The glassblower knows:
while in the heat of beginning,
any shape is possible.
Once hardened, the only way
to change is to break.
But we are not glass. We can bend underneath the surface and heal ourselves for we are always growing, always in the heat of the beginning. If we can tend to things at the deepest level, our repair will be so much a part of who we are that there will be no scar.
When a relationship first starts, there’s definitely a lot of heat, usually in the form of passion. Yesterday, I realized that I’ve come to see fighting as my preferred (or most familiar) form of passion. When a friend asked me what kept me in this relationship for so long, how I was able to endure all the years of fighting, I realized that I saw all that fighting as an expression of love. But the thing is, there comes a time when the heat starts to cool down, when patterns and the way we’ve been interacting starts to harden…and what ends up happening is it creates layers upon layers of identity not only in the relationship, but also in ourselves.
I think all the years of fighting caused me to unknowingly form a hardened layer around my heart to protect myself. The constant threat of losing someone I loved so much unconsciously forced me to harden so that I could be prepared in case it really happened. Unfortunately, it appears that this protective shield I built is also keeping me from receiving love as well. To fully open myself to receiving love would mean also being open to having my heart ripped out. But when I think about it, the alternative – to keep part of myself hardened and closed off – would be even worse. It would mean continuing in a relationship that could never be fully vibrant. Always protecting myself and my interests over the other’s. In essence, not really loving.
I need to begin again. Go deep into and below these hardened layers to the impulses that created them in the first place. I need to really figure out if the issues that birthed them are still viable. I may be holding on to defense mechanisms against potential threats that don’t even exist anymore. More than half a decade in, the issues that plagued me in the beginning of the relationship are no longer relevant: insecurity, trust, jealousy. We’ve conquered all these battles. There are different issues now. And as I try to peel off the solidified layers of past pain, I must be careful not to replace them with new ones.