A while ago it became clear to me: Ever since I was a small child. I have purposely chosen people I could keep some sort of an emotional distance from.

As a kid, I made a decision that I didn’t want to be hurt, so I made myself impenetrable and alone.

I was very sensitive and was easily hurt by my parents’ words and actions. They didn’t know what they were doing, but as a child all we can do is develop our perception of the world and our place in it.

Growing older, on my journey of increasing self-awareness, there are still times I find resistance in myself—the wall I’m afraid to penetrate. I take action, however, plowing through that wall and right into another one.

It’s progress and it’s scary, but it is way better than punishing myself and others by not being authentic.

When looking at how I distanced myself, I realized it was with people who, if I got close to them, I could be annihilated (ahem, my parents).

If I started to move toward intimacy, all hell would break loose. I’d retreat and go numb, at which point they would pledge their undying love.

What a cycle!! I didn’t see the truth. Until I did.

I made a vow not to create distance when entering relationships. It was time to put the shield down and place myself in a vulnerable position where hurt could happen.

No fight, just an opening of the heart; I was there to learn.

One relationship taught me that words and actions needed to match. He would speak of the future, tell me he loved me and yet, I was absent from his prospective vision.

I knew he didn’t want to be without me, but it triggered an old reaction…I would talk to him as though he wasn’t in my future. In effect I would distance myself from the relationship.

And that’s when it really hit me, I felt like shit! I’d chosen someone who mirrored my distancing.

I could see through this dance of intimacy that no one was going to come out closer or happier… certainly not me.

I stopped taking him personally. He wasn’t trying to do anything to me, he was in his own struggle, holding onto misery and pushing away happiness.

I kept raising my love quotient, meaning I loved me more all the time. I treated myself with crazy kindness (self-care) and it changed things. I broke through resistance and distance; how I saw life, what I said and what I did. It became so clear to me that distancing had no place; my heart was the ruler.

When we place awareness inside of ourselves and connect to those sensations, they tell a story, and we need to pay attention.

This is where relationships can and do change. As one partner continues to move toward their own happiness, either the other partner will join them or leave the relationship.

Sometimes we stay stuck, afraid of growing and leaving our partner behind. We fight against our own journey, and we do no one any favors when we remain stagnant.

Letting ourselves grow closer to our own heart will bring us the love we desire without the need to create distance.