It’s September 29, 2012. David and I have been living together for several months. We are still freshly in our head-over-heels honeymoon phase.
It’s a Saturday morning, and as we are both waking up to the day, a tightness grips my belly.
I pull myself out of bed first and go to take a shower. My head is swimming in a haze, “It’s my birthday, but will he remember?”
He’s brushing his teeth as I get out of the shower. I’m holding my breath, waiting for him to do something, to say something.
He smiles and kisses me before hopping into the shower. I sink deeper and deeper into my darkness. He’s forgotten, I’m sure of it.
A few minutes later he comes into the bedroom where I’m getting dressed. He asks, “What’s going on sweet pea?”
I’m so clearly convinced that he’s forgotten my birthday and that must mean something about me, about him and about us. I’m frozen and unable to articulate all of this at first. But eventually I tell him I’m disappointed that he hasn’t remembered. I’m disappointed that he’s forgotten to make me feel special on my special day.
It’s not even 9am yet.
This is the kind of fun and games you too can create when you carry an energy of disappointment in your Love Story.
Here’s what I mean.
Each of us has a Love Story.
You have one. I have one. Each of ours is as unique and individual as we are.
Your Love Story is made up of all of the energies you carry in the realm of love — all the beliefs, the habits of thought and feeling, the experiences and the decisions you’ve made about those experiences. Your Love Story is essentially the sum of all the ways you relate to love.
We adopt elements of our Love Stories from our families — the first place where we learn about love and relationship. We pick up other elements from our peers, the culture and a whole host of experiences we have throughout the course of our lives.
The thing about our Love Stories is that they are the filter through which we create our experience of love.
And, here’s the kicker:
Our Love Stories operate largely beneath the surface of our conscious awareness, so that while we may make powerful intentions to create healthy and expansive relationships, those powerful intentions are often undermined by the parts of our Love Story that are based in limitation.
Disappointment was a powerful energy operating in my own Love Story. I can look back over my several decades of dating, and further back into my childhood experiences in my family, and pick out a common thread of experiencing disappointment in love.
It’s tempting to interpret our experiences with a simple cause and effect formula—fixating on what’s happening in the world “out there” as the cause of what we’re experiencing “in here” in our inner landscape. For example, “He didn’t remember my birthday, therefore I’m disappointed.” “She treated me unkindly, and as a result, I’m disappointed.”
But it’s actually the other way around. If I’m carrying an energy of disappointment in my inner landscape, then it doesn’t really matter what happens “out there.” I will inevitably be disappointed, sooner or later.
My own disappointment, therefore, was not the result of David forgetting my birthday. It’s not that something happened (e.g. David forgot my birthday) that caused me to be disappointed.
Instead, my disappointment was the result of my carrying an energy of disappointment in my Love Story. That’s how I was relating to love — through the filter of disappointment.
I had love and disappointment so tightly woven together, that I could not imagine one without the other.
I was destined to be disappointed sooner or later. I would eventually create an experience (unconsciously) to validate the energy of disappointment.
Because, in fact, David had not forgotten my birthday. I just hadn’t given him a chance to wake up (literally) and begin his day.
I’ve been on a journey of healing my own Love Story because I want to relate to love in a way that is expansive, free of limitation. I’ve been infusing my Love Story with the energy of fulfillment, replacing the old disappointment.
When I relate to love through a filter of fulfillment, anything can happen in the world “out there” and I can maintain my connection to fulfillment.
Maybe there’s a familiar repeating experience you’re having in the realm of love. One way to begin working with your own Love Story is to ask yourself:
“Who would I be without this particular energy or experience?”
“How would I experience myself if this energy or experience were absent?”
“If I were to release this energy or experience from my Love Story, what other energy might I invite in instead?”
It’s fun to play in this realm. It doesn’t have to be hard. You can simply hold these questions as light meditations throughout your day, and see what new insights and experiences emerge.
If you’re interested in a deeper exploration of your Love Story, you’re invited to join us for Whole Hearts in Love, a 4-week online course beginning March 5. We’ll be transforming our relationship to love in a field of play and creativity. Check out more details here.