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What I want to tell Ning from MAFS.

I love (some) reality TV shows. There, I said it. Out loud. Soul laid bare. So I am excited that Married At First Sight appeared on Australian screens again this week.

One thing I love, and I’m certain it’s the Coach in me, is listening to the contestants’ words and watching their behaviours. Intently. Why are they acting the way they are? Why is he or she saying that? What fear or hope or dream is behind this?

Over the past few nights I’ve watched nearly every contestant spiral into self-doubt of some form. They worry they are not good enough. They worry their new ‘spouse’ won’t like them. EVEN the one contestant who appears to be brimming with confidence (and a touch of arrogance) almost falls apart at the altar.

But the person I’m dying to speak with is Ning.

Last night Ning, a single mother of three, married ex Army guy Mark. And, for me, watching the ceremony, then the beginning of the reception was excruciating. We learn Ning has been hurt in the past so protects herself by building a huge wall (clearly an emotional wall, not physical – that would have taken a while and she would have needed a builder or bricky etc.) between herself and a man of, let’s say, romantic interest.

This was particularly excruciating for me to watch, because for many many years of my life this WAS me.

After being severely hurt by multiple men in my twenties I embarked on a rampage of self-sabotage when it came to matters of the heart. Whilst SIMULTANEOUSLY yearning for the long lasting, loving relationship. My conscious mind told me I craved love. My subconscious mind drove the self-sabotaging behavior. It’s not a great place to be.

Like Ning being gently reprimanded by her bridesmaids, I was taken aside by a friend one night and told that I was being very mean to a man that was being very nice to me. I was genuinely shocked. I remember looking back at her and making some kind of lame excuse. Her reply was “You don’t even KNOW him. Be nice.” And off she went (thanks, Lis).

Sometimes it takes someone else to point out the things we can’t see.

It wasn’t until I focused on myself – my self-worth, my resilience, my dreams and my gifts and strengths that Handsome Hubby appeared. In fact, a few months before I met him I’d decided that I’d rather be single than in another heartbreaking relationship, and was living my life my way.

Not pretending I didn’t want a relationship. Meaning it. TRULY letting go. There’s a huge difference.

But back to Ning. This is what I would love to say to Ning.

Ning, there are no guarantees in life. Sometimes a risk is necessary. People are people and we have the capacity to hurt and disappoint others, sometimes through no fault of our own. Some relationships, for a multiple of reasons, do not work out. Some relationships end because one person decides to move on (and it can hurt!). Some relationships end because the soul of our partner decides it’s time to leave its mortal coil. Life looks at our plans and laughs at them. We don’t know the future.

But YOU, Ning, appear to be a rocking mum of 3 and a very successful business owner. YOU tell us you focus on living an authentic life. TRUST in your faith. TRUST in your strength. TRUST in your resilience. TRUST in yourself. Let your walls down and TRUST that, no matter what happens, YOU will handle it. Have FAITH in that truth.

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