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.