I remember at a young age making an oath to myself that if I ever got married, I would maintain a secret bank account with enough money to “escape” if the relationship failed. I truly thought that if I got married, the stakes were in favor of my partner becoming vindictive and harmful and the best way to protect myself and my independence was to always have a secret account to cash in on and lead me to safety. I truly thought the odds of my getting married were slim, anyway… and perhaps I even perpetuated that reality by carrying around this insurance policy on my non-existent marriage. I thought I was being smart and careful, but I ultimately closed myself off to the potential of loving someone fully. I was terrified of becoming vulnerable - and worse - getting hurt due to my own naivety. Fears and insecurities that commanded my past relationships birthed the insurance policy and escape plan. I closed myself off, and I felt safe. But I was not happy. Now this was in my early twenties. My current independent, experienced, more mature and married self has not looked back on this vivid plan for enough years that it has faded away. The insurance policy and escape plan disappeared along with a lot of other insecurities and fears that I no longer wanted in my life. I choose to start living my life more fully, more vibrantly, and with the risk of potential heart break. It was shortly after this conscious decision that I began dating my husband.
Recently, an old friend from the past visited me, and this old tale I told myself was unearthed. She was a bit shocked that her once fiercely strong and cautiously independent friend abandoned her safety plan and seemingly dove blindly, head first into a marriage with no “escape plan.” And honestly, when I was reminded of my secret escape plan, in that moment I felt this familiar, although very subtle, feeling of panic set in. How could I be so foolish?
As we drove along in the car, and the old memories flooded back, I felt the old insecurities distantly - they were no longer a part of me, just a memory.
Then it all became so clear to me: When I made the choice to stop living in fear and live more freely and love more openly, I had to stop living life with an insurance plan. I could no longer love with an emergency escape plan. I chose to give 100% of my love, commitment, and dedication to myself, my husband, our relationship, my life and our lives together.
I went on to share with my friend my thoughts on what may have appeared to be a change of heart, or perhaps it was perceived as weakness, in this new stage of my life. I told her that it doesn’t seem possible to truly love someone without being honest and committed - and that I didn’t see my old action plan fitting into the equation of my life if I were to be “all in.” I acknowledged that I definitely made myself vulnerable, but I did not see a problem with that. Before, I lived and loved in a way that was always holding back - I was only 90% honest, only slightly committed. There was a fortress of protection around myself and my heart... all of this was fueled by fear and insecurities.
When I chose to live and love without restraint, I inherently made myself vulnerable. I opened myself up and found the courage to be vulnerable, and now I feel loved, free and safe. I threw out my old insurance plan on love and life - I no longer need it on this journey.