How can I learn to let love in?

Let love in

Love takes a great deal of courage.
When I was a very young adult, I thought all I wanted was love and I searched for it in nightclubs.
Inside I felt unsure of myself {to put it mildly}. I felt unattractive / unloveable.
One night in a nightclub, I found someone who was really into me.
I often found contenders, but usually I had to play all kinds of games and pimp my values just for some fleeting interest. This time the connection felt real. Our hearts were resonating. We flirted, we talked. It was clear that he really liked me and it felt amazing. Eventually we found a secluded corner of the nightclub and started kissing. It was amazing. My heart was on fire.
Could this be what I was looking for?
Then the lights of the nightclub came on and I noticed that this man was imperfect. He had a deformity. It was slight but noticeable.
And I ran.
He came looking for me, and I hid. I felt bad but I did not feel woman enough to accept this imperfect love. My ego could not cope. I was not secure enough in my imperfect self to be able to handle someone else’s imperfections.
I was terrified and challenged. Running on survival instincts that I would wake up the next morning and regret.
I needed others to see me with a more perfect man so that he did not highlight my imperfections. It felt like being with him would focus the light on my inadequacies.
I did not know myself.
I was stuck in my head
I had identity through associations. I was the girl who dressed in this way, hung with those people and went to those nightclubs. I did not know if I could handle being the girl who went out with the deformed guy.
I was running again. Running from intimacy. Using his looks and imperfections as an excuse rather than my own.
So was I actually seeking love? Or was I seeking an image?
I have a family friend who is married to a man with severe burns all over his face and body. The burns have created havoc with his health, his speech and his life.
I am a different person now, than the one who ran away all those years ago in the nightclub, but I look at my family friend and think she is so courageous. Far more so than me.
The event in the nightclub has stayed with me. It shows me even now, how my ego holds me out of love. My EGO can’t stand it unless I am showing the world the perfect fascade. The Ego Keeps us in the shallow waters of love and intimacy or it keeps us out of the water entirely. It tells us nobody; not you, not this guy, not even your husband, is good enough.
You could be well and truly immersed in the waters of a long term relationship yet still holding intimacy away. We hold it away with our patterns of grumpiness, blame and unmet expectations, all of these things the perfect cover for a terrified to be intimate EGO.
But there is another murmur present in this power struggle – the voice of your heart. My heart voice was calling to me on that night in the nightclub, leaving me feeling unsatisfied and wanting – feeling, what I know now as out of integrity, but what I then just covered up with another drink.
When you ask your heart without fear and doubt;
Do you want this surface stuff – do you need it to look and seem perfect?
Do you want me to hold this love at arm’s length due to this imperfection?
You know what your heart will say;
Your heart does not care for the way things look.
Your heart feels. It speaks in the language of feeling – not looks, not veneer. You heart only ever asks does it feel good to you?

Take care


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Nicole Mathieson

Hi, I'm Nicole Mathieson, a relationship and body image coach, couple therapist and author.

My relationships blog helps couples learn practical ways to cultivate a deeper understanding of one another, find safety and connection in relationships, navigate difficult conversations and repair after conflict.