The Baggage We Bring to Relationships

This post was first published on the Huffington Post

In the past week or so, I’ve had a few clients who have shared with me that while they want to be in an intimate relationship, they feel like they have too much baggage that they would be bringing to a partner, and they don’t know if they can be in a relationship until they’ve got all of their shit figured out.

Here is what I like to remind them when they try to convince me that this story that they are holding about themselves and relationships is true…

You’ll never get “all of your shit” figured out. There is always shit on this beautiful journey called life.

You don’t need to be perfect to be lovable. It’s actually impossible to be perfect. Trust me on that one, I’ve tried already….it doesn’t work.

We all come with baggage and the right partner will love you enough to help you unpack.

Your partner has his/her own baggage too. Even if they seem ridiculously perfect at first – they have their baggage….it’s in there…and someday you’ll be the one who gets to help them unpack too.

It isn’t your partners sole responsibility to help you do all of the unpacking. You also need to do your own inner work, because ultimately there is nothing that they can ever do that will make you feel loved enough if you aren’t loving and accepting yourself first.

Coaching helps with this. A lot. Because your partner should never have to be your therapist or coach – that’s why I’m here…to be an outside, neutral form of support.

Jonny and I each came with our own baggage and have been helping one another unpack for the past 9 years. I’m not sure if the unpacking ever ends, but it does get easier. And over time, it feels safer and safer to allow him to see what is inside, because I trust that he loves me no matter what. And more importantly, I’ve learned to love myself through the unpacking process as well.

Get out there anyway and open your heart up for love. You never know who you may be missing because of your story that you aren’t ready yet because of _____, ______ and ______.

But first, start with loving yourself through your baggage and making it ok. There is nothing wrong with you – only opportunities for deeper self-love, self-acceptance and self-trust.