All I do is type that word and then sit here with the cursor blinking. Is it an emotion? A psychological state? A survival tool? All of these?
I am thinking about fear this morning as the ever elusive player in emotional relationships. (Not exactly the same fear that comes when you sense a physical threat but certainly connected through survival instincts). The fear that doesn’t necessarily serve us anymore and perhaps never truly did. The fear that was developed as a form of protection and has integrated itself so seamlessly that it is challenging to know where it begins and ends.
Fear is an amazing force that has depth of power which can dictate behavior and choices. It can be used as a conscious tool of manipulation, be running the show unknown from behind the scenes and it can also be any variation in between. It is a great motivator and sometimes a tireless adversary.
I personally watch how fear moves for me and I can honestly say it has often been an amazing barometer encouraging me to pursue things in my life. If I am afraid of something (like a gig, opportunity or trip) it typically means it is important to me and I choose to not shy away from it.
There is also the fear that comes up in emotionally charged situations that can narrow my vision or perspective and influence my behavior in unhelpful ways. It is these moments I am putting my attention towards more and more these years. Trying to lift layers of ‘me’ and understand the root of the fears because they are rarely about the situation at hand. There is a complicated art form of knowing these fears under the surface and what is the perceived ‘threat’. It takes a bit of reflection after the moment to ask questions and bring a gentle curiosity.
Whether with a friend, family or lover we all experience these moments of fear and how they can derail us. Next time you have had an emotionally intense exchange or argument perhaps take the time afterward to ask yourself what you were afraid of. Just continue to gently ask and see if you hear any reply/answers. The more wisdom and insight we have around what we are afraid of……. the more we know where to guide our love towards and within ourselves. Sometimes the best way to meet fear is by simply acknowledging it and holding it close with loving arms. This approach worked when we were kids……..and I know it still goes a long way when I am able to hold myself now.
The power of reflection and curiosity is there for each of us to grow our personal wisdom. Sometimes it is less about the situation itself……. and more about what we can learn for ourselves about love and fear through it.
Thanks for reading…and loving