Posts Tagged ‘afraid’

"Blue Love" Oil on canvas, framed

“Blue Love”
Oil on canvas, framed

“But dear, don’t be afraid of love, it’s only magic.”

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Sade

I am waiting to get my car serviced and i am listening to Sade songs, and i must confess: I am obsessed with Sade.

I’m also a huge fan of her music…and I believe in love.

To get a glimpse into the many faces of love, we can look to Sade’s music, specifically to some of her deeply moving lyrics. There’s a resonance that is quintessentially Sade; she’s deep, sincere and soulful.

Over the years, I’ve gleaned many nuggets of truth about life and love through Sade’s music. These are a few things I’ve learned about love from my most favorite lines in her songs.

“I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul.” ~ King of Sorrow

Love is nourishing. Deep down, we all want a love that touches the very depth of our soul. We also yearn to give a part of us that will touch the hearts of our partner/lover/friend. To nourish is to share a part of ourselves with our beloved in a way that says, “Let my love feed your soul.”

“When you’re on the outside baby and you can’t get in, I will show you you’re so much better than you know. And when you’re lost, and you’re alone, and you can’t get back again, I will find you, darling and I’ll bring you home.” ~ By Your Side

Love is a guiding light. When we forget who we are, love is the gentle reminder that we are bigger than our troubles. It’s the light that leads us back to the deeper truth within.

“If someone has to lose, I don’t want to play.” ~ Somebody Already Broke My Heart

Love is fair. In the game of love, many of us play not to lose instead of playing to win. No one has to lose if both parties are clear on what they desire to experience in the relationship. Love can be win/win. Honesty, clarity is important, than you do not hurt other, and yourself will not get hurt. Lets not make love a game… it is not fair to play with feelings…

“I suppose I could just walk away. Will I disappoint my future if I stay?” ~ King of Sorrow

Love is an active choice. We often overlook the present and future cost of staying in a relationship that has run its course. We can choose to love our future selves by honoring where we are now. Not making a choice is still making a choice, so choosing to move your life forward requires a commitment to making powerful decisions for yourself and your life.

“If I tell you how I feel, will you keep bringing out the best in me?” ~The Sweetest Taboo

Love is vulnerable. Being vulnerable is like dancing naked in the rain. For a relationship to flourish we must be willing to tell the truth about our shortcomings and our mistakes; those things that make us human. It’s about being able to take ownership for those things we don’t necessarily like about ourselves. Being transparent cultivates trust and openness, which creates a deeper and more meaningful relationship. If we holding back, and not allowing another in our soul, it will destroy love in another and will lead nowhere. It is the hardest choice to be vulnerable in relationship, but that is love when you hope that person will love you enough not to break you.

“We have seen some suffering baby. It has not always been perfect. Darling we know it, whatever may come, we can get through it, as if it’s just begun.” ~ All About Our Love

Love is supportive. Just as the seasons pass, there will be peaks and valleys in all of our relationships. Loved ones will get sick, some will pass on, the economy will change and so will our life circumstances. Being supportive is more than just lending an ear; it’s opening ourselves up in all of our capacities whether it be financial, emotional or spiritual support. It’s extending ourselves in a way that cultivates well-being and healing.

“You forgive those who have trespassed against you. You know tenderness comes from pain.” ~ It’s Only Love That Gets You Through

Love is healing. Forgiveness is the catalyst to healing our pain. Holding on to grudges or past hurts allows wounds to stay open, and forgiveness can end the emotional suffering we put ourselves through. Forgiveness is that pathway to peace of mind and peace of heart.

“In my heart, your love has found the safest hiding place…. Your love’s in a sacred place.” ~ The Safest Place

Love is a sanctuary. When we feel battered and broken, we can find comfort and healing in the presence of a dear friend or our beloved. We can hold the space for our loved ones to get through difficult times. When we do this, we deepen our love and compassion for one another.

“Call on me baby, if there’s anything I can do for you. Please call on me baby, help me to see you through.” ~ Still In Love With You (Thin Lizzy Cover)

Love is complete. When a relationship ends, it doesn’t have to end with both parties feeling depleted or diminished in any way. We can speak to the deeper truth of our humanity and end things peacefully. We can speak our truth(s) and stay true to our higher selves; completing the relationship in integrity.

“Your kisses ring—round and round and round my head, touching the very part of me—it’s making my soul sing.” ~ Your Love Is King

Love is freeing. As ever expanding beings, we all have a deep desire to be fully self expressed, whether we’re in love or not. When we’re free, we free up those around us. When we have souls singing together, it invites us to dance with life…and who doesn’t want to be a part of that?

What’s your favorite Sade song and what does it mean to you?

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Yes, love is painful. But as C. S. Lewis suggests, we can respond to any relationship with either a closed, hellish heart, or an open, heavenly heart. If you keep your heart open, that same pain can become a purifying pain, a strengthening pain. If we choose forgiveness over bitterness, that pain can heal instead of hurt. Instead of a pain that divides, it can be a pain that binds

Here is some rules that I came up with using my past life experience…

1. When it arrives, cherish it.

2. Whatever you accept, you will get

3. Understand that love is a mirror—it will show us who we are if we allow it to.

4. Only we can make ourselves happy, it is not the other person’s responsibility.

5. Don’t say words with the intent to hurt.

6. Accept and forgive easily.

7. Don’t be scared to disagree, it is healthy.

8. Never be too busy for each other.

9. Do not punish.

10. Accept honest criticism, it is good for us.

11. Admit when you are wrong, quickly.

12. Support each other when the going gets tough.

13. Live in the moment—be present.

14. Leave the past where it belongs.

15. Leave drama out of it.

16) Don’t try to control

17. Allow a small amount of jealousy.

18. Don’t use comparisons.

19. Celebrate differences.

20. Communicate openly and honestly.

21. Listen very carefully.

22. Don’t judge.

23. Don’t manipulate to get results.

24. Learn and grow.

25. Don’t try to change each other.

26. Don’t condemn each other’s family and friends.

27. Lines, flaws and imperfections are beautiful.

28. Trust your instincts, but don’t be paranoid.

29. Don’t compromise your morals and values and don’t expect them to either.

30. Instead of power, aim for balance.

31. Space is needed to breathe and to grow.

32. Accept that you are both unique—never compare.

33. Have fun, laugh and play—a lot.

34. Be each other’s best friend.

35. Don’t play mind games.

36. Do not carelessly throw away love.

37. Don’t waste energy with negative thoughts.

38. Compliment often.

39. Discover each other.

40. Be attentive and understand what’s not said.

41. Do at least one romantic and thoughtful thing every day.

42. Take picnics and sleep under the stars.

43. Don’t just speak about it, show love.

44. Walk together, cook together, bathe together, read together.

45. Do not be afraid, love requires surrender.

46. Be loyal and faithful.

47. Trust.

48. Be grateful.

49. Fluidity is good, accept change.

50. Don’t sleep on a fight.

51. Don’t cling to it, know when to let go.

52. Discover what turns you both on and explore it.

53. Make love, but also f*ck (regularly).

54. Give and receive without measure.

55. Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.

learning what love is

learning what love is

Love feels unsafe.

To the little girl within me, love is unsafe.

To her, love means hurt.

Love means pain, trauma, inconsistency, insanity, and conditions.

Love was fucked up, twisted, and tied so deep into their self-hatred, that it came out wrapped in violence, rather than gentleness and warmth. Bitterness, rather than compassion and understanding. Jealousy and resentment, rather than supportive holding and cheerleading.

The love wasn’t hers, it was theirs—it had the potential to change any moment. And generally, it did. No matter how hard my inner girl or inner teen tried, things stayed the same.

Why—and how—would they be any different, now?

I remember the first time I got told about unconditional love, about years ago:

“You don’t have to do anything for someone to love you?”

I laughed, thinking it was a joke.

When I realized it wasn’t, I felt a sudden sorrow—a deep grief—for myself.

How did I not know this?

My relationship with love had been ‘wrong’ my whole life.

An innately wise part of myself always understood unconditional love existed—as a kid, I remember watching other parents and children, knowing somewhere deep inside that what I experienced at home wasn’t the only way. Somehow I knew, beneath my wounding and fear, that things wouldn’t always be this way.

What I was experiencing was only a chapter, or two, of my Love Story.

As I’ve begun healing my youth and early adulthood, my relationship with love—towards myself and others—is rapidly changing.

I’m learning what love actually is.

But I’m in the messy stage.

My defenses, fears, past hurts, and insecurities, feel more tender and in-my-face, than ever—I can’t step round, look past, or dive through my wounding, anymore.

My need to feel safe, feels more important than any other need I have, so it governs almost everything I do.

I struggle to trust people. To believe or trust the love and time they give me, and that they—or it—won’t disappear, feels terrifying, and almost impossible, even though part of me knows it isn’t, and it won’t.

I worry that love I receive will also disappear when the person really sees me and witnesses my imperfections, so I make sure I only share the imperfections I feel safe sharing. Even though I love others for, and with, theirs, and that mine just make me human.

I notice there’s always a desire to rip apart any love or support given, by finding reasons or supposed ‘proof’ that the love wasn’t really genuine—“they were just saying that…they probably felt like they had to”—even though this habit only brings hurt, and I know it’s generally not true. And even if it is, or they were, it’s not my place to take it on.

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I take risks, show myself, and share my needs or vulnerabilities—or my authentic rawness and openness—and then freak-out by reading into people’s every move or every word. I close up, building an imaginary “wall”, or disappear for a few days/weeks, convinced I was ‘too much’. Sometimes I find myself laughing, because the theories my inner critic comes up with in these moments are so well thought out, convincing, and hilarious. Other times I find myself unable to laugh or find solid ground beneath the fear and self-judgment, worrying that what I’m believing, is definitely true.

My fear of abandonment feel so great, and so sensitive, that I avoid situations in which there is potential for abandonment—I end up avoiding and declining a lot. Sometimes the fear, or potential risk, of not feeling safe, is one I want—or feel able to—work with and compassionately notice. Other times it isn’t. This part of my relationship with love and trust and people, breaks my heart the most.

I feel like I stranger to myself and my previous life. I almost constantly feel slightly, or completely, disconnected or alone. Even though I’m not.

I let a friend in, become close, and then freak-out with fear of the close connection, and fear that I will be really seen. Sometimes I stay but keep a certain distance, to ensure I feel safe. Other times, I’ve fled out of fear they wouldn’t love me if they continued to get to know me.

I don’t value my love enough—I don’t value that my love is a gift itself.
Every time someone still shows up despite me not having ‘done’ anything, or regardless of whether I believed I was loveable the last time we hung out, or whether I’d shown my imperfections, or how many other times they’ve showed up before, a little piece of my unconditional love puzzle is put into place.

As I continue to discover just how twisted my Love Story has been until now, I continue to notice how deeply this impacts the way I love myself—the way I parent myself.I’m almost constantly noticing or realizing something different, something new.

Couple months back it suddenly hit me that I was only loving myself when I was doing or achieving things. I hadn’t realized that that part of the relationship I have with being able to be loved by others, was also the relationship I have towards being able to love myself.

I wrote this note to myself and stuck it on the wall, with the desire to love myself regardless of whether I’m doing or not doing.

I can love myself just for being.

I’m trying to trust that as this new kind of love—unconditional love—, as well as the forgiveness and acceptance it brings, begins to ripple inside myself, it’ll begin to ripple through the beliefs I have about others love for me, too—that they can love me for just being, also.

And that the people around me have been loving me this way regardless of whether I’ve been able to see it and believe it, or not.

I often feel frustrated with my process—the way that my fear and wounding has such a strong hold, and it feels like it’s taking so fucking long to ease or shift—because I long to feel able to be connected and held, rather than scared and un-seen.

When I look closely, though, things are so far from where they once were. And in my heart, I know this messiness and my wounding being so vividly here, is the beginning of truly healing.

And that can’t help but excite me and leave my worry gently soothed.

love hug relationship

love hug relationship

In the depths of our souls we all yearn for love and connection with others.

That yearning reflects a basic, even biological, human need. Infants thrive physically only when they feel deeply loved and cherished. As adults, we experience wrenching, soul-level loneliness when we don’t have love and meaningful connection in our lives, yet all too frequently we don’t have these things.

Not with our parents or siblings, not with a mate, not even with a best friend.

We all intuitively know that the highest experience in life is the sharing of love. However, we often confuse the idea of sharing love with the idea of getting love.

We try to get love when we feel empty inside and can share love only when we learn to first fill ourselves with love. We cannot share that which we do not have within. The wounded part of us seeks constantly to get love and avoid pain, resulting in an inability to share love.

The Fears that Underlie the Fears of Intimacy and Commitment

Why are love, connection and intimacy so elusive?

We sit enraptured at movies that depict two people experiencing the delight of falling in love. We thrill at their discovery of each other, their laughter, their uninhibited joy.

We love to read stories about deep friendship, about people committed to truly caring about each other over the long haul.

And we yearn for these experiences in our own lives.

Yet when we have a chance to have love, the story is a little different.

This is because, as much as we want love, we often want to avoid that which we fear even more. We don’t feel safe enough in ourselves to risk loving another.

Two major fears get in our way and undermine our wonderful new connection with someone, or even prevent that connection from ever occurring:

• Fear of rejection: the loss of another’s love through anger, emotional withdrawal, physical withdrawal or death.

• Fear of engulfment: the loss of self through being controlled, consumed, invaded, suffocated, dominated and swallowed up by another.

These fears stem from childhood experiences and from defining our worth externally through others’ approval, rather than internally through spiritual eyes of truth.

We will be unable to share our love to the fullest extent until we heal these fears of loss of others and of loss of self. We will be unable to create the safe relationship space in which to share love and a safe world in which to live until we learn how to create safety within.

Until these fears are healed, we will react defensively whenever they are triggered.

What do you do when your fears of rejection are activated? Do you withdraw, comply, get angry, mean or sarcastic? Do you defend, explain or teach?

Most of us have learned many controlling behaviors to protect ourselves from experiencing our fears. However when we react in our different defensive ways, the result will be the same—our reactive behavior will trigger our partner’s own fears of rejection or engulfment.

Now both of us are acting out of fear.

Together we have created an unsafe relationship space where love and intimacy will gradually erode. And that is why in my opinion so many unhappily married, or later divorced people.

The Unsafe Relationship Space

What do I mean by the term “relationship space”? How is a “relationship space” different from a “relationship”?

A relationship space is the environment in which the relationship is occurring. It is the energy created by the two people involved.

I think of this environment, this relationship space, as an actual entity that both people are responsible for creating.

It can be a safe relationship space, which is open, warm and inviting, or it can be an unsafe relationship space, which is hard, dark, unforgiving and full of fear.

The kind of environment in which our relationship takes place is crucial to its success—or failure.

Many of us have spent much time in unsafe relationship spaces. In fact, some of us have never experienced a safe relationship space because many, if not most of us, have not learned to stay open when our fears of being rejected or controlled are triggered.

If, when these fears are activated, we focus on who is at fault or who started it, we perpetuate an unsafe relationship space. Blaming another for our fears (and for our own reactive, unloving behavior) makes the relationship space more unsafe than ever.

Both people in the relationship end up feeling badly, each of us believing that our pain is the result of the other person’s behavior.

We feel victimized, helpless, stuck and disconnected from our partner. We desperately want the other person to see what they are doing that (we think) is causing our pain.

We think that if the other person only understands this, they will change—and we exhaust ourselves trying to figure out how to make them understand.

Over time, being in an unsafe relationship space creates distance between the people involved. When we have not created a safe space in which to speak our complete, heartfelt truth about ourselves, the joy between us gradually dies.

And the more we hold back our innermost feelings and experiences, the shallower our connection becomes.

Our intimacy crumbles.

In friendships, marriages and work relationships, our joy, aliveness and creativity get lost as we each give up parts of ourselves in an attempt to feel safe.

In romantic relationships, passion dries up. Superficiality, boredom, fighting and apathy take its place.

We try valiantly to figure out what went wrong. But too often we ask, “What am I doing wrong?” or “What are you doing wrong?” rather than inquiring into the health of the relationship space itself.

Only when we look at the relationship space will we see what we are each doing to create the unsafe space. The dual fears of losing the other through rejection and losing ourselves through being swallowed up by the other are the underlying cause of our unloving, reactive behavior.

These fears are deeply rooted. They cannot be healed or overcome by getting someone else’s love.

Creating a Safe Relationship Space

The way out of the unsafe relationship system is for each person to develop a strong loving adult self, capable of handling the fears of rejection and engulfment without protecting. This means learning to not take rejection personally and learning to set loving limits.

The key to doing this is learning how to create a safe inner space where we can work with and overcome our fears of rejection and engulfment. This is a process, not an event—a compassionate process of learning to love ourselves rather than abandon ourselves.

Only when you have achieved inner safety can you create a safe relationship space.

You can gradually learned to stop attacking or withdrawing and take loving care of yourself whenever your fears surface. You can learn to create inner safety when you feel threatened, rather than trying to get others to make you feel safe from your fears.

Any two people who are willing to learn to create their own inner sense of safety can also learn to create a safe relationship space where their intimacy and passion will flourish and their love will endure ❤

dont let her go

I can teach you how to love me.

If you take the time and truly want to know. I can teach you what each of my head tilts mean. I can teach you all the secrets of my body. I can teach you how to handle me when i am moody, how to console me when i am crying, what to say when i act strange or distant around you.

I can show you my wicked smile, the one that only comes out sometimes, the one i put on only when the root at the base of me and all the darkness of the world come prancing up on my spine when i have to let it wiggle and scream because without that it would consume me, as i become the immediate channel for something great and deep and wide and appalling.

I can teach you why and how it hurts when i don’t get attention. I can teach you, that sometimes i will push you away, but inside i will slowly die because i do not want that, and i regret every moment and secretly hope you will not listen and will not go… that in reality i want you to hold me tight and lift me in your arms, and never let me go… i want you to fight for me…

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I can teach you how while i have claws, i have choice about when i use them, i can teach you how to declaw me faster and better each time.I can teach you how to preempt my tantrums, how to make it safe for me to come out and play, how to bring forth my love like shining beacon of depth and warmth and delight and freedom.

I can teach you what to do when i reach for you – or maybe you already know. Maybe there are things you already know about me, about how to be with me, just from the way i move or sit or stand or share or the way i light up or shut down.

I can teach you these things, offer them up like so many pebbles, worn and smooth and pure, because i found them and ground them away down into their essence, made them soft by my own tears and trauma. I can bring them to you like a secret offering, fetching from depth of my soul and my anguish, inspired and transpired by the innocence with witch a child places total trust and responsibility in the hands of people who don’t and can’t know everything right all the time.

I learned these things, in fact, to teach you.

When it was hard and i wanted to stop and i wanted it to stop and i wanted to make it stop, when i wanted to arrest the humiliation or destroy the awakening or hold onto the hate or shutter the screams or beat my fists across walls or cover my ears and board up my eyes and silence my mouth forever, i thought of …

The only thing i need from you, the only gift i need you to give me, the only rendition and chorus i require, is for you to ask…

I need you to ask.

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I decided to continue the topic about Love and why for so many people it is not easy to experience love… Couple months ago on one of the forums that i sometimes visit, me and couple other girls decided to talk as to why it is so difficult for us to fall in love and to say that we love. Usually we a driven by other part to respond, “Honey, i love you”, he says – what is there for the girl to answer? “me too Honey…”, she says – but does she really mean it?  So in our research of this topic we found out that 96% of the time after the “love confession” – we run, we break up the relationship, we just push that person away. Why does that happen? Is it soviet, “under iron curtain” education that we were susceptible to, so did it influenced us, made us “bitchy” or is there more to it? Most of us turn our hearts “off” and try as hard as we can to not fall in love and stay clear minded, and if we do fall in love it scares us because it makes us “weak” so we run from love, we push it away.

And as my curiosity never stops, i decided to research all the psychology books and other forums to see what others say about this, since i was sure we are not the only ones feeling that way… so here is what i found. I found out that there is a  term called “philophobia” – it is a fear of emotional attachment; fear of being in, or falling in love. Medical science defines philophobia as an abnormal, unwarranted and persistent fear of falling in love. Its name comes from Greek roots, “philo” meaning love and “phobia” meaning fear of. This fear of love isn’t merely a distressing emotional condition; it can result in actual physical symptoms, and may even heighten a person’s alienation from family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

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The fear of love is truly an enigma in contemporary psychology. Human beings are the most social of animals, and yet the prospect of being loved – of expressing love to another, and thereby being emotionally vulnerable – evokes enough fear in some people that they run screaming for the nearest exit.

When i started thinking about this, i recalled an element of philophobia showed up during the first season of the hit TV show, “Glee”. i do not know if anyone watched it, so i will try to describe:  a high school club teacher, Will Schuester, has a date with Emma Pillsbury, the high school counselor who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and few other phobias, nonetheless she insists that she loves Will and wants to make love to him. However after seeing the two in romantic contact to the tune of Madonna’s hit song “like a virgin”, viewers later learn that Emma ran screaming from Wills apartment before they could consummate their love. A distraught departure from potential partner is certainly one of the signs of philophobia. Emma;s character exhibited some of the classic signs of the conflicted emotions endured by many people who suffer from fear of love and/or intimacy. As i read, they can experience a momentary exhilaration when they think of the prospects of giving or receiving love, than, at the crucial moment, philophobics become overwhelmed by their fears of what the previous emotions imply, such as the loss of emotional control and the vulnerability of physical contact.

I have read that some people have such severe philophobia that they cannot  even get as close to the potential lover as Emma came to Will. They suffer the classic reactions of many people with persistent, unreasonable fears including dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, trembling, weeping, panic attacks and roller-coaster emotions. These physical symptoms signal that something has gone wrong emotionally, that the body is responding to a mildly cautionary situation with an extreme expression of the “fight or fight” reaction.

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In other words, in these severe cases, the mind is thinking that falling in love poses a life-or-death threat to such degree that it automatically prepares the body to fight for survival. this excessive emotional response forms one of the clearest signs that a person is in grip of a phobia, in this case, the fear of love.

It’s important to understand that the fear is a normal human emotion. On fact, although it generally causes an unpleasant experience, fear is helpful emotion. It heightens people’s alertness to potential dangers and releases adrenaline useful for “fight or fight”. However, when fear becomes debilitating in the way we’re discussing here, it becomes an obstacle to life and not an ally.  I have seen couples where i know for sure, that the woman pushed away a person she really loved, because she was scared of love, and married the person she chose based on pure calculation. Yes, no doubt, sometimes marriages based on calculation survive longer than the ones based on love, but this is topic for discussion for another time and another post 🙂

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Despite what some people may think, there is no way to “just get over” severe phobias such as the fear of being in love, or falling in love. Even though the quest for love is an essential part of human life, people who develop a persistent, unwarranted fear of relationship often need professional help to be able to engage in normal relationship.”

Yes, as any phobias it can be treated with therapy, but what if you do not want to go to therapy, or you case of anxiety as not as severe as it will require therapy… so here is what i found interesting suggestions  on wikihow site…

  • Understand that the feeling of love is permissible. Let yourself be overcome by feelings of affection, care, intensity, and warmth. These feelings won’t destroy you––they are good, positive feelings. And if you let your own feelings of love show, it is so much easier for the other person to feel safe about reciprocating their mutual affection. Sometimes it is as much about you making it obvious that love has a place in your life as it is about expecting others to take care of your fragile heart––you’re not alone in feeling worried about love!
  • Rid yourself of past shadows. When you start feeling great affection for someone but the ghost of love gone wrong in the past starts fluttering by, tell yourself that this is a different situation and a different person. Remind yourself that you’re a wiser, more emotionally healthy self too. Emotionally healthy people learn from the lessons in the past, then move forward leaving the past behind. Make good now and trust this new beginning, as it is going to be worth it for both of you.
    • If you find that the past colors everything you’re doing in the present, then it might be time to get some talk therapy with someone you trust. Sometimes it takes talking it through to form a clearer picture of your fear and sense of loss.
    • Some people are not inhibited by the past so much as by the future. Such people constantly worry about how their future instead of living in the now––this can put the brakes on love too because unnecessary energy is spent on “what ifs”, such as “what if this doesn’t work out and I’ve wasted all my energy on building this relationship?”. If this is you, remind yourself that time spent building a relationship is never wasted, even if the person passes through your life, it still matters at the time and teaches you things about yourself and others.
  • Face your fears. If you feel a sense of suffocation, loss of self, or disillusionment about love, then you probably have a tougher road ahead than a person who fears a repeat of the past. For you, the fear is about losing yourself, your individuality. Think about the past and anyone who may have made you feel this way, suffocated, watched over, criticized too much. Put that memory into its place and recognize that that person or situation is very different from a love in which two people at an equal level care about one another and make mature decisions together.
  • When fear of love grips you, it helps to set very clear but friendly ground rules about yourself from the start of a loving relationship. Let the other person know that you will always feel a need for space, time alone, and opportunities to do things separate from your relationship but that this does not impact your love and care for this person. Rather, make it clear that this is a healthy way for a couple to be together, always growing and being individuals as much as being part of a couple.In relationships you can have alone time and you both need to have the understanding that nothing is wrong with having time to yourself.
  • Take the plunge slowly. You’re never going to be the type who sees fireworks and feels love at first sight––you’re too cautious and need to reflect. However, this is a positive, not a negative––only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Take your time developing your loving relationship, and be mature, honest, straightforward and open with your partner. The love that flourishes from this slowly-does-it approach is often an enduring and respectful one. Moreover, slowly developed love tends to be more forgiving of the other person’s ways than a lightning bolt love that unravels when all the habits and foibles of the other person begin to show
  • Don’t give up your other passions. Being in a loving relationship means being in a supportive one. It is not about being changed by another person, or trying to change someone. If you fear that the person you love might end up wanting to change something about you, deal with this early on. Always make it clear that you come with the fox terriers, the summer vacation hunting trips, the night-out-with-the-girls once a week, the desire to never have children, the weekends locked away reading a book. If you have passions that define you, a partner who seeks to take them away from you will leave both of you unhappy and if this is what is stopping you from falling in love, return to the mantra of being open, clear, and up front from the start. Now that all this is out of the way, you can start open up and to fall in love and finally enjoy the journey to self-discovery that includes discovering someone else who cares for you. Good luck leaving fear behind!

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