Why Are We Afraid of What We Want?
On the face of it, love is something that almost everyone would say they want, need and/or would like to have. In reality, so many of us struggle with the fear of love. In all forms – love between partners, love in a family, love of friends, love of humanity – we find the resistance and misunderstanding that has fear at its core. To truly love and be loved you have to be vulnerable, but without expectation and/or unhealthy attachment. Love is no small feat! Fear rushes in when we feel unable to figure out our relationships to people and to life. The prospect of being rejected or disappointed is sometimes overwhelming. Even when someone thinks that they live with an open heart and mind to love, they can be self-sabotaging, often with no conscious awareness.
If love is something we think we want, why isn’t it easier to have? What does it mean to live in love, instead of fear? Take a moment to think about what the “fuel” is that you use to run your life. By that, I mean what is it that energizes most of your interactions with others and defines the situations you find yourself in? Are you motivated by fear, concerned that if you don’t do the “right thing,” you won’t have love and happiness? What would “living in love” look like?
Fear is filled with anxiety, distance, competition, and stress. Love is accepting, nurturing and constant, even if you think you have a lack of it. Love is a natural state for humans and the universe. It is our fear that creates strife, distrust, unhappiness and, on the larger scale, world conflict. Unfortunately, people tend not to enjoy love. They distrust it, especially if it seems present all the time. Humanity is not wired to accept abundant love. So many people have been brought up around anger, envy, jealousy, bitterness, and very little love.
Scared to Trust Your Feelings
Love is about trust and most importantly, self-trust. How can you trust anyone else if you don’t believe in yourself? So many people are scared to trust their feelings, their decisions and who they really are. The fear of judgment and rejection can dictate your life. Past hurt, betrayal, abandonment, and/or disappointments can be internalized, and then become a forecast for what you expect in your life. On the surface, remaining fearful, hanging out on the sidelines of love and connection is a self-protective gesture. Who would want to be hurt again? Of course, it makes perfect sense to react this way, but not practical sense if you want to move beyond painful incidents in your past. Once again, fear is trying to tell you something. Our hearts close when we are fearful. How can we stay open to give and receive love?
Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives explore over 20 personal development books including Stop The Struggle, Bullying, Love/Divorce, Grief, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.
Image courtesy of Brigitte Tohm.