It was one of those low energy nights and my husband and I were cozied up to watch a movie. Neither one of us were up for anything demanding, so I found a B rated romance that fit the bill. It was called, “Listen to Your Heart.” Danny, a young waiter and aspiring musician, falls in love with Sam, a deaf girl from a wealthy family who has an overly controlling mother (played by Cybill Shepherd).
Sam, the young girl, wants to please her mom, on whom she is very dependent, but she also wants to spread her wings and live her life. Being a musician, and having been the daughter of a woman I never learned how to please, I liked the story line, even if the music was mediocre and the acting was less than inspiring.
As in all relationships, they had their hurdles, but Sam and Danny’s real challenge came about when Sam’s mother learned of their romance. Her mother had built her entire life around her daughter being helpless and dependent on her and she was afraid to let Sam grow into the independent woman she was becoming. Upon learning of the mother’s interference, Danny declared, “I am not going to miss out on something that could be wonderful just because it might also be difficult.”
The movie goes on to tell their love story, complete with all of the many challenges that came with it. I won’t give away the ending, in case you want to watch it (which I don’t necessarily recommend) but it was a sweet, if sad, story—and just about the right speed for us that night.
Since then, I have kept hearing that phrase repeating over and over in my head; “I am not going to miss out on something that could be wonderful just because it might also be difficult.”
My husband and I both felt this way as we had some big challenges to work through during our courtship and just before our marriage. There were times that I thought the pain would be the end of me, but never did I waiver in knowing that this was where I wanted to be… that this was the the love of my life and worth fighting for with every fiber of my being.
As it turned out, the “difficult” ended up deepening our relationship beyond anything we could ever have imagined. The thing is, neither of us could have weathered those challenges had we not already faced even bigger ones before we ever met, because it takes some substantial skills to navigate through such difficult waters. Thankfully, we had both spent a lot of time and energy learning them as we walked, and sometimes crawled, along the “Road to Wonderful.”
As I watched the movie, and kept hearing that phrase run through my head, I found myself feeling sorry for the people who have not risked all for the “wonderful” in their life. At first, I was thinking of those who play it safe in love, playing games and hiding behind their masks and pretenses, disguising themselves from themselves—much less from their potential partners. Knowing what I do now, just how wonderful the “wonderful” can be—when there are no walls up between two people who love each other— I truly want it for everyone.
However, that is not why I am writing this. It dawned on me that this phrase is even more important when describing the barriers to the potential joy one can find within themselves. I have, for the last 5 years or so, been in the business of helping people become their highest and best selves. I help people work through their painful memories, overcome their fears, and find their passion, joy and wonder. I help them develop a more positive relationship with their bodies and with the food they eat. I teach them how to better understand themselves, identify and communicate their feelings in a way that may feel completely foreign to them, but allows them to connect with people in a much more meaningful way. It is hard work and a lot of people are simply afraid to do it.
As I heard these words stuck on repeat in my head, I found myself feeling sad. How many people are missing out on the “wonderful” life has to offer (a better relationship with themselves, and therefore, with the rest of the world) just because it is difficult? So I have to ask you…
Do you really want to miss out on something that could be really wonderful just because it may also be difficult?
This blog post is for those of you who are missing out on the “wonderful” in life. If there were challenges in relationship with a significant other, wouldn’t you fight to make things right? Wouldn’t you work to help them understand that you loved them and wanted them in your life? Wouldn’t you do everything you could to help them understand and trust your commitment to them? If they were weighed down with fears or indecision, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to help guide them to a place of calm and clarity? If they were going through a time of stress or self doubt, wouldn’t you be there to lift them up, to champion their cause, to inspire them to be their best? I bet you would…
If they had an overly controlling mother afraid to see you change, and doing her level best to keep you apart, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to get her out of the way so you could be together? I bet you would.
So, the question is… will you do this for yourself?
Whether we want to admit it or not, our primary relationship is with ourselves. Everyone has parts that were hurt earlier in life. Some of these parts feel scared and insecure. Some feel lost and lonely, and some just feel like giving up. As if that was not enough to deal with, everyone also has a part that just wants to keep the status quo, not rock the boat and keep on living a life that is devoid of joy and often full of pain.
You may think that you are just lazy…that you just don’t have the energy to put toward your personal development… but it is not laziness. It is fear. That part, the part that wants to keep the status quo…that is the overly controlling mother. She does not want to see you thriving and leading an independent life. She is afraid to see you healed and whole. She is invested in you remaining separated from your best and highest self.
So the question is… do you think you are worth fighting for?
In the movie, Sam and Danny had to overcome not just physical and emotional challenges, they also had to wrestle out of the stranglehold of the mother. They could not find their bliss alone or together without doing all of this. Neither can we find the bliss within ourselves without facing and overcoming our injured parts and obliterating the part of us that wants to keep the status quo. The status quo has got to go.
I can say without a doubt, “I am not gong to miss out on something that could be wonderful just because it might also be difficult.” With all of my heart, I wish the same for you.