Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bend over backwards

When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us. We’ve been raised to question what we know, to discount and discredit the authority of our gut. -  Terry Tempest Williams in ‘When women were birds’

The other night a friend of mine compared women to the silver metal wire that seals champagne bottles. He held the silver wire in his hand, bent it and said that women in relationships are like that, they bend and bend until they take on a totally different form, but they don’t break. It is so true. Women are so quick to abandon who they are in favour of a relationship. I have done it, and I have seen it across the board by different type of women. A few years back I wrote a blog entry titled Women = Chameleons in relationships, where I argued that women change significantly in relationships. Now many years later, I am still not sure why we do it.

I think Terry’s quote has some truth in it. We are afraid of being abandoned. I don’t think it is only about the physical abandonment of the other person. It is also about the abandoning our own belief in love. We are convinced that our love is meant to nurture, save and protect and we have to do everything possible to ensure that we don’t abandon these principals. Our strength to bend to the most extreme hurts us, it leaves scars and deforms our souls. Yet, we chose to bend. The bending happens subtly and slowly. We are often not aware as it is a fluid process. Most times, our partners do not expect or want us to bend. It is us who bend and adjust. We are the ones that shape and form, we make things fit, we make ourselves fit. In the process of bending and moulding, women lose sight of who they are and become a deformed individual. One day we wake up and realise that we have become someone else, someone we don’t know and we don’t like. And that is then often also the person that the partner does not like anymore.

We often realise the deformation very late and when we notice we either fall into denial, get angry or sad. The angry part can be really ugly because we start lashing out and blame the world around us for the status quo. Denial, of course, is even worse because it ensures that we remain in this deformed position for a while longer. Luckily women are quite resilient creatures. We can recover and find our form again. And we do. However, my goal – stop bending over backwards but rather nurture and encourage your original shape and trust that it is beautiful enough to be loved as it is. 

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