Something Beautiful Part 1 – My Unfolding and Being All of Me with a Man

Johanna Smith, Perth WA 

I am currently 34 years old, and from the ages of 15-28 have been in long-term relationships. Literally as 1, 2, 3 or 4 year length relationships ended, there was another one (the next day or two) knocking on my door ready to begin… and I always took it! I liked the exciting-ness of it all; the feeling that someone was interested in me and all that went with it… until the not so pretty themes would raise their head, and similar issues or patterns would come out in each relationship. Then, it wasn’t so much fun. However, I seemingly kept myself in the illusion that “I was doing OK”, as I told myself that this one (this relationship, man or ‘catch’) is better than the last.

Then there was another part of me that fooled myself into not completely seeing all that was totally wrong with my relationships, but instead that I was ‘strong’ and ‘lucky’ because I wasn’t allowing a man to beat me, or attack me in the obvious ways. Yet much was going on behind the curtains so to speak, that I was allowing and accepting. Things such as allowing myself to be touched by my partner in a way that wasn’t truly caring and gentle; or covering up unspoken issues between us with sex as the resolution; or not saying how I truly felt because of his possible reaction; or just accepting hurtful comments / swearing etc. 

Back then, I was numb and so out of touch with myself and my physical body that I literally would not be able to say what I had been really feeling. My body had become ‘hard’ or ‘hardened’, and I’d put myself into such ‘busy motion’ that I didn’t even know what ‘to be still’ was, i.e. to feel comfortable actually stopping and just sitting down by myself, since being on my own felt very uncomfortable.

I realised that those relationships were really just filling a ‘neediness’ and ‘emptiness’ present in me at that time.

So the amazing thing today is, after having being blessed ‘being single’ for the past few years, I’ve given myself the space and grace to rebuild, reconnect, honour and cherish myself. I’ve been able to fully claim what I will and will not accept in a relationship in simple ways, such as allowing myself to just ‘be myself’ (and being all the love that I know I am) in the company of a man: being able to speak up about what may not feel right between us, without fear of (his) reaction or response like before…

So recently I was given the opportunity to ‘test this out’: a man came into my life who had a very different lifestyle to my current one of chosen tenderness with myself, and because of this, he was also able to enjoy his own natural tenderness that also radiated around me… it was lovely! We had some truly lovely moments, that have given me the knowing and confidence to claim the same with any man who is willing to give the potential of a relationship that is of tender love, a go. I also understood that, had I not claimed what I did with this man, then it would have been very possible for him to have been a completely different way with me. I realised that part of the mess of my previous relationships, was my simply not claiming or expressing what deep down I knew I naturally deserved – a tender love.

When it came time for this little relationship to come to an end, I did not feel hurt or rejected like before. I knew that his reasoning was something he had to sort out on his own and I respected that. I also knew deeply that in spite of the ending, I am already ALL the love that I am, and that it (love) can never be given to me by another.

I was truly proud of myself after this experience. I was proud of how far I had come and proud that I could stand up for and claim what I knew I deserved.

Most of all, what I appreciated in myself was that when we keep things simple and about what we naturally deserve, and communicate from that, then others are so ready to also feel that. I have inspired myself!

But there is something deeper to feel… a deeper understanding has recently been presented which I’d like to share. Over the last 6 weeks, men have been coming up to me out of the blue, speaking to me and asking me for dates – something which is new and has not really happened to me during the last 5 years! Firstly, I found myself not really being able to accept their compliments or their interaction, and I asked myself why. Then, when I allowed myself to be more open and further appreciate my loveliness and what those men were seeing and feeling from me, I found that I could be quite natural around them! I realised that before, I’d been putting up an automatic barrier around men, given my past experiences, and that maybe this is why no-one had wanted to approach me for many years…

I kept asking and questioning myself, “Why would I be able to accept such compliments from a woman or younger person, but not from a man? Why would I have no hesitation in accepting an offer to go for a cuppa with a female, yet had hesitation with a male?”.

This questioning allowed me to be more open to feeling what was behind people’s compliments – which simply felt like an appreciation of the woman they saw and felt standing before them. Now I am able to be playful and joyful in response to the compliments that are coming my way – from anyone!

I feel now that I am allowing myself (all of me) to express fully, and after exploring two short-term relationships, I have found a number of things:

  1. I have claimed (now) how men are around me – being lovely, loving and very tender.
  2. That each relationship has brought up ways that I have allowed men to be around me in the past.
  3. That my partner’s ability (or inability) to trust this level of love and tenderness that I am now able to offer and present them, is always their choice to either accept, or not.
  4. I know that what I choose and create for myself (as a woman) is reflected in the quality of the relationship that I might then have. A relevant point for us women – let’s face it – if we all took a stand and were very clear about what we will and won’t accept in our relationships, then men would have to respect this – if they truly wanted to be with us.
  5. Going even deeper, I have appreciated the gift of free will and allowing – I have and am still learning, that people have the right to make their own choices.
  6. As I allow myself to feel all of the above, I realise that rather than just having the tenderness and gentleness from a man, actually it is about having and developing a deep connection and a true relationship.

So with all of this, it means that there has been another level for me to look at, i.e. where I had possibly been accommodating  and compromising myself with men to a ‘certain level’, rather than just being me completely in full, and trusting that ‘just being me’, is enough.

I am forever learning…

Part 2: Something Beautiful Part 2 – My Unfolding and Learning to Be All of Me in a Relationship with a Man

144 thoughts on “Something Beautiful Part 1 – My Unfolding and Being All of Me with a Man

  1. Letting others come in and go out from our lives, offers us a great reflection of the point we are at in the relationship we have with ourselves

  2. Beautiful your expression Johanna. It confirms within me what I know true love can be in a relationship.

  3. When we commit to loving ourselves then we are not reliant on another to fulfil our need for love and thus we allow the space for a relationship to unfold without expectations or neediness coming in to complicate things.

  4. It is wonderful how you have allowed yourself time and space to know who you are, and then how you have dedicatedly brought yourself to your next relationship, knowing that first of all you are still and will always remain in relationship with yourself.

  5. It is refreshing to read how you are now allowing and embracing being all of you, and from here expressing.

  6. After reading this blog I am feeling how healthy it is for a man to meet a woman who is claimed in what she will and will not accept – and in so doing, supports his return back to the innately tender and sensitive being that his naturally is.

  7. If we approach life as an opportunity to learn it removes the “good” and “bad” we tend to label life and situations and our relationships with, then instead it’s simply an opportunity to learn something that may hugely change our lives going forward.

  8. Johanna, I love your willingness, honesty and commitment to uncovering what was playing out in your relationship both with yourself and also with men. It feels like when you uncovered one layer of patterns or behaviours you were straight away on the case to uncover the next layer and so on and so forth. This is very inspiring and I love what you share when you say ‘I am forever learning’ as it speaks of your willingness to embrace your evolutionary path through life.

  9. How often are we willing to change, even in slight degrees, to get a man. We walk our path, steady in our choices, until we see the path of a guy passing us by – do we slightly change course, or walk off our path all together, or do we slight bend our rules and let things slip? If so, is it really us in truth that the man becomes interested in, or the compromised version of ourselves.

  10. With regards to speaking up when in the company of a man, I have been experimenting lately on being brave. So when something comes up to be said and I feel great fear of saying it, I encourage myself to say it anyway, telling myself that I can handle whatever reaction may come. And the beautiful part is that actually by speaking up, this creates the space for more understanding and so not so many reactions are happening after all.

  11. When we calculate how much of ourselves we are to be around the opposite gender, we are actually measuring how much of ourselves to be with ourselves. In these instances, we can criticise and close ourselves off, or bring understanding and care in order to get over whatever it is that is blocking our love.

  12. “This questioning allowed me to be more open to feeling what was behind people’s compliments – which simply felt like an appreciation of the woman they saw and felt standing before them.” That is beautiful and very much explains why if we don’t want to see and appreciate this in ourselves we find it very hard to accept and receive compliments as we are in the illusion we are not beautiful or worth appreciating.

  13. I really enjoyed reading this blog as there is always so much to learn and grow from relationships. There was so much practical wisdom on offer. My favourite was, “I realised that part of the mess of my previous relationships, was my simply not claiming or expressing what deep down I knew I naturally deserved – a tender love”. I am learning that by not speaking up you are actually responsible for the relationship not being true – because you are not true in it.

  14. Falling into complications in a relationship is something very easy when we don’t claim ourselves in them

  15. It is important that we allow ourselves to be fully who we are in every situation, rather than accommodating or compromising.

  16. I’m remembering how I related with other children when I was a little girl. I had not this sense of labeling others as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’, we all were equal and we related with each other with no judgments, impositions, neediness or things like that. There was just pure love emanating from within us and we shared it with no reservation or attachments. How wonderful would be if we as adults get inspired more often from children and would bring this way of being with others in our everyday life.

  17. Recently I’m asking myself “why am I not as natural with some men as with other women or children?” sometimes I find myself with a very strange shyness that feels not me or like putting me a barrier of protection to men don’t see me – but I have to admit that in some way is what one part of me wants – it’s a very crazy game that takes me away from my natural and fresh expression, I know. But it’s a very healing process where I’m learning to love myself, no matter how odd, scary or shy I feel. The more I nominate these games the more I can let them go to be more of me with everyone equally.

    1. When we become open to seeing the games we have played in the past we then have the opportunity to let go of the layers of protection that have masked our natural expression and connect joyfully with men and women.

  18. Johanna I can see myself in every word of your sharing, specially in your previous experience with men. By reading it I feel invited to bring more awareness about how I was in my relationships in the past and how I’m today. I get inspired to claim myself more and express more about how I feel with others as this builds a foundation to my next relationships. Looking forward to read the part 2. Thank you

  19. Thank you for sharing how as you reconnect to the beauty within yourself this is reflected in your relationships and you set the marker for the loving way that you treat yourself and thus you will accept nothing less from others. This is inspiring as I too have been allowing myself to explore my tenderness but I can feel that I still have a barrier up when interacting with men so something for me to go deeper with and release.

  20. I agree it is really important not to compromise ourselves in a relationship, knowing deep down that we are worth more than what we often accept, when we allow ourselves to build our own self-love and self-worth, we understand that relationships have to be built on honesty and love, and not to accept anything else less than love.

  21. This is such a beautiful sharing of how as women and men we determine what we accept in our relationships and if we are clear in us, in how we are with us, in a deep tenderness with us we can then offer that to another and claim that as our foundation in any other relationship. And to understand that how another is with that is their choice and that it does not diminish the love and tenderness we are, we just be that no matter what.

  22. I love how you rebuilt your relationship with yourself, giving yourself space to build a relationship of connection, cherishing and loving, so when you start a relationship with another you are clear what is, and what is not acceptable, ‘I’ve been able to fully claim what I will and will not accept in a relationship in simple ways, such as allowing myself to just ‘be myself’ (and being all the love that I know I am) in the company of a man: being able to speak up about what may not feel right between us, without fear of (his) reaction or response like before…’.

  23. We are each, both men and women, incredibly tender beings that for the most part are too scared to show our vulnerability lest we get attacked. It is if we are all waiting for the other to go first and make it safe for the rest to follow. The Benhayon family are true role models in this regard for they live who they truly are with no compromise and apology and through this reflection many others have been able to also surrender the adopted armoury and let the warmth and richness of Heaven shine out for all the world to see. True intimacy.

  24. It has certainly been my experience that it is possible to use relationships as a kind of drug to numb and suppress feelings and to avoid dealing with issues. In this way we can become very needy of other people and relationships. I completely agree that the more we can be honest about this (as you have been in your great blog here Johanna) the more we can heal the underlying hurts and issues so that we can enjoy being in relationships in a whole different way.

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