Some of my personality traits are directly stemmed from fear. What I once thought were very much aspects of my “aspiness,” I see are/were merely coping mechanism in attempt to adapt to the way I see the world.
Primarily, from birth, the world has seemed an unsafe place. It was not until I risked my greatest self and outpoured my authentic fears and misgivings that I was able to unleash this fear that had for so long been my bed partner.
For decades, I carried fear with me, as if fear was my only shield. In fact, oftentimes I mistook fear as a friend. Looking back, I understand I chose fear and “he” did not choose me. I chose fear because, though fear be an illusion, at the time this emotion seemed the only emotion I could comprehend, in essence the only emotion I could feel. Fear was my feeling. Encompassing fear, virtually sprouting off of his imagined edges, were his dynamo of legions, his mutant henchmen, cloaked in garbs of: abandonment, not-enough, isolation, never good, ugly, stupid, crazy, and so on.
The illusions dangled in front of me, and, in so doing, led me to latch on to more fear, for as I was lost in the dance of unworthiness, I had no one to turn to but fear. Fear became my shadow, the very essence of what I projected outward and how I walked in the world.
People could sense this—my fear. What I thought were off springs of my love, e.g., smothering with attention, care-taking, continually checking in, over-sharing, creating, placating, agreeing, giving, being there, listening, etc., were in actuality further illusion. My love for another did not exist. My love for others could not exist because my love for self did not yet exist. And as I had no love for myself, the only thing I could find was fear, and the only thing I could manifest was fear.
Today I am only beginning to understand the concept of love because I am only just beginning to accept and love myself in completion. The more I do, the more I step away from fear; the more I step away, the clearer my vision becomes. The removal of self from the circus-ring of fear resembles the removal of residue from a glass-window. I spray the film with love, and the love washes away the illusion, revealing the beauty of existence.
Fear is more so a drug to me now than a partner. He is enticing and familiar; however I recognize the dangers. I loose myself in fear. When with fear, my energy is not my own, and I become unhealthy in behaviors which affect myself and those around me. I feed off the fear by attempting to suck up the love from others, perhaps in the form of approval. I feed off the fear by taking myself out of the picture and focusing on what is outside of myself.
In fear someone or something is wrong. Whether this wrong is assumed to be in a behavior, a projected outcome, a circumstance or in self alone, makes no difference, for illusion exists regardless. In attaching onto the illusion of fear, something neutral turns to something beyond neutral.
In applying fear, I judge. In a sense fear and judgment are one. Although I understand the two vary: fear is an illusion and judgment is a response to fear. Yet still, to see another openly without judgment can produce no fear.
People judge to understand, or so they think. They judge to categorize and make sense, or so they think. But as young children we survived without such categorization. We existed to play, to laugh, to feel joy, and to openly give without reason or intention. We loved.
When judgment slipped in, a behavior/reaction repeatedly mirrored by society, fear slipped in as well. This isn’t to say judgment is the only sub-product of fear, but it is a very large portion.
Fear often stems from the inability to accept self and love self. In fear, a person projects himself onto others, finding the others’ flaws and differences; or in cases of fondness, a person picks and chooses the character traits of another that he or she likes. What we forget is that inevitably everything and everyone will change and transition, for nothing is stagnant and no one remains entirely the same, predictable, and unmoving. To initiate friendship and/or love based on judgment and evaluation denotes eventual failure, unless the illusion of fear is lifted. In false-love various aspects are appreciated and various aspects are disregarded. And in so doing, an individual hopes in someway that the aspects he has chosen to appreciate will grow and the aspects he has chosen to disregard shall simply disappear. Furthermore, we apply the aspect of hope, hoping the other might change to our liking, improve, or learn from us. This is not unconditional love. This is love and/or union based on judgment. This is love based on fear.
To love fully one must remove him or herself from the equation, to remove the judge, and become less judger and more lover. This, the removing of judge, is an impossibility until the aspect of self-love is grasped. When one loves self, he or she sees the beauty in everyone. This is a truth.
When one loves self, he or she sees straight to the core of the other person and sees a reflection of self. He or she sees a person just as self; a person trying his or her best to walk in this world. The rest are illusions. The doubts, the fears, the misgivings, and even the non-trusting. A person who loves self recognizes these truths and a gentle knowing radiates from his or her being. People are naturally attracted to a person choosing to release judgment. There is a safety there, a familiarity of home.
In this knowing the onlooker accepts the other as equally one without judgment and without fear. This is true love and this is the only love possible. All other concepts are intruders and imaginary games.
Some of my past behaviors based on fear that I thought was part of “me” that I could not change:
1. Over analyzing what someone has written or spoken and trying to figure out the meaning. I was over analyzing in an attempt to protect myself. I thought I needed protection from the other person hurting me. I over analyzed to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreted, misunderstood, seen in the “wrong” light, taken the “wrong” way, and/or in attempt to catch hints of how the other person “saw” me. Basically, I wanted to try to make sure the other person liked or, better yet, loved me. The focus was on self and self alone. What did this person say that reflects me as a person?
2. Obsessing over someone. I mistook this as a physical and/or spiritual attraction. What was indeed going on was primarily bio-chemical fed by my fears. While I do believe in kindred spirits, I do not believe that when I am obsessing and/or acting in an addicted manner that this is an indication of love or even passion. I believe obsessive behavior about another person stems from not feeling worthy enough in the core of self. How can I make this person see and love me?
3. Talking a lot. When I first meet someone I tend to go overboard and over share. In a huge way there is something chemical going on in my brain, there is a need to verbally process and I feel release when I am done. I usually do what I would call “over-sharing” the first two or three times I am with someone in conversation, especially if one-on-one. I thought this was something out of my control, a part of my wiring. To a degree there are elements that present this as a truism: that indeed I do need to verbally process to relieve the pressure inside of me. I do not know if this behavior will stop completely but I know it can transition. I recognize when I feel at peace I don’t need to over share. I am recognizing too that I have the power to choose what I share about. I can withhold words that don’t benefit me or another. When I am coming from a place of fear, I am thinking: How can I make this person know me? Or look how smart I am!
4. Over-giving. When I find myself creating for someone else repeatedly in the form of poetry, stories, paintings, or the like, or in the form of service, such as cleaning or giving of my time, then I know I am over-giving because I am in need of love and recognition. When this happens, I am not feeling filled within self and think that if I give enough to another, they will 1) See how lovely and giving I am and 2) Eventually give back. This is again conditional love. This is love based on return. I am thinking: How can I get more love from them? Look how giving I am.
5. Being short or disappearing. In conversation I might not answer back or provide little responses, hoping the other person will notice that I am upset or need validation. To me this feels like game-playing. I am essentially wanting attention and wanting love. I am learning to ask for love when I need it, instead of hoping the other person will feel bad enough to give me something that resembles love, but feels more like pity. Love me, Pleaseeeee.
It is exhausting to always focus on self while at the same time fooling myself into thinking I am being loving and have the other person’s interest in mind. For me, it is far easier to just love self and then in return love others.
24 thoughts on “358: Love or Fear? Learning to let go of behaviors.”
More hugely incisive insight. Now you’re aware of all this, it will begin to lose all power and become your servant, not master.
Very much agree with Harry. Great introspection showing a switch of your inner life. Through such amazing awareness & such eloquent verbalization… essential changes occurs.
Thank you for your continued kindness. Your heart really shines when your write. It’s a gift. ❤
What a grand thing to say… it feels that way, too. That ah!ha! of haven’t I known this already forever? It came with some more insights too that were very freeing and healing. 🙂
I am still really struggling with this.
I have been struggling with this most of my life. I understand; and I am human and will slip repeatedly again and again; but that’s okay. Hugs ❤
Self-Love is a concept that perpetually eludes my grasp. Still working on it, thought.
I had to want to love others unconditionally before I was able to realize I need to love my self first. I wanted to feel a true, unheavy, unburdened connection… I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. I was tired of living in the pain. Hugs to you and thank you for sharing. ❤
WOW! I relate very much here! I just wrote a post on one of my blogs about fear. I too am processing this emotion, but the root of it whether in my emotional state or in my physical state stems mostly from lacking love for myself. It is because of my self-doubt that causes Mr. Fear to creep in and lead my actions and thoughts. But not today I say! Not today! 🙂
Tomorrow is another day with its own challenges and blessings. There are so many pathways to open up in my mind that have been bound and locked away because of fear. I am only beginning to realize self-love and I have been working at accepting myself not only in word, but in action.
My constant need for “the one” whether in friendship, family, or significant other was me longing to find connection with myself. This understanding is new, but is also very freeing. I am also, seeing relationships in my life with much more clarity now that I have started to establish boundaries, which is something who loves themselves does, they set healthy boundaries because they believe they are valuable enough to set them.
I did not understand that before …
Onward and upward we go down the paths of life wonderland that spills out spectrals of lovelies and pain along the way. I think it smells like daisies. Hee hee
right there with you sweet sister ❤
I’ve been working on this concept for quit a while now, up untill about a year or so, I was operating under the fear concept in most aspects of my life, and it caused so many things to get worse for me and my family. For me, Love meant protection from fear..to find, and to give..protection from fear. I an striving to get to the place that I knew before the fear..but I see fear memories all the way back to the crib. I think through reading and therapy, I will do it, because I know what I’m looking for now.
I might right a post on my process to get here. I had so much work I went through…. multiple 12-steps, reading tons of books, small group therapy, one one one therapy (lke 6 or 7 therapists!) It wasn’t like this year I woke up and was healed…I did sooooo much work and it was a constant in my day for a very long time. Buddhist books did help me significantly, though, and the Course in Miracles. Well, and just so much other stuff. I think I listened to everything Wayne Dyer ever wrote and I use to call him Wayne Dryer… lol dyslexia. I read quantum physic books, Biology of Belief… I came at my brain at all angles so I would have the back story to talk myself into love…. sounds odd, but I think you get it… Maybe that’s a post the Back Story. :)))
Thank you Sam, you have been most kind and helpful to me in my journey to wellness. I LOVE to read, and as such have done so for years and years. A very helpful book was ‘The Drama of The Gifted Child’, I think Im going to have to go back and skim all the books I’ve read, but this time with the understanding of Aspergers, and it’s role in my behavour, I think that may help. Your personal story has helped me understand myself beyond measure, and for that, I will be forever greatful..and consider myself very lucky to have met you. 🙂
big hugs to you 🙂
As my cousin said to me, “You are on the good search.”
nice words. Thanks Ted. 🙂 WE be on the good search, indeed.
I sort of relate to this post. I recently just wrote a post on fear myself, but it seems my fear is a little different? I have never been without fear, but the fear doesn’t seem to be involving human relationships. If someone dislikes me, I do feel bad, but I can’t play any kind of social game about it. I’ve spent years working on it and while I’ve gotten better, it still needs work and I still have a lot to uncover. I know I’m certainly not the most trusting person, I’ve been burned a lot, but if I do something nice it’s because that’s what should be done. But I have a lot of issues that need working on, lol.
Thank you for sharing. I cannot play social games either. If I am displaying a behavior that isn’t authentic it is only because I am unaware I am doing it. Once I become aware, I can only be me. I used to fake my personality, and that made me physically sick. We all need work..I think anyhow 🙂
Whilst on holiday in France recently it dawned on me that I spend my entire life ‘bathed’ in fear. I don’t know why until now it didn’t occur to me that it wasn’t normal. I was out walking with my husband when I realised I was gripped with fear in a most beautiful part of the world and not enjoying any element of it. I said to myself ‘this has just got to stop’. Frightened of the cows, frightened of other dogs, frightened of people, frightened of the wind, was the ferry journey home the next day going to be be windy and horrible? Noise is my worst fear by far. It is so stressful. I seem to spend my life on the verge of an anxiety attack. I have suffered anxiety attacks in the past so I know what I am talking about. I am even frightened of the door bell. I am never ever truly relaxed. Even when I shut myself away which I do daily, I fear, again, the door bell, a knock at the door. Just a visit to the shops is a massive challenge. It’s noisy on the main road and that makes me jump. Am I going to see somebody I will have to talk to. How can somebody live like this. It feels like I am on high alert all the time. My French house is in some respects a safe haven because it is very remote but it has a really loud door bell lol. Now I am aware of this I am trying to work on it. Sat here now I don’t feel too bad but I am wondering if my Dad will pop round soon so I will listen out for every car, go and look and see if it is him, shall I put the coffee on now just in case? He may not come round, why wont he just text me before he turns up? Oh god! Don’t get me started on socialising and fear! Hugs from England Sam, remarkable post and very timely.
I am so sorry I took so long to get back to you. Yours was a wonderful comment. I really appreiciate you sharing; and here I took so long to respond. In the last week I have been able to at last walk through my days without this fear….it has been so freeing. I so understand what you are describing above. Seems like me talking, in fact. Thank you again; and much love to you.
“Today I am only beginning to understand the concept of love because I am only just beginning to accept and love myself in completion. The more I do, the more I step away from fear; the more I step away, the clearer my vision becomes.”
This might be the reason psychologists call Mindfulness based on CBT. Because Mindfulness let our vision clear which is a cognition therapy.
“In fear, a person projects himself onto others, finding the others’ flaws and differences; or in cases of fondness, a person picks and chooses the character traits of another that he or she likes.”
This is really myself. Now I feel understand why “someone picks and chooses the character traits of another that he or she like” can be an indicator of not-love but emotional attachment. And here is a question, “If I thank to someone’s behavior, then would this be identified as a projection myself onto others?” How about praising others?
“When one loves self, he or she sees straight to the core of the other person and sees a reflection of self. He or she sees a person just as self; a person trying his or her best to walk in this world. The rest are illusions. The doubts, the fears, the misgivings, and even the non-trusting.”
I am curious what “a person trying his or her best to walk in this world” is meant for exactly. Definitely, that indicates that you don’t judge a person. And in a society, most people are seemed to consider trust as an important virtue. Even my mother, who runs her company, sometimes emphasize the maintaining trust, associating her damaging for not keeping promises.
” I am learning to ask for love when I need it, instead of hoping the other person will feel bad enough to give me something that resembles love, but feels more like pity. Love me, Pleaseeeee.”
This seems really innocent and pure.
To ask for love when I need it… I don’t imagine how this works. And may some fellows deny that for the reason you need more self loving.
Really thanks. And now I am thinking whether if I have my own self accepting, then she who I loves(???SHIT) would loves me or not…
“People are naturally attracted to a person choosing to release judgment. There is a safety there, a familiarity of home.”
trying to be the best person they know how 🙂 thank you for your insights 🙂