As a 37 year old gay man, I'd weathered some hard times in love and learned from many past mistakes. However any wisdom I’d acquired on the subject over the last few years was not coming to my aid at that moment. I was still dodging insecurities about self worth, and shame was easily triggered in moments of vulnerability. Insecurities are normal, but I knew that caving into insecurities, as I was starting to do, was destructive to relationships.
One day after a terrible argument that left me and my sweeter half at a distance for days, I decided that I really needed to come up with some sort of solution. During the next week I began to take a deep look into my wants, fears and insecurities. If I could understand them on a much more conscious level then perhaps I could understand how to defeat them as well.
"What I really needed was a clear list with structures, boundaries and rules of behavior."By taking a deep look inwards I discovered that indeed my old enemies of doubt and shame were my biggest hurdles in romantic relationships. I sometimes doubted that I was worthy enough for someone, a remnant of my younger years, which left me feeling ashamed at being vulnerable and open.
After a few days of asking myself tons of questions the answer came. It was so obvious. What I really needed was a clear list with structures, boundaries and rules of behavior. Defining my needs in a list would allow me to respond wisely when an insecurity was triggered rather than react emotionally, and my list would need to address all of my known insecurities. Within a short few hours I created the Love Manifesto below.
Writing a manifesto that outlined clear boundaries and actions to address my insecurities was one of those rare opportunities to genuinely free myself from a cycle of anxiety. Now anytime I'm having an issue, as it relates to my relationship, then I just pull out the manifesto and find the point that most relates to what I'm dealing with in the moment. Sometimes I add, retract or redefine a point as needed. Nothing is set in stone with the manifesto but it does serve as a great map to ground me, and helps keep my relationship with myself and my partner strong.
Do you have insecurities in love? Free yourself by writing your own Love Manifesto.