What Is Self-Love?

You may be thinking that loving yourself is only something that cocky and arrogant people do,

Or you may be thinking that no one loves themselves,

Or if you’re a professional ‘self-loather’ then not loving yourself is something you can use to beat yourself up with as well,

‘I can’t even love myself!’

Wherever you sit in regard to your own definition of self-love I thought I would be your knight in shining armour and hit you right in the feels by letting you in to my world of self-love,

You’re welcome 😉.

First of all, I just want to go into what self-love isn’t…

Self-love is NOT:

Cocky or arrogant, in fact if someone is genuinely cocky and arrogant that is proof that they don’t love themselves because real love is not something that requires proof, it is something you just know and feel.

Conditional. If you find you can say I love myself only when things are going well but not when they aren’t then this is conditional love and NOT real love.

A destination. Self-love is a daily practice and just like any relationship requires effort. A question I get my clients to ask themselves is ‘what would I do if I loved myself?’ this will give you a new perspective and help you navigate your day-to-day life.

Egoic. Self-love wants others to experience peace and joy and does not need to trample on others for it to exist. Self-love does not mean you love yourself more than others.

Needy. Self-love does not need validation from others to feel worthy.

Jealous. Self-love doesn’t get jealous of others because it knows that whatever you desire is yours and you are more than worthy of receiving your desires.

Lack. Self-love does not worry about there not being enough of something (enough good partners, money, clients etc).

Now of course these are the ideals and as I mentioned, self-love is a journey, NOT a destination. You also can’t beat yourself up for not being ‘there’ yet as ‘there’ is always a journey that goes deeper and deeper into who you are.

But be careful, because you can create what Mark Manson calls the feedback loop from hell, you beat yourself up, for beating yourself up and then beat yourself up, because you shouldn’t be beating yourself up, and on and on the loop goes.

The more aware you become of the parts of yourself that have been hidden, the more opportunities you will find to get to know and love those new parts of yourself.

I now consider it a game,

A game of hide and seek…

Those parts of ourselves we’ve hidden from ourselves need to be found for the game to be over, but some are harder to find than others, some require us to go to new places and open different doors.

Remember though,

You are not playing hide and seek with an axe murderer,

You are playing hide and seek with a loving big brother or sister.

Self-love really is about going into those dark places and shining a light on the parts of our being that we have demonised and identified as unlovable.

Self-love is about compassionately inviting those parts of ourselves out of the dark corners and into the light.

Those parts of me that I find harder to love I call ‘little Dan’

Little Dan gets anxious and sometimes believes he is unworthy and at times causes others to feel the pain that he is in but over the last couple of years I have learnt to understand that he has been trying to save me from hurt.

Unfortunately, because he is only a young boy, he doesn’t understand that he doesn’t need to react in unhealthy ways at times and I’m trying to put my arm round him when he feels scared and under threat.

Little Dan is just a scared little child looking out for me and I have made a commitment to treat him as such instead of punishing him.

I am his nurturing loving parent that loves him regardless of how he acts.

So, by now I hope I’ve managed to shine a light on your ‘little *insert name (mind out of the gutter, clearly little Dan is feeling something to be blaming you for where your mind goes 😉 haha!) so you can recognise just how he/she reacts and begin understanding why.

In this next part my intention is to help you relate to how self-love and lack of self-love is playing out in your life and why practising self-love is absolutely vital to live a life that lights us up and fulfils us.

Relationships:

Lack of – Lack of self-love will have you believe that YOU are lucky to have these people in your life instead of being equally beneficial. You will also find yourself putting everyone else’s needs above your own because you believe your worth is in what you do for others instead of who you are. You may find yourself accepting shitty behaviour from people and allowing them to disrespect and take advantage of you as long as you are being fed crumbs of ‘love’. Instead of being alone you will invite people back into your life that hurt you without them having to acknowledge how their actions/behaviours affected you because being alone is worse than being around people that are unsafe.

Practising self-love – having boundaries that invite people to love you how you want to be loved and treated because you don’t NEED people in your life to fill a void as you are already whole.

Career/purpose:

Lack of – Lack of self-love will have you believe that there is not enough, you will be living in a scarcity belief system that will cloud your reality with doom and fear. ‘I do not have enough money and in order for me to have more I need to work more (do more overtime). You will believe that the job you have is not that bad even though you don’t feel respected you still hold on to a story that you’ve ingrained in you about this job paying the bills, this job isn’t bad hours, this job isn’t hard work or stressful and really what you’re doing is avoiding the fact that actually your job makes you miserable and makes you feel purposeless.

Practising self-love – if you feel unappreciated in a job, your self love practice will have you ask yourself ‘why am I allowing myself to be treated less than how I want to be treated?’

You will not settle in a job just because it pays the bills because you know there are multiple ways you can earn enough money to pay the bills.

You will think about what it is you really want to do with your life and career and explore your options.

You will know that your worth is not attached to your job or financial status and as a result this will liberate you so that you can really go after what lights you up, this is how you ‘find your purpose’.

Health:

Lack of – Lack of self-love in this area will cause you to pass up responsibility and make your health someone else’s problem. You will believe that you can’t change and embody self-sabotaging stories like ‘eating healthy is too expensive’ or ‘I just don’t have the motivation or time to go to the gym’ or ‘my parents were overweight so that’s why I’m overweight’. You will tell yourself you have mental health struggles and begin to identify with a disempowering label. You will live in blame of your parents because it’s their fault that you are emotionally ‘unhealthy’. You will refuse professional help and instead turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as binge drinking, overeating and illegal substance abuse.

Practising self-love – You will see your health as your responsibility and it will come from a place of ‘I am worthy of being healthy’ you will see your health as something that is always in your power to improve, whether that be committing to an exercise schedule each week, going to therapy or hiring a life coach. You will not outsource your health and you will make ‘being healthy’ part of your identity.

As you can see if we are not continually practising self-love daily then EVERY area of our life becomes compromised.

The biggest takeaway I want you to leave with today is,

Self-love is a practise; it is NOT something you just gain or a place you arrive at and then the journey is over.

We always have new ways we can love ourselves and the deeper we go inside ourselves, the more parts we uncover that give us an opportunity to love.

Humans really are like onions; you peel a part back and then get to heal and love that part you were unaware of before.

Then you get to peel back another layer and heal and love that part of yourself,

The thing that excites me is the fact that I will NEVER know who I am because there are always new parts of myself, I’m discovering and these new parts of who I am get to be understood and loved.

From one day to the next I am becoming more and more ME,

And I am on a journey of chipping away everything that ISN’T ME so I can show up in my life as the person that I always was before I built up the walls of defence.

Self-love is ALWAYS the antidote.

Considering Moving Away?

So May 2020 me and my girlfriend moved up to Blackpool (uk) from Sudbury, Suffolk. It’s a 260 mile journey that takes about 5 hours (give or take) so a spontaneous coffee date with a friend or family member is off the cards.

I had spent 32 years of my life living in and around my hometown, never really knowing what the big wide world (Blackpool ha!) had to offer.

There were a few reasons as to why we decided to move the other end of the country, but I’ll just list the main ones.

  1. Charis (recently promoted from girlfriend to fiancée 😉) wanted to go to Preston University to do her Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology.
  2. I knew my purpose was no longer a personal trainer, and my passion was helping people learn to love themselves.
  3. I needed to spend some time seriously working on healing some things emotionally that I’d been struggling with, and I had too many distractions, also known as excuses.
  4. When COVID hit I was unable to run my gym and earn a living, I also got my 30 day notice of eviction from my landlord (still unsure what his reasons were).
  5. A couple of years prior I had gone through a really shitty breakup which caused me to adopt some unhealthy behaviours as a coping mechanism which I was still ashamed of.

My top values are growth and freedom, I knew that in order for me to grow as a man, I needed to move away from the safety of everything I’d ever known, so I could really learn who I was and what I needed from life.

Me and Charis didn’t even sit down and have an in depth conversation about moving away, which highlights just how ready we were to make the move.

Baring in mind we moved in May, when we were in our first lockdown, everything just seemed to align for us.

  • I sold my gym equipment within days of putting it up for sale,
  • We found a property that was in our budget and didn’t require any credit checks (in fact I said I don’t have a very good credit rating which surprisingly was not an issue),
  • Within the space of 4 weeks we had found a property, paid the deposit and got our move in date all while being in lockdown,
  • Neither of us had much stuff to take with us, but the little that we did have, took us 2 trips, over 2 weekends, with Charis’s little Citreon DS3, which was a blessing because we didn’t have the hassle of sorting out a van,
  • We didn’t know anything about the area and didn’t do any research, but was surprised at the fact that we had a park directly opposite with a couple of basketball courts and a little 5 a side court (I’d been saying for a few years I want to get back into football), but more importantly we were only a 10 minute walk from the beach which had been my dream ever since I can remember!

Now as much as things just felt right for us and everything seemed to fall into place, it has not been without it’s struggles, and the reason why I wanted to write this blog was because I’m sure you’ve toyed with the idea of moving away and starting afresh, and I want to help you decide if it’s right for you, and hopefully make the move easier for you if you do decide to ‘up sticks’ and leave.

Here are 10 of the most important things I’ve managed to whittle it down to when it comes to moving away;

  1. Get clear and really honest with yourself about your reasons for wanting to move. If you’re running away expecting things to be ‘better’ then I would invite you to think about the fact that it doesn’t matter where you are, your problems still follow you, unless you intend to do ‘the work’.
  2. Loneliness is a big one! If you struggle with your mental health, and specifically have suicidal thoughts, I would probably say moving away from your hometown is not the best decision, but if you feel capable of ‘doing the work’ then loneliness may be exactly what you need.
  3. What are you going to do for an income to support yourself? It will be much easier to do a job in a town that you don’t know anyone, because you won’t have those thoughts about ‘I don’t want someone seeing me working here’ which means that you can find a job, that enables you to work an amount of hours you need to to pay the bills, but also a job that gives you as much time off as you need to invest into ‘doing the work’
  4. You will lose contact with people that you thought were your friend. This is normal and can bring up a lot of feelings that are uncomfortable, but the blessing is that it allows you to get super honest with yourself about who YOU want in your life, and learn a very powerful lesson of letting go.
  5. Boredom! This is something that you may have to get acquainted with, because a lot of your usual distractions will no longer be there for you. Boredom will teach you so much about yourself, especially to listen to what it is you actually want to do long-term, that sense of purpose and direction we all need, can come from letting yourself sit with boredom for long enough to be guided towards what inspires you.
  6. Stay curious. You no longer have the pressure of a fixed identity (you can be who you want to be, because no one knows you) so say yes to things you wouldn’t normally, try things that you’ve always wanted to try, and allow yourself to do whatever it is that peaks an interest!
  7. Therapy! I would highly recommend investing in either therapy, counselling or a coach, because it will be hard to process some of your triggers on your own, and having someone outside of your immediate circle to open up to without the fear of being judged, is so powerful and hugely transformative.
  8. Online courses, programmes and groups. I invested in a group coaching programme that had people all over the world in, and as a result I have made some lifelong friends that I would never of met had it not of been for that programme.
  9. Removing the comfort blanket of all that was familiar (your hometown), enables you to get really clear on your goals. investing in a coach to help guide you and hold you accountable as you will no longer have all the distractions that you once had in your hometown will open your eyes to what is actually important to you.
  10. Have fun! It doesn’t have to be all serious, there will be so many new things, experiences, places to explore and whether or not you move away on your own, or with a partner, there will be opportunities to ‘put yourself out there’ as long as you don’t let fear get in the way!

Things I experienced personally…

Loneliness – I actually have a funny relationship with loneliness… A few years ago when I was at rock bottom, drowning in debt, and living in my personal training studio, I wrote a blog post about loneliness. Blogging for me was kind of like my therapy, or that friend that you could say anything to and they wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.

That blog post was what inspired Charis to message me. She told me when she first read it she was also going through her own pain and hurt, and really related to my blog post. A few days later we met up for the first time having not known eachother at all apart from those few messages. Fast forward a few years and we are now engaged and planning our wedding 😉, so you could say I’m pretty fond of loneliness.

I’d been so used to supressing my emotions, and running away from myself, that I never actually knew who I was (I’m sure we can all relate to that) until a few years ago, when I had no choice to feel all the feels which became my blog name.

Loneliness became my greatest teacher, because it forced me to look at the parts of myself that I was struggling to like, let alone love.

This time when loneliness came back around I was ready to welcome him in.

I was able to ask myself questions such as ‘am I avoiding loneliness by wanting to go out drinking?’ or ‘am I using social media as a distraction from sitting with myself?’ and asking myself these self-inquiring questions gave me a new perspective, which presented me with another option.

I can NOT recommend loneliness enough!

Embrace it, listen to it, sit with it, learn from it and as my good friend Aviram says ‘stay curious!’

Relationships – Now this has been a real process, and taught me so much about expectations and letting go.

To begin with I held on to the belief that friends and family SHOULD make an effort to communicate and ‘keep’ the relationship growing. There were times when I would feel resentment at the fact that some of the people I expected to be in my life, made zero effort. It was uncomfortable AND it was absolutely necessary!

I started to again, do some self reflection, and really inquire why I feel this way around what I expect. I began realising that the only thing creating that form of suffering, was my expectations that I’d covertly put on others.

Truth is, some people are just not meant to be in your life any longer, and this does NOT mean that they are bad people, it just means that the relationship has run it’s course.

Something that I began thinking about, was how we have a belief that a friendship should last forever, yet an intimate relationship can break down and transition, but that’s deemed as perfectly normal and acceptable…

I also began recognising my lack of effort I’d put in to family and friendships, and this enabled me to be really honest with myself, and ask why I hadn’t put much effort in, and act upon that realisation, whether it meant actively working harder on it, or learning to let it go.

Again use this as a learning instead of a way to create a victim identity. Let go of the relationships you need to let go of and invest in the ones you want to improve.

Counselling/Coaching/Support – I can honestly say if I hadn’t of invested in my own healing, and personal development I would not be where I am today! I knew I had things I needed to work on personally that were holding me back from really stepping in to my power, and were causing me to play small and sabotage in life. For me I didn’t care how much it cost to heal, because the price of mediocre relationships, and the feelings of no real purpose in life were far higher than any amount of money!

Now I am always working with a coach of some sort because having an expert in a specific area of life, guide me, and hold me accountable to whatever goals I set myself, is worth it’s weight in gold!

This is something we go through in my 6 Month Deep Dive 1-1 coaching programme. Looking at ‘who are you’, and a question I always ask myself is, ‘are you someone who invests in themselves, and wants to improve and grow, or are you someone that plays small and settles?’

This always guides me towards growth!

Goals/Business – Moving away and not knowing anyone apart from each other (me and Charis), enabled us to work on ourselves individually, and our relationship, and get super clear on what it is we want for our lives.

It took me about 6 months of ‘downtime’ and personal healing work that guided me towards my purpose in life.

Growing up as a Jehovah’s witness, and struggling for years with parts of my personality that had been demonised, made me believe that I was unlovable.

Because I believed I was unlovable, guess how I showed up in relationships…

Yep, I would sabotage everything because I didn’t feel worthy of love.

Using the last 18 months to really be with myself, and see how I was showing up in life and my relationship with Charis, was exactly what I needed to guide me towards the type of coach I am

My purpose is helping people understand themselves, unlearn the beliefs and stories that are holding them back, and really learn to start giving themselves the love they so freely give to others!

So my advice to you;

If you are thinking that moving away will solve all your problems, then you’re wrong,

If you are moving away to really work on yourself, explore new places and grow as a person, then I would highly recommend taking the leap and NOT overthinking it all!

It took us a month, during a ‘pandemic’ and all we needed was £2000 to set us up for the first month.

I’ll leave you with a question to ask yourself…

‘Am I someone that makes my dream a reality, or am I someone that just talks about it?’

Intimacy In A Relationship Is HARD!

A lesson that I’ve learnt the hard way and is something that me and Charis speak about a lot, is the importance of sexual intimacy in our relationship.

It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget to invest daily into our relationship, and that very reason is exactly why in the past, a relationship I was in, ended up being more so as a best friend and not a girlfriend and sexual partner.

It’s only upon reflection we can really see where we went wrong.

You know that honeymoon period that everyone says goes…

I truly believe it doesn’t have to, and can transcend into something far greater where you become lovers, best friends and life partners,

But there is an IF…

Initially my main reasons for investing in my relationship were through fear that I would lose that ‘I JUST WANT TO FUCK YOU’ feeling, especially after I’d been there before and had really hurt someone I loved, because I didn’t have the awareness or the tools to cultivate the type of relationship I wanted, and coupled with the lack of courage to communicate my deepest desires, this led me to take the ‘easy’ otherwise known as the cowards way out…

Cheating.

Now my reasons for investing in my relationship are different, I know what type of relationship I want, and I have a duty to Charis to always try my best to communicate and stick to my commitment that we both made when deciding we wanted to create a relationship together.

I’ve learnt that 2 people (speaking about monogamous relationships as I haven’t experienced polyamory or open) that like eachother and choose to be in a relationship, just isn’t enough for a relationship to flourish, It takes constant communication, challenges, fear, love and everything in between to build the relationship you truly want.

As soon as I stop investing in my relationship and become lazy and complacent, my relationship will suffer (I know shock horror), so in order for me to have the type of relationship where I look at Charis and want to have passionate sex (or a quickie, or anything else sexually) with her, I HAVE to put the work in!

I want someone I can share my fears with (this starts with me owning them first),

I want someone I can break down infront of (this is what i’m currently working on through counselling as I struggle to connect with my own emotions and express them),

I want someone I can do nothing with (everyone loves a ‘snacks and film’ night),

BUT…I also want someone I can enjoy sexually,

And THAT comes down to how willing I am to invest in myself and my own healing (we’ve all got layers we need to peel back and learn to love).

A question I would ask yourself if you crave more intimacy with your partner is…

‘where am I not showing up for myself, where am I not showing up in my relationship, where am I NOT putting effort in and what can I do right NOW to start reinvesting?

Dan ‘this relationship stuff is hard’ Reader,

Much love.

The Night I Was Finally Victorious Over Shame

The night I was finally victorious over shame

Gayboy, homo, fag, poof these are just some of the words that are thrown about to either take the piss out of someone in the form of ‘banter’ or are used to offend someone in regards to their sexuality.

As a young lad growing up, that is the last thing you would want to be called, because not only is it an attempt to emasculate you based on what other young lads think a man is, and should be, but also because growing up and learning about yourself while your hormones are all over the place is hard, especially when you too think you have to be a certain way to be a man.

3 years ago when I was in a very dark place and using drink and coke to block out my reality, I would often get back home to my gym (where I lived for over a year) in the early hours, highly intoxicated and with no chance of getting any sleep for a good few hours, and I begin scrolling through the darkest corners of the internet trying to find some porn that satisfied the urge. I would often spend literally hours watching and trying to find the ‘right one’.

Having grown up with a very skewed view on sex due to religion, like anything that you try to supress, it will always come with consequences.

The biggest consequence for me was living with an immense amount of shame and this has negatively impacted some of the decisions I’ve made.

One night after scrolling for hours and just not being able to find what I was looking for I began toying with the idea of typing ‘amateur gay masturbation’ in pornhubs search bar.

I can remember my heart pounding and feeling like I was doing something shameful and disgusting, probably because I was far from sober though my curiosity and intrigue ‘got the better of me’ and I ended up going down the rabbit hole.

Once I’d sobered up I would spend the majority of the day beating myself up, and telling myself I will never look at that stuff again while convincing myself it was just because of the alcohol and drugs in my body.

Almost 18 months ago I crossed paths with someone who very quickly became an important person in my life. The nights out I was having and the attempts to block out my current reality became less and less and I began envisioning a different reality, a reality where I was no longer a victim and instead would see myself as someone who brings a lot to other peoples lives, but I was also very aware that I still had a lot of work to do to even allow myself to start having feelings for someone.

After my last train wreck of a relationship I didn’t want to take any toxicity into a new relationship because it would only create the same results.

If I don’t change and improve, why would my next relationship?!

The less time I spent going out and the more time I looked inside myself I really began to like who Dan was, and spending time in Dans head was actually becoming a nice place to be.

Me and Charis started spending more time with eachother and May of 2019 something had changed inside me, I knew I could bring something to a relationship and I knew that I was ready to ‘try on’ this new and improved Dan in the form of a committed relationship.

The proposal wasn’t earth shatteringly romantic but we both just knew that this was the right time.

I made a promise to myself that I would allow myself to be seen in this relationship, something I have always fantasised about is being in a relationship and knowing that I can just be myself, no manipulation, or trying to portray a version of myself that I think is more lovable, just showing up as my true self.

One thing that I love about our relationship is the deep conversations we have and how we allow eachother that space to be vulnerable and seen.

A few months ago we went for lunch in one of our favourite places (painters café) and I felt an energy that was kind of drawing me in. We hadn’t really spoke much for the first 10-15 minutes and what came next left me just wanting to squeeze Charis as hard as I could, you know that urge you get to squeeze a kitten or a puppy because you feel overwhelmed with love in that moment.

Charis nervously started a conversation about porn. She went on to say that she watched something the other day that made her instantly feel ashamed and really sad. At this point I was unsure what she was going to say and I could feel butterflies in my stomach…

“I watched lesbian porn and after I felt so guilty and I started crying because I didn’t want to hurt you”

“That is so strange that you say that because lastnight I watched gay porn and I felt the same, I was ashamed and worried that it would hurt you” I replied.

We just looked into eachothers eyes and all I could feel was an immense amount of love for her, the fact that in that moment we were so aligned but fearing the hurt it might possibly bring to the other person.

We went on to speak about both of us maybe exploring these specific avenues and the logistics of it, in that moment I felt so loved and supported with an area of my life I’d struggled with for years.

Both of our fears were the complete opposite of the truth, and by Charis opening up and being vulnerable, she indirectly gave me permission to open up and be vulnerable.

Now the scene has been set, I want to share something with you that previously, as you can tell, I would have been terrified of anyone finding out.

So before I share this with you I want you to understand my reasoning for being so open about this.

The majority of my life has been filled with shame around sex, I’ve often wished that I just had a ‘normal’ sexuality where nothing was to far from the mainstream ideology surrounding sex, I’ve even considered the possibility of having some form of sex addiction, none of which sat well with me so that left me with 1 alternative…

Embrace my sexuality and enjoy it, because after all, if our genitals were purely for procreation purposes then sex wouldn’t be pleasurable.

A few weeks ago on a night out I ended up engaging in sexual activity with another man. Now this didn’t go as I had hoped, partly due to how nervous I was, but also because I couldn’t help but judge myself which resulted in the experience being more of a little ‘teenage fumble’. In that very moment I wanted some reassurance from Charis because I was scared that she might now see me differently to the point where I felt sick to my stomach, so many feelings were coming up for me and I was struggling to rationalise everything.

When I got home I laid on my bed trying to make sense of everything, all I could think of was although I knew I am in a relationship where we can both sit in uncomfortable emotions and have open conversations, how the fuck do I tell her that I have gave myself permission to experience something that still even to this day carries a lot of stigma.

I began thinking,

What if she actually can’t handle this and doesn’t support me,

What if this rocks the boat so much that I feel judged and I can’t deal with it,

How do I have a conversation I have NEVER had before?!

I spent the whole of Sunday at Charis’s with this stirring of mixed emotions inside me, half of me felt proud and empowered, and the other half felt scared in case this side of me was potentially unlovable in this relationship.

Monday morning upon waking I was feeling a completely different emotion…

Excitement, I was so excited to have this amazing opportunity to be truly seen and whatever the outcome I knew I was doing the best for me, something I have very rarely done. You may think of this as selfish and I would have to agree with you, but this is what I’ve learnt about relationships… if you share things truthfully and honestly with your partner based on what you actually want for yourself and your relationship, and your partner acts differently towards you, judges you, or takes it so personally that your relationship begins to experience toxicity that you can’t get through, then atleast you know that the relationship you are in isn’t going to be a relationship that will facilitate self growth and therefore means it will have a very short shelf life.

Relationships aren’t meant to be shackles holding you down but act more as wings to lift you to new heights propelled with unconditional support and love.

The conversation began as we were in the car driving towards Colchester… I started it by saying, “I’ve got something I really want to tell you but I’m a little unsure how you are going to take this” “ok I’m scared now” replied Charis nervously. Telling her about everything that happened Saturday night I really tried not to have any expectations of the outcome but instead just give her all the information, no manipulation, no lies, just the 100% honest truth.

The last bit of the journey was fairly quiet to be honest, I don’t think either of us really knew what to say or even whether to say anything at all.

We parked up and went to the closest coffee shop so we could sit down and speak abit more but this time face to face. I told her how hard it was for me to go ahead and actually act on these thoughts ‘that night’ and my biggest fear being that she would think differently of me. She told me that, of course it hurts to hear that you have been with someone else but I just want you to know I love you and support you.

Over the next few days we had some really tough conversations, but they really enabled us the opportunity to learn things about eachother and more importantly ourselves. I would say that we communicate reasonably well and are open and honest but we’ve learnt that our communication skills are an area we need to focus on a lot more.

We are still working through this and setting clear boundaries when it comes to us both exploring our curiosities surrounding our sexuality, and how we can support eachother fully because I don’t want my fears or insecurities to stop Charis from experiencing all the pleasure she wants because after all we only get one life and I have no right to tell her what she can and can’t do with her own body.

The person I want to be is the person that is able to metaphorically high five Charis when she tells me how much fun she had doing x,y and z, and when I get to that point I know I will be living in a state of love and NOT fear.

I’m still learning to love who I truly am and that only comes with giving myself permission to be truly seen. I’ve already had a bit of backlash which indirectly has affected Charis, no one wants to see their partner being ridiculed or judged, but the thing is, I have done so much to get to this point and although sharing this now as openly and honestly as I am does still bring up feelings of ‘what will people think of me’ I feel I have a duty, not only to myself, but also every other person who is carrying around a suitcase full of shame around, and if by me opening up and talking about things gives someone else that bit of courage to open up, then little by little we all begin to allow eachother to step into who we truly are, NOT who we think we are meant to be.

P.s I am so full of gratitude for my life and everything in my life right now, I have an amazing girlfriend, I have a family that love me, I have a handful of very close friends and I have the opportunity to help people on a daily basis

Live your life unapologetically you!