"Sitting with a painful emotion is something one does alone"
Lately, I've been noticing fears that drive people, including myself, and particularly in romantic relationships.
We get into relationships because we enjoy spending time with someone. Many of us have stayed in a relationship for longer than we wanted to because we feared being alone.
Indeed, several people have told me that they got married out of fear of being alone. Some say so explicitly, others say they got married because they wanted to have a family.
Someone close to me just left his wife because he felt that she wasn't a good companion for him. They had been together for 18 years. The list of things they both find joy in has always been short. I think that he knew all along that they wouldn't be good companions for one another. I think he obscured this truth out of fear.
A desire to have a family often, although I won't say "necessarily" is obscured fear. Fear of being sick alone, fear of growing old alone, fear of dying alone. Fear of experiencing loneliness.
Loneliness is a painful emotion. Most of us run away from painful emotions by distracting ourselves. Instead of sitting with and accepting the painful emotion we distract ourselves. We try to cheer ourselves up or divert our attention. We read a book, watch netflix, spend time with friends. Sitting with a painful emotion is something one does alone. Others can help you do so, but you have to do the work alone.
When you sit with, accept, and smile at a painful emotion, you give yourself a chance to not be ruled by that painful emotion, to have your truths obscured by fear.