this experience I have 2 lessons to learn.

  1. To speak my truth
  2. To relax and trust.

“When I speak my truth I will be abandoned”. “The only way to make things work is to work hard at it”. “Trusting myself won’t get my anywhere”.

These stories, these beliefs have caused my to feel anxious during all these experiences with my boyfriend. It never was his behavior and it’s always been my own beliefs regarding him and myself.

So the fine line has never been about him being bad for me, not good enough for me, or not good for me. Or me saying no to him for sliding back into unconscious behavior too often.

The fine line for me is to say “enough” to myself about being so insecure and anxious about it.

As I’ve always been insecure and anxious this was and still is a great opportunity for me to learn to trust my own wisdom. To trust my own knowing. To trust my own love. To trust that what I choose is the right thing. To trust that Life is on my side and not against me.

Life has given me the opportunity to be with a man so inspiring to me and at the same time so challenging to me as he triggers my learning lessons within me; to trust and relax.

Instead of staying in my own unconscious behavior, this is an opportunity for me to step out of it. To choose otherwise.

What I’m seeing in him is no different than what I’m experiencing in myself.

We both show unconscious behavior.

I choose unconscious behavior over conscious behavior because of fear.

I’ve associated the insecurity (and controlling behavior) and anxiety (worrying, stress) with having control over my situation. And by letting that go I have this belief that I won’t have any control anymore and things will take a turn for the worst.

Whatever the association or belief is, fear is the emotion that stops me from changing.

For me, the best way to go through fear is step by step. I’m afraid of heights. And I like climbing. So whenever I’m in a climbing hall, instead of forcing myself all the way up to the top, I go so far that it feels scary but not overwhelmingly scary. In my case, that’s about 2 meters up or so. Then I go back down and up again. And I keep doing that until I feel strong enough to go a bit higher and I repeat the entire process.

Tackling and transforming your fear based on limiting beliefs is a desensitization process. You’ll have to step into your belief up until that point that feels scary but not overwhelmingly so and you keep going to that point until you feel strong enough to take it a step further.

A belief is nothing more than a thought and thoughts are meaningless in themselves. You give meaning to those thoughts. And I give meaning to my beliefs about being strong, wise and confident and being weak, not experienced enough and insecure.

The belief that you have given meaning to is an opportunity for you to dive deeper into the person you truly are.

It’s never about the beliefs or what they mean. Because that’s not what life is all about.

Life is about knowing yourself and letting yourself be the person you truly are.

Limiting beliefs are a way to find your way back home. They are like the breadcrumb trails in Hansel and Gretel. The animals won’t eat your breadcrumbs but you will have to be willing to look at the breadcrumb trail and use your limiting beliefs to find your way back home. Either you look away from the breadcrumbs (unconscious behavior) or you pick them up and investigate (conscious behavior).

Your limiting beliefs are your gateway to yourself. They show you how powerful you are as you are fulfilling all your limiting beliefs. Your limiting beliefs are the opposite of what you truly are.

Exercise:

To dive deeper into your limiting beliefs, answer these questions every day.  Take any situation, experience or thought and dive deeper into it. This way, you won’t let yourself choose unconscious behavior anymore and you wake up little by little.

Event/situation:

Boyfriend shows unconscious behavior. I keep my mouth shut about me feeling scared.

Thought/belief:

If I say how I feel, he will leave because it’s too upsetting for him.

Feeling:

Scared. Insecure. Tension.

Intentions:

I love him. I love myself.

Consequence.

I’m tense and afraid that he’ll leave me.

Now write an alternative sequence:

Event/situation:

Boyfriend shows unconscious behavior. I keep my mouth shut that I feel scared.

Thought/belief:

I’m not alone. I’m a loving, passionate woman who loves this man. If he chooses to leave me, that’s oké. I’m more than my relationship. I’m more than my friendships. I’m life and love itself.

Feeling:

More secure.

Intentions:

I love him. I wish him the best. And if leaving me is the best for him, then that’s the best thing to do.

Consequence.

I feel at ease and secure and safe.

Do you have a limiting belief that’s causing you stress, anxiety or fear? Please share in the comments below.

Love,

Carmen

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