Everything you need is already inside you…
A week away from my life and my routine and my everyday way of thinking and looking at life is an excellent way to learn and let lessons sink in. Sometimes the universe really needs to push you down before those lessons are ingrained. Consider them learnt. In my reflection, I think I may know what causes me, and has caused me, to delay moving on from situations that I don’t believe are right for me. Situations that I know in my gut don’t fit or it’s not where I’m meant to be. I’m not very good at listening to my gut. Correction, I have not been very good at listening to my gut. I’m slowly becoming an expert. It has not just been fear and insecurity holding me immobile, I know that those exist and exert control, but there is also the ‘Big What If?’
The Big What If can be somewhat insidious, just lurking around, giving me enough doubt to talk myself into, or out of, something. What if I’m making a huge mistake? What if it’s me and not him? What if he finds happiness and I don’t? What if, what if what if…?? What if I change this? Or compromise on this? Then maybe, just maybe, we can make it work. There are so many things inherently wrong with that.
There are times when I can take a step back and look at the logistics of a situation, a relationship, and think, on paper, this should be perfect. This should be what I’ve been looking for, this should work for the multitude of reasons that I can suddenly rationalize and find. But it doesn’t. But What If?
As I sat at my friend’s house during my time away, petting her dog and drinking a frosty cold beer, I pondered my latest failing in the world of relationship. She looked at me and said, ‘that’s because you are focused on your wants, not on your non-negotiables or even your needs…’ I sipped my beer and rolled this around in my mind. She further said, ‘you need to determine what are your core values, those that you will not compromise on, your non-negotioables. Write them down. Then your needs and finally your wants. If someone doesn’t meet your non-negotiables then there is no Big What If. It. Won’t. Work.’
So what are these non-negotiables? They are your core, fundamental beliefs and values. They don’t change. And you can’t really compromise on them. If one of these core, non-negotiables, is a potential suitor needs to be a non-smoker, then you wouldn’t tolerate a chain smoker. There is no compromising.
When I sink into the Big What If, I wonder what if I changed something and could ‘make it work’. The idea of ‘making it work’ reflects a mismatch in non-negotiables. There is always some collaboration in any relationship. There should be collaboration, a way to come together as two individuals to create a third, the relationship. But I believe there should not be compromise. Compromise implies that one person is required to change or bend their fundamental core beliefs. This is synonymous with attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole. It’s never going to fit smoothly, it’s always going to require some force and there will always be resistance.
The Big What If is my gut. It’s my gut trying to tell me that my non-negotiables are being challenged, being compromised. As I attempt to put myself first in all my relationships, I’m spending time focusing on my non-negotiables and recognizing those to be fundamental. My needs and wants can be under consideration for collaboration. The next time The Big What If is hanging around, I will recognize the nagging feeling as my gut trying to tell me something. There is no ‘making it work’, there is no ‘Big What If’, but there is a confidence in knowing who I am at my core and embracing myself. No more ‘what if’ only an ‘I know’.