I know…but that’s not enough – Part 1

“How come the only way you know high you get me is to see how far I fall.” It’s a line from one of my favorite songs- “Heartbreak Warfare” by John Mayer. Beautiful. My version: “How come you have to see me in an emotional wreck just to prove to yourself that I care about you…how come you have to see me desperate before you know I need you?”
I think can help John…and probably you too…

I went back to my home country Nigeria, to visit in December 2011. I landed in the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Nigeria. The sun was out and it was hot. It wasn’t hot like “the sun was out and minded its own business”…No. it was hot like the sun had a knife and it cut you like a serial killer cutting away with passion at a squirming victim. It was hot. It was hot like the sun was punishing me for everything I had done wrong in my life. I felt the sun’s lashes on my back and at a point I almost thought that the liquid flowing downward in the ridge of my back was blood from those lashes. It was sweat. The type that drips off your face and tastes like terrible salt. I knew the sun existed…there was no space in my mind to doubt its existence and presence. I didn’t just know the Sun was out. I FELT it.

I am writing this in Miami…but I’m indoors and you guessed right. My AC is blasting. I know that the sun is out there. I take comfort that it is providing light the world and I am aware of all the good things it does. I am aware of its salt making abilities and all…but I can’t feel it.

That’s the difference between knowing and feeling, and it works with salt making sweat as it does with relationships.
Sometimes, “knowing” is enough…but sometimes, we just need to FEEL. We need to verify. We need to be connected.

When I’m in my wonderful home country of Nigeria, I try to dodge the sun. However, when I was completing my internship in New York a few years ago from October to the end of November, I craved the sun. I wanted it to beat me. I wanted to feel it.  It was dark outside by like 4:30pm and I wanted to take a bite out of my arm! Its wasn’t enough that I knew it was out there somewhere and that it was shining bright and beating other life forms, and indirectly contributing to my existence from wherever it was shining. NO. That wasn’t enough. I wanted to see it. I wanted to FEEL it.

That’s how relationships are sometimes. Admit it or not, sometimes it’s not enough to know that our significant other(s) love and care for us. No. Sometimes we just want to feel it. We want to be slapped in the face by it. We want it to cut deep…past our inadequacies. We want it to flood the house…the bed, the bank account or wherever else we gather our “love alms”. We want to be reminded just how much.

It’s part of human nature to feel that way …to have that desire. We all hope that our significant others realize that, and do their part to do the occasional Sun (or love) beating.

Unfortunately for some of us, that need, feeling…desire to FEEL loved comes over us too suddenly too strong that we get the bold blood flowing and hold an emotional gun to our significant others’ head and demand that love. We tell them to get on their emotional knees and fork out the money love. We make the air so tight and so negative. We pretend that we are more hurt than we really are when they make a mistake, we shut down and in desperation or confusion, they find ways to shower us with love just to get the oxygen in the room back.

We get really good at being serpently cunning and we guilt our significant others into giving us that love. We “Test” their love by putting them in a tight corner. We put them between an emotional rock and a logical hard place. “If he/she loves me he/she will give up xyz for me or to be with me”. “If he/she loves me, they will still just blatantly defend me even though I just did something wrong”. We refuse to control our own negative emotions and habits, and we silently dare our significant others to deal with it because they have no choice…we enter a fight and knowing we are partly at fault, we put our significant others in a position where they are the ones saying “I’m sorry”.

With busy schedules and life coming at us a thousand miles per second, it’s likely to suddenly realize that we are in that place where there is no “evidence” of a love exchange….where we have had to make do with just knowing that we are loved…or where our significant others have had to make do with just knowing that we love them (for whatever reason)

“Knowing” can keep the boat afloat for a while… “FEELING” is what really keeps the boat from sinking. We want to FEEL it.

It’s normal. It could be ugly.

There IS a difference between knowing and feeling….

So how do you handle that when you need to FEEL Loved…when “Knowing” isn’t enough.

Read on friend…Look for part two. What you find there may be one of the most important tools for a better experience in all your relationships