Today fear is rampant in all areas of our lives. There are many ways we seek safe harbor, a place to feel protected and cared for. Many turn to relationships for security and comfort. Then, a paradoxical thing happens, the relationship itself becomes a cause of fear. What makes this happen? How do we build fearless relationships, based on courage and good will?
It has been said that there are only two emotions: love and fear. For some of us, oddly, love is frightening, while fear feels safe. We think fear will warn us of danger and keep us alert. We are taught it
can be dangerous to be trusting; that love can make us weak. We begin to distrust our partners, our feelings and ourselves. This is the work of fear, creating confusion and lies.
In fact, it is fear that cannot be trusted; fear is a liar that undermines our basic sense of confidence, clarity and good will. It makes us prey to those who wish to control or attack us in various ways. Self-hatred, one of the main psychological illnesses in this country, is fuelled by fear. It infects every aspect of our being and undermines the very core of our relationships. The original love of life, curiosity, playfulness and joy we are born with is wiped away.
There is no place where fear manifests more directly than in relationships. As we become vulnerable, we simultaneously become afraid of rejection or loss. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to learn and practice the principles of fearless relationships, to learn how to dissolve fear on the spot. As we do so, we naturally discover where to put our trust, and how to become strong and safe, no matter what life brings. In this process, we are creating fearless relationships, relationships based upon good will and trust.
One of the most common causes of fear in relationships is the fear of rejection, of not being good enough, or able to satisfy our partners or ourselves. When this fear becomes active, we twist and turn ourselves into a pretzel, become someone we aren’t to get the love and acceptance we crave. However, this craving is a drug and the more we get, the more we want; and ultimately, the emptier we become. But it is only the false self that demands this, the self that is fuelled by fear. The truth is that you can never change enough or do enough to “make” someone love you. This is only the voice of fear speaking, turning the truth upside down.
No matter how much praise the ego receives, it never feels really approved of or loved. By its very nature, the ego is skittish, fearful and ungrounded. It constantly craves more and feels threatened regularly. The ego cannot distinguish between what is useless and what is valuable. It eats too much, makes wrong choices and refuses to face reality. When two egos join together for a love relationship, sooner or later, they become shipwrecked, and wonder what went wrong.
Although we spend much of our time and energy building the ego, we do not realize that who we are is intrinsically perfect, lovable and complete. If we turn to a relationship to validate or complete ourselves, we are bound to suffer. No matter how many times Amy’s boyfriend told her he loved her, she didn’t believe it. She needed to hear it again and again. “Why do you love me?” she kept asking. Of course this became exhausting for her boyfriend, who, feeling drained, ultimately left. Why would we cling to our disturbing egos? Because we have no idea how magnificent we truly are.
There is another way to proceed. Use your relationship as a teacher to find out who you really are and discover the difference between real and counterfeit love. Learn the basic principles of fearless relationships, absorb these principles, live with them and practice them day by day.
About the Author
Learn how to release fear and build fearless relationships in Fearless (The 7 Principles of Peace of Mind), by Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.d. Dr Shoshanna is a psychologist, relationship expert, author and workshop leader who’s work is dedicated to helping you release your fears, build fearless relationships and live life to the brim. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.becomefearless.org