Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

How to give your all w/o giving yourself away.


Mixed media on card stock 5" x 5" 2016 Louise Gallagher

Mixed media on card stock
5″ x 5″
2016 Louise Gallagher

In response to my blog post Friday on forgiveness, a reader commented, “I will never let a man make me feel this way again. It was a game changer. I don’t think I’ll let a man get that close again.”

I like that kind of ‘never’.

I too will never allow myself to get so lost in a relationship I feel like nothing again. I will never allow myself to become so immersed in another, I lose all sense of direction, all knowing of who I am and what I’m worth and allow myself to be abused, controlled, erased.

It was a game changer.

For me, however, the game changer isn’t in never letting a man get that close again. It is in my awareness of who I am and understanding the value I bring to the relationship exactly as I am.

It’s in knowing, the strength of my vulnerability when I allow another close-in is not measured in how much of myself I give up. It’s found in how much of me I bring to the relationship without warping, shifting, and submerging my true self to be with another.

I am done with warping, shifting and submerging my true self.

Which is a good thing! I never felt all that comfortable trying to fit into someone else’s skin, no matter how hard I tried to make myself fit just right.

And here’s the thing about the ‘game changer’ part for me.

In the journey of learning to love myself exactly the way I am, beauty and the beast, I have discovered the true value of being me. Where once I believed I needed a man to feel completely me, I love and like me with, or without, a man in my life.

What I value in my intimate relationship is its capacity to feed my heart what it needs  — connection.

The heart is a connector.

My heart is a connector. It not only keeps the blood flowing throughout my body, carrying vital oxygen and nutrients to every cell, it is continually teaching me how to be in this world by the connections it makes in relationship with others.

I am learning to think with my heart and feel with my mind.

I am learning to trust my heart and question my mind’s demands that I fear, avoid, and sometimes destroy relationships because of the past.

It has been an amazing journey.

To go from broken to pieces, to broken open, to feeling whole in this lifetime!

A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart.

I love my heart for its capacity to feel, to know, to teach and guide me in being connected to the world around me.

And I love my mind’s capacity to take all that information the heart feeds it, and sift through it and measure it and give me feedback on how I’m doing, and feeling, in Love.

When I listen to my heart and keep my mind free of fear, I am free to be me completely, no matter where I am or how close-in another gets.

We are all relational beings.

One of the questions I was asked in the aftermath of the relationship that almost killed me was, “How will you ever trust a man again.”

My response came from the depth of my heart’s knowing what is best for me. “It is not about trusting another. It’s about trusting myself enough to not give up all of me to another. It’s about knowing who I am is not based on who is in my life. Who I am is a reflection of how I am turning up for me in relationship with myself and others.”

Through relationship with my beloved I have been able to embrace being me. I have learned to trust myself in relationship without fearing losing myself all over again.

What a beautiful gift.


Thank you C.C. for being my teacher, my lover, my partner, my heart connector.

Thanks KW for your comment. I appreciate you and the inspiration you bring to my world.





Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

19 thoughts on “How to give your all w/o giving yourself away.

  1. LG

    lovely piece ..

    the message, as I take it away, is ‘give your all’ without ‘giving yourself away’ … giving ‘of self’ while retaining ourselves, keeping our selves safe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t find strength in vulnerability.

    My lesson in that statement was that trusting doesn’t work. Some will give you the world while wearing a cloak of friendship only to bear his teeth and reveal the wolf who takes it all back.

    My heart is more like a pancake or roadkill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have trouble pressing the ‘like’ button with your comments sometimes Kerri — while I honour and respect you are speaking your truth, it feels so sad to me that for anyone the lesson in life is that trusting doesn’t work or that their heart is like a pancake or roadkill.

      The question for me would be, if I like my heart being a pancake or roadkill, then that’s okay. If I don’t, what am I willing to change to create change? Is there another way to see it and what would it be for me to feel safe in this world?


      • I don’t wonder why people don’t like me, I more often wonder why they do (if they say so, otherwise I have no way of knowing).

        That’s the thing, I feel this outside pressure to “fix things” & that’s when I stop listening to my instincts and the wolves sense this & start feeding me lies in the form of pseudo-friendship.

        What I have learned of people is that they are okay at a distance and in small doses. It is not okay to let them get too close – for either party.

        My roadkill pancake heart will have to do. It’s what I’ve got – regardless of how ugly people think it is.

        Safety is looking out for myself & staving off the odd wolf.


  3. One thing I know is never say never. You never know when love will come into your life again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this Louise. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well said. Saying never can be seen as an admittance in the lack of confidence and trust you have in yourself to not lose yourself in another person again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve also never felt I needed a man. I felt obligated to try dating because of society. It was a horrible set of experiences – especially the abuse. I never really trusted men. I’ve gone back to that because it makes more sense in my life. They can’t be fully trusted so I can’t be close with them. Of course, with my prickly personality, no one wants to be close to me anyway. Maybe life is safer that way.


    • You might remember the bumper sticker, a quote from Gloria Steinem: A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

      I met Gloria a couple of years ago and, aside from being absolutely charmed, I came away with a feeling that she likes men just fine – as equals. Period.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t like being lied to. Men do this more often than women. They’ve been conditioned to. I dislike the whole “game” bs in the pursuit of a conquest or a possible relationship.

        I also don’t find people especially supportive in general but have decided that it likely is because they can’t relate to me. I observe people being supportive of each other. Sometimes it’s fascinating, other times isolating. It is what it is.


      • I like equals. Thanks Mark! I’m off to coach at Choices so no time to respond more Kerri — and everyone. Hugs


  7. I am going to read this to Ming – he is suffering his first romantic heartbreak. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this! It takes courage to feel fully and open the heart again 💕


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