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?
You’ve probably had the experience in life when you’ve told a friend – perhaps at school – a secret, and then when the friendship changed, they betrayed your trust. Or maybe a parent embarrassed you at some point when you thought you were doing something bold and brave. So now you’ve learned to keep quiet, be reserved in your trust and remain on guard at all times at the prospect of being hurt. Even at times when it is so important to reach out, say if you are feeling depressed, you won’t talk about it because you’re terrified you’ll be judged.
When you shut down with yourself, you shut down to life.
Keeping secrets locked up inside you, because you are fearful of the world’s response, creates suffering. You must be honest and truthful with yourself in order to experience love in the true sense of the word.
Fear likes to jump out at us. Sometimes it is simmering over a long period of time but often it appears quickly, disguised as anger or avoidance. Stopping and sitting with fear is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Observe the physical sensation of fear. Be conscious of your breathing and how your body feels. Connecting with the actual sensations of fear can bring you closer to understanding what is behind it. It is not about banishing all fear, but the goal is to let love into the equation. Self-love and acceptance of others spills out into the world, and can counterbalance fear in every area of your life.