Thursday, 11 July 2013

What Do you Trust - Fear or Love?


I write this essay in the hope that people will not close out love because of their fear. Unfortunately so many of us do and I find 

this very sad.

Most of us are more afraid than we think, the following essay discusses how we can cheat ourselves out of so many wonderful things because of fear. Worth thinking about.









I write this essay in the hope that people will not close out love because of their fear. Unfortunately so many of us do and I find 
this very sad.

Most of us are more afraid than we think, the following essay discusses how we can cheat ourselves out of so many wonderful things because of fear. Worth thinking about.


Whitney Houston portrayed her meaning of real love when she sang the words “I’ve found the greatest love of all inside of me.” When that song was released almost twenty years ago, I barely understood what these words meant. Today however, I truly understand the concept of these words. Whitney Houston was telling us through her music, that there is no higher love than loving yourself unconditionally. When a person trusts love, they are able to love themselves. When it is fear they trust, the opposite is true. Until we can love ourselves with no strings attached, flaws and all, then we will never be able to love another human being unconditionally, and without fear.


Part of loving ourselves is letting go of the fear that we are not good enough or unlovable. On an unconscious level, many of us believe we are not worthy of love. We don’t know what it means to love and appreciate ourselves. We will constantly put ourselves down, not realising how damaging this is to our self-esteem. We often treat ourselves with disrespect, make decisions and react to emotions that are completely fear based.


We don’t often think to commit our spare time to learning about our feelings and emotions. Who has the time? However this kind of attention to ourselves is time worth spending. Learning to take care of ourselves in this way will allow us to grow and change as individuals and become more confident, loving and more importantly, more emotionally intelligent and fearless. Spending time on ourselves can be extremely revealing and can be like opening up the proverbial can of worms. Feelings and emotions that have been bottled up for years can come pouring out, in a torrent of tears or anger. This process can also be challenging, exciting, sad, scary and very revealing.


Doing this kind of work allows us to learn how to deal with our emotions and feelings in a more constructive way. Because we are not taught how to deal with our feelings, we will act out what we have learnt and seen as children and what we have experienced in previous relationships. Emotional intelligence classes were not offered at school (perhaps they should be, given the rising divorce rate). It is possible that when many of us were growing up, we were taught that anger, fear, anxiety and sadness are bad feelings and bad feelings should not be expressed. We feel what we feel, and we deal with our feelings in a way that is comfortable to us; however this is not always the healthiest or best option for us to take.


Stepping outside our comfort zone feels scary and at the same time it can feel uplifting. Taking a risk to stretch a little and move beyond our comfort zone is definitely an exercise in self-love. With every situation in life, every action we take, every thought we have, we will either react from a place of fear or a place of love. So, I will ask the question again: What do you trust, fear or love?


Reacting from a place of love takes immense courage as we are programmed to listen to our fears, and act with caution and safety. It is possible to feel love and fear at the same time, for instance; when we meet someone that we are really attracted to, we may fear that they do not feel the same way. This can then lead us to behaving self destructively by not being ourselves and tying to impress this person all because we want this person to like us. The tricky part is moving past the fear, being authentic, loving ourselves, no matter what the object of our affection thinks of us.


Letting go of the fear and practising self love enables us to love others. We cannot do any of our relationships justice if we are stuck in fear. When we become stuck in fear we remain powerless to move forward in our relationships and carry a loving attitude. Our fears arise from something within ourselves. Many of us believe fear comes from outside forces operating against us; this is not so. Fear is something unresolved that lives inside of us. Circumstances in our day to day lives could trigger our fear, but it is our hearts and minds that build it up and keep it going. Letting go of fear is hard, as our feelings and emotions seem so real. What we are really doing is attempting to cover whatever it is that we don’t want our loved ones to know about us. Interestingly enough our perceptions of ourselves are usually way off. We may, for example; feel unworthy of someone’s love, however that someone quite often knows better. This is an example of fear running our lives. We are all worthy of love, every single one of us.


Most people have a primary fear; for example, a fear of rejection or abandonment. Something will usually trigger that fear and if we can identify the trigger that activates our fears, then we can work towards de-activating it. Otherwise we can get caught in a vicious circle that will lead to self destructive patterns of behaviour. Fear will block our feelings of love and we will feel stuck and be unable to adopt a loving attitude.


To use the example of fear of rejection or abandonment; suppose we feel ignored by someone and this feeling triggers our fears of rejection or abandonment. It is not just a feeling of rejection that comes up, our emotions may snowball and other fears might be activated. In our minds we will build evidence against the person we feel has rejected us and then we build evidence against ourselves. We might feel unlovable, worthless, helpless, angry or inadequate. That’s a lot of negative emotions just snowballing all around us, a very, heavy dose of fear indeed.


So how do we eradicate fear once we become stuck? To put it simply by being ourselves, by loving ourselves for what and who we are. Sounds very easy, but it isn’t when we are stuck in a cycle of fear and negative emotions. Identifying our main trigger that activates our fears will enable us to recognise fear and attempt to switch gears. We will not succeed every time however, but if we are aware of our thoughts and feelings, most of the time we will be able to feel these feelings and then move past the fear.


Another method for deactivating our fear is asking ourselves what sort of qualities we admire in others. We can paint a mental picture of our heroes, people whom we admire and list their qualities, qualities that we ourselves would love to possess. Guess what happens? We become aware of some of those qualities within ourselves. What we see in others is also within us. We could look at the qualities that our parents have. If our mother is an honest and loving person, then we are honest and loving also. If our father is a kind and considerate person, then we also share these gifts. We may not see it, but others can, our loved ones know what qualities we possess, which is why they want to be around us. We are able to claim these wonderful gifts as part of our inner self.


Being honest with ourselves and with others is another step towards eradicating fear and creating self love. Being authentic and true to ourselves, showing love and compassion to others are all ways in which we can get free of fear. Be proactive and make time in our day to carry out things that allow us to express and get in touch with our positive attributes. Make a list of actions that feel good to us and take steps to do a few of these things each day. This could mean writing in a journal, or expressing our compassionate selves by helping a friend in need. We could send our partner a love note, and thus allow us to express our loving side.


As we take these actions we will dispel our fears and eventually feel a sense of peace, joy, self confidence and self acceptance. It isn’t easy to get out our own way and be proactive. We all experience bad days, filled with those negative, fearful thoughts, however it is how we react to those thoughts and feelings that matters. Start out slowly and build it up, by monitoring our feelings and thoughts and doing simple things that make us feel good. Some people may feel this is selfish. These are not selfish actions, keep going. The more we can love ourselves, the better we can love our partners, families, friends, children and the like. The more we focus and practice dealing with fear the better at it we will become. Believe it or not, fear handled in a wise and proactive manner will eventually become our friend. Fear will tell us that there is work to be done. Managing our fear will lead us back to a place of love, and love is really where we all want to be.



Copyright © 2007 Janelle Coulton


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