New To You (Growth)

The Song


New to you - Lyrics
Words and music by Angie Nussey

I’ve spent most of my life
trying to prove...
I could be good for somebody like you.
I’ve spent most of my time
trying to lose...
the demons that constantly fight for untruth.

We’ve come so far.
We beat the odds. We beat the odds.
But nothing comes…
without a cost. Without a cost.

You’ve become so new to me.
You’ve become so new.
You’ve become so new to me.
Can I be new to you?
Can I be new to you?

We spend most of our lives
building up walls,
always protecting what’s precious inside.
Then we carefully bare
what seems like it all,
but no matter what there’s still something we hide.

We’ve come so far.
We beat the odds. We beat the odds.
But nothing comes…
without a cost. Without a cost.

You’ve become so new to me.
You’ve become so new.
You’ve become so new to me.
Can I be new to you?
Can I be new to you?

You’ve a few more grey hair on your head.
You’ve a few more wrinkles by your eyes.
I see it everywhere we go…
people always look at you and smile.
Your heart, it fills a room.
I love to stand by you.
You have become so new.
You have become so new.

You’ve become so new to me.
You’ve become so new.
You’ve become so new to me.
Can I be new to you?
Can I be new to you?

The Story

“Love is not a transaction. Love is a beautiful thing that happens within you.”
~ Sadhguru.

One evening, Quentin(Q) and I were in the bathroom brushing our teeth before bed. He pulled me in close and as we were hugging in front of the mirror, he jokingly commented on how tired and old we looked. It was like he’d jabbed a knife into my heart. I remember thinking: “I don't look tired and old! I am glowing and have never been more beautiful in my entire life!”

By this point, we were six years into our relationship and we’d been struggling, trying to break free from the dysfunctional patterns we’d set up early on. We were in the process of reinventing our relationship and ourselves and I just couldn’t believe that he wasn’t recognizing the woman I’d become. I silently walked out of the bathroom with New to You writing itself from my aching chest. I fell asleep singing into my phone, tears rolling down my cheeks. It was a moment of desperation, and like so many other songs and stories that are written while in the eye of the storm, it was only after the storm passed that I understood the underlying meaning and significance of New to You.

Romantic love can be a fickle thing. My current belief is that I can’t hold on to romantic love too tightly or else I’ll lose it. And, while I love to dance through the amazing and sometimes heartbreaking chapters of romantic love, there is always another kind of love that is constantly trying to show itself from within. It is the love I turn to when there’s no one else around to prove I'm loveable. When I attach myself to romantic love or any other kind of love for that matter, I tend to forget about this other, infinite love. It is the “forgetting” that seems to be the root of my many heartbreaks.

In the times when I can’t remember how to access infinite love, I end up continually trying to obtain it from romantic love interests, jobs, fans, whatever else I can find that is outside of me. I call this the “bird-in-a-cage” syndrome. A perpetual need to capture and hold onto beautiful things that create wonderful feelings.

Sometimes I wish I’d heard of people like Sadhguru, Teal Swan, and Eckhart Tolle earlier in life so I could have saved myself from years of heartache and embarrassing behaviours. But then again, what would life be without the journey? So, let me tell you about how this “bird-in-a cage” pattern revealed itself.

When Q and I first met, we were head over heels in love. We both felt overwhelmed and elated by the magnetic energy between us. He was the most incredible person I’d ever met and he was absolutely fascinated by me. It was like we were high on each other! We quickly forgot how to generate infinite love from within and instead became dependent on the feel-good fix that each other's love provided. As our dynamic of co-dependency developed, it was as though we’d said to each other:

Me: “You make me feel like the best version of myself and I want to feel this way forever so can you please promise, with all of your heart, that you'll continue to make me feel good?”

Q: Absolutely! In fact, let’s seal the deal by signing a marriage contract. We’ll make it official in front of all of our family and friends.

Me: YES!!! I’ll own you and you’ll own me and we can finally trust that we will be responsible for each other’s happiness forever and ever.”

Q: Sign me up!

Of course, this conversation didn’t actually happen and these words were never said aloud. Then again, many of our deepest truths are never spoken.

About a year after our promises were made and contracts were signed, we realized there was resentment building between us. We had formed our relationship by playing roles and we were getting tired of holding to them. Q’s role was that of the wise, calm, decisive leader and mine was of the artistic, inconsistent, and emotional “need-er” (yes, I made that word up just for this sentence). The roles worked well in the beginning when we were blissed out, but it was becoming clear that we were not actually fulfilling the true aspects of who we were as individuals. Q was getting tired of being responsible for my happiness and I was definitely tired of being the needy one.

There was so much love between us, but it was starting to be eclipsed by the intense resentment we had built up from trying to remain in our respective roles. Together, we deduced that the main problem was that we had formed a co-dependent relationship. So, the most logical solution we could come up with at the time was for the (seemingly) dependent person (Moi) to learn how to be less dependent. Sounds logical, right? And so, I began a long series of efforts to move into a more stable and self-sufficient mental and emotional space. The upside of this was that I found the best counsellors, books, and meditations and they always pointed in the same direction:

Love yourself independently of any other person’s thoughts about you. For me, facing the belief that I am unlovable has been an ongoing battle. This core belief caused me to repeatedly look to others in order to prove my worth. Changing this pattern and belief has taken a lot of discipline. But like a ninja in training, I started learning how to change my thoughts around self-compassion and self-love.

The downside of this endeavour was that despite our well-intentioned plan for the development of my mental and emotional independence, Q and I found ourselves, three years later, in a much more challenging predicament. Instead of bringing us closer together, an even bigger wedge had grown between us. Our cage was starting to feel very small. This became all too evident in our 6th year together, the night I wrote New to You. That night, while looking in the mirror with Q, I realized how much I had grown as a person. I no longer needed to rely on Q for support. I could rely on myself. And yet, he still saw me as my former self and had been treating me like we were in the same entangled relationship of our past. I knew I would not be happy in our relationship with this kind of imbalance. I could feel the storm brewing, but I had no idea how to express this or how to change the way he saw me. After all, everything I’d learned in the past three years was about allowing others to see me however they wished. This became a conundrum and I almost resigned myself to a mediocre, resentment filled relationship with Q until “death do us part”. But, like so many other things in life, the universe intervened and that was not the path we took.

The sneaky secret we eventually learned about co-dependent relationships is that they are impossible to form unless BOTH parties play their dysfunctional roles. In our case, I’d become dependent on Q to satisfy my role as a “needer” while Q had become dependent on me to satisfy his role as a “saver.” This meant that, in order to keep each other caged, I would have to act like I needed him so that he could feel loved and he would have to act like he wanted to save me so that I could feel loved.

Q and I didn’t know about the co-creative concept of co-dependent relationships while in the storm of year 6. I may have done some self-development work but I was not exactly good at applying it. So, we made the ultimate inner-work-rookie decision. We broke up. Satisfaction and happiness was bound to be somewhere else. And we were both ready to fly ourselves into seemingly new and better cages.

Although we’d broken up, we decided to continue living together for a few months in order to get ourselves ready for flight. And so we sat, like two birds on a branch, for an entire summer. We would talk for hours by the fire at night and we cried as we let go of each other piece by piece. It became evident that we had a powerful friendship regardless of our romantic relationship and, because of this, we decided to try ONE more thing before moving apart...we decided to go to counselling together. Before we left our one and only couples counseling session, we were told two things: One, it was possible for Q and I to work things out. And, two, no matter what we may have believed in the past, we were BOTH responsible for our break-up.

Our car ride home from counselling started off with the feeling that we had wasted our time and money and that we were never going to get through this together. But, then something happened. With absolutely nothing more to lose, we started telling the truth. They were small truths at first but we eventually got to the big ones. I finally asked him: “have you seriously never been attracted to anyone else in all the time we’ve been together?” And he answered with: “I think I’ve repressed so many of my feelings that I wouldn’t know it if I was.” And that was the truth of it. The nature of our co-dependent relationship had required that Q behave and speak in such a way that he would not disturb my insecurities. I suddenly understood why the wedge had grown between us. I had grown into someone powerful enough to handle his truths while also aware enough to know he was repressing them. He didn’t know this and, how could he have, we had never tested it. In order for us to free ourselves into a healthier relationship, he would have to be brave in sharing his truths and I would have to be grounded in accepting them. This seemed like a lot of work for both of us. At one point, Q said, “I don’t know if you’ll like the real me.” And I jokingly answered, “I don’t know if I’ll like the real you either, but since we’re already broken up, we don’t have a whole lot to lose!”

Exactly ONE day before I was to move out, with boxes packed and moving truck reserved, we decided to stay together and to try a new relationship.

Our new relationship required one vow: tell the truth, even if it kills you. A few years later we had to amend the vow to: tell the truth even if it kills the other person...because we realized we had been justifying some of our “white lies” and “omission of information” as an heroic effort not to hurt the other person. This created another wedge of distrust and, for us, it wasn’t worth it. In short, Q and I opened the cage doors.

Our new vows created space for the disentanglement process. It was quite tumultuous at first. I liken it to a scenario where someone makes an announcement like: “this is who I am today!” and then they duck behind the couch to see how the other will react. But, we discovered that every new and often disagreeable truth forced us to let go of each other and to remember the infinite love that we independently carry within ourselves. As the process of remembering unfolded, the true beauty of each other’s light started shining through and a whole new love and respect started growing.

It took almost a year before we got the hang of this new relationship. Then one day, as the storm was coming to an end, I was looking through old voice memos on my phone and I came across “New to You”. It brought me back to that moment of desperation when I’d recorded it. I immediately ran into the living room and played it for Q. It was so much more poignant after all that we’d been through. Such a simple lyric but it was saying the exact truth of what was happening in that moment:
“Can I be new to you”?
In other words: Can you trust me enough to share more of who you are?

“We spend most of our lives building up walls, always protecting what’s precious inside. Then we carefully bare what seems like it all, but no matter what there’s still something we hide.”

Isn’t life so easy to understand in hindsight?

Q and I have been together 14 years and there have been many more storms to weather. It takes a lot of courage to honour the new versions of ourselves that emerge over time. If we’re lucky, the other person accepts the new person with open wings. If not, sometimes we need to fly off in different directions for a while. But every new journey seems to encourage us to dig further into self-love and self-acceptance.

Sometimes, for fun, I like to direct the lyrics of “New to You” towards myself rather than Q. As good as it feels to share love and attention with a partner, there’s something infinitely more powerful in having deep acceptance of my ever-changing self.

Perhaps I should change the lyrics to “Can I be new to you? Cuz’ if not, Imma just go ahead and love myself deeply mmmkay.”
I’ll save that version for my next album entitled: “I STILL Have No Idea What I’m Doing.”

More Songs and Stories...

1. All Your Courage
released Dec. 1st, 2020

2.Forgotten Names
(Letting Go)
released Dec. 15th, 2020

3.We Sang American Pie
released Jan. 11th, 2021


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