All Of Me

Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
Ill give my all to you
Youre my end and my beginning
Even when I lose Im winning
Cause I give you all, all of me
And you give me all, all of you

-John Legend, “All Of Me

 

While I’ve always admired John Legend’s talent, I’ve not been a super-huge fan of his music – I think I got burned out on the “Ordinary People” song and the fact that it was EVERYWHERE for so long…and I just kind of got over the whole thing. However, the song above – “All Of Me” – is pretty much it, and I think it wins all the things in life. Sigh. Isn’t it gorgeous? Who doesn’t want to hear a man feel that way about you??? I sure as hell do – gorgeous! 🙂 His soon-to-be wife Chrissy Tiegen is a lucky girl. 🙂

What does it mean to give all of yourself to someone else? You’d think that I’d have figured it out by the ripe ol’ age of 39, but…no dice. My inability to understand this concept and execute it is probably what has been the demise of most of my long-term relationships over the years. I just find the idea terrifying…putting my existance, all of my heart, and my soul in the hands of somebody else…I just don’t know. I’ve always felt compelled to hold on to the things that are mine, just in case things go wrong/somebody screws up – I’ve always been about the ‘just in case’. (FUN FACT: When I did my Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, I had a classmate whose name was Justin Case – his parents were hippies from the ’60s with a tremendous sense of humor) Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu has been quoted as saying “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage”…which I get, it’s this notion of giving yourself to someone else that has me concerned.

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Funny…I seem to have no trouble giving all of my self to the Junior Patty Melt from Whataburger 😉

I did some research on this matter and came across a fab article entitled “Are You Too Scared To Risk Giving Yourself Fully To A Loving Relationship?” – the author really hits the nail on the head with this one. She mentions a number of things that people do when they are holding themselves back from love, and playing things too cautious: you constantly wait for the other shoe to drop, you worry that your partner will criticize you, you poke holes in your relationship looking for flaws, you keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, you feel unworthy of love, you carry the past around with you, you have a difficult time loving yourself. I am most guilty of some of these – I constantly wait for the other shoe to drop (I’ve even gone so far as to ask people, ‘Is today the day you are going to dump me?’ like some stupid jackass – ridiculous), I have been criticized by people so many times in my life that it makes me nervous when I don’t hear negative shit…I spend my days just waiting for it. 😦 Sad panda. 😦 I don’t poke holes and look for flaws, though – that’s one thing that I’m actually doing right (yaa me!), I don’t carry the past around with me either (what’s done is done, baby…ain’t no going back), and I probably overshare my thoughts and feelings on things, which may not necessarily be a great thing. I have long struggled with feeling unworthy of love – but I think I’ve pretty much got that one licked! (that sounded really dirty, but I swear I didn’t mean it that way) The final thing she pointed out was absolutely me – I have a difficult time loving myself. I’m highly critical of me, I expect great things from myself in all that I do (when in reality, all I produce is mediocrity at best)…and I never feel good enough. I’ve bitten the bullet and decided to address this, most notably through the exercises in the Gabrielle Bernstein book I wrote about the other day – I may be feeling mildly more awesome, but I’m still waiting for the miracle, the moment when everything becomes clear and I finally feel good enough. I’ve long wanted to tattoo the Latin phrase ‘Satis sum’ on my right wrist – it means ‘I am enough’…and I think I need to do that, learn to embrace this idea as truth, and just give myself a break. Hopefully I am good enough. Hopefully. 🙂

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Good enough? You tell me.

The author of the article goes on to suggest some exercises to help counter these negative feelings that are holding you back – and I kinda love them! 🙂 She suggests:

  • making a list of at least 20 things you love about yourself (I’d be hard-pressed to find two, but perhaps this exercise is a necessity for me) ♥
  • start keeping a journal (done!) ♥
  • do nice things for yourself (I’ve been working at this for almost a year now – I take myself on dinner and movie dates, I have made a point to quit reading education journals all the damn time and read at least two pleasure books a month – and by pleasure, I mean fun reading for me, not tawdry, poorly-written bodice rippers – just FYI) ♥
  • extend simple, loving gestures to your partner (I believe that I am really thoughtful with my loved ones – I send kind notes and cards, I plan fun events and theme weeks, I do so many things that I hope make people feel loved) ♥
  • make a list of expectations or assumptions you have about your partner or your relationship (this screams dangerous to me…I would have a really hard time writing this in the first place, and the thought of sharing it with others makes me damn near break out in hives. I often have very unrealistic expectations of things and people, and I don’t know quite how to fix that…I know that I would be willing to do most anything for those I care for, and when it seems that those feelings aren’t returned, well, then I get pissy and shut down. Grr….damn expectations. The author suggests writing this list, learning to understand your assumptions and expectations, and then release them…giving you and your relationship time to breathe. Hmm….I think she may be on to something here.) ♥
  • take some time away from the relationship if you need to (since I spend the bulk of my time alone, I think we’ve got this one under control. Perhaps my independence is somewhat of a hindrance to me in the love department. Hmm…holy shit for deep thoughts coming up today, Batman!) ♥

The author stresses that learning to give yourself fully to a loving relationship takes time and effort – both things with which I struggle. I have always always moved too fast in life (I have two gears – resting and 180mph…there’s nada in between), with everything I do – I’ve never understood the meaning of the phrase ‘take it slow’. I need to learn that. Also, I’m a person who gives 200% effort to things that I care about, but when the going gets rough and I decide I’ve had enough, I shut down and move on. I need to learn to master the art of stick-with-it-ness…big time. I think that I have made some significant strides in this department in the past few years, when I have wanted to give up on many things but have kept persevering…who knows? Hopefully soon it’ll start paying off big time. 🙂

 

From what I can tell, learning to share all of yourself with others is only going to lead to ever-lasting love and happiness, and that is never a bad thing, right? Who’s going to be brave enough to join me on trying some of these things??? I think John Legend was right when he said:

Cards on the table, were both showing hearts
Risking it all, though its hard

This stuff is hard. But worth it, don’t you think? 🙂

xxx

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