I shared that your relationship to fear is your relationship to life.
With this, then, your relationship to fear is also your relationship to yourself and others.
We love ourselves and others in direct proportion to how much we accept ourselves.
We cannot fully accept ourselves if we’re also saying, “This fear part, over here? I don’t think I’ll accept and embrace that part of who I am. That part needs to go. Where’s the next workshop I can sign up for, to learn how to eradicate it?”
Those “Beat your Inner critic” workshops? Same thing. Fear is the voice of the inner critic, you know.
The tricky part is how often people are quickly tempted to do a surface level about-face: “Oh, you know, that’s right–I really should love all of me. Okay, I won’t hate my inner critic, any longer.”
But secretly? They’ll still hate the critic. It’s sort of like the phenomenon of women who hate their bodies being told that they are “supposed to” love their bodies–so then they sing the song of loving their thighs, while secretly hating them. Then things get more complicated.
The Costs of Closing
If you’re closing off to your fear, you’re practicing–on a daily basis–conditional love, love with limits.
If you’re practicing it with you, guess where else you’re practicing it? Yes, that’s right–with your children. With your partner. With your parents. With your friends. In essence, you’re putting limitations on love with the people you say you love.
Practicing is modeling, and modeling is teaching. You’re teaching your partner, friends, and children “conditional love.”
This truth is one of my biggest motivations to be stay open to my fear, to be with it and love it and not hate it for being what it is.
The costs of closing off to fear are far too great.
So, this begs the question–if you are having a moment of reckoning right now, understanding that hating your fear is costing you, big time, then what are you going to choose differently? What actions are a you going to take? Beyond just reading about it, what’s your next step?
These are confrontational questions, asked in the spirit of ferocious love and a commitment to being of service.