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January 13, 2022

We don’t embrace love out of fear

Fear isn’t a bad thing, to overcome it one must feel it. The problem is we live in a society that views it as a weakness, and we don’t feel safe around the people in our lives to feel through it.

Gabor Mate, a brilliant man of truth, wisdom, and endless insight into the human spirit I was listening to a talk of his recently. I have learnt from him we enter this world with two needs that never go away. The first is the need to be authentic, the second is the need for attachment and belonging. Unfortunately, many forego their authenticity to belong. If a child was upset because he cannot play with his toys, he may throw a tantrum. The parents of that child grew up conflict-avoidant due to their upbringing. The father or mother may respond “Good boys don’t get angry”, the message the child hears is “when I am angry, I won’t be loved”, so the next time that child feels the same way he will suppress it. As a result, he grows up having suppressed his authenticity out of fear of not being loved, never voicing his truth, communicating how he feels, setting boundaries or knowing who he is.

Many of us perhaps may resonate with this story. I know having grown up in a house that didn’t have the emotional tools to understand and give space to anger. This left me walking passively-aggressively through life. But there is a point you take personal responsibility to understand yourself, and the next step is to be around those that give witness to your authenticity, that doesn’t want to change who you are or make it about themselves. A hard truth to face is how our parents treated us reflects them and had nothing to do with us. But with facing that truth one faces their humanity. They were navigating through their traumas, figuring life out, possibly unaware, and how they felt could be the result of how they were parented. This doesn’t excuse any wrong behaviour, nor make it right but it was never personal.

We have been left fragmented with parts of us that never known love, thus, to give our vulnerability and have it received is an act of love. How many of us when we’re shown love we can’t accept it? How many of us feel like we must perform to earn it? When the truth is you are worthy of love and loved for simply being and never needing to perform, you are loved for you were, who you are and who you will be. We fear when love is given, because it is unknown, what is known is the learnt behaviour, energy and coping mechanism that gives the message I am not loved and don’t deserve it.

The responsibility of the self is to become aware of the actions and behaviours that are a barrier to being authentic and be with people who welcome your authenticity. We all experience sorrows and joys unique to our essence, to be loved is to be accepted for how we bring those sorrows and joys. Self-care and self-love are done by yourself but a branch of it is having a community of people who aid you in that journey.

Life is unknown and as you continue to live it may life be a journey of healing and growth in love for you. May your community grow and extend beyond the here and now, may the love you grow now extend beyond your lifetime. You are loved, lovable and loving.

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