By Faith: A lot of us in this modern age live in constant fear of all the things that could happen to negatively affect our lives. We are exposed to fearful situations in the media every day – trauma, tragedies and injustices that we nearly always feel an emotional response to. Fear has become a part of our modern life.
The ‘what if’ scenario enters our thoughts almost daily – what if we lose our partner, our loved ones, our job, our income, our house, our health – what if we died? In relationships and love, its fear of making the first move, fear of speaking our mind when we’re unhappy, fear of looking stupid in front of our partner, and fear of being too clingy/distant. We fear vulnerability, rejection, heartbreak, abandonment, and someone just not loving us back.
Psychologically and physiologically, fear is caused by the body’s fight-or-flight response contained deep within our DNA. Our ancient ancestors needed to make snap decisions to perceived danger or life-threatening situations, to either stay (fight) or run away (flight). In today’s world, we are not faced with these same life-threatening situations often, so a lot of what we fear is what COULD happen, rather than what is ACTUALLY happening. The stress response is the same whether it’s an imagined threat or a real one.
It stands to reason then that living in this constant state of stress takes a toll. If you’ve been hurt once or many times in love, our minds can conjure up all sorts of imagined scenarios, just from a few words in a text, leading us to say things we don’t mean or make poor decisions. We focus on possible threats to the relationship, or the things that have happened to us before, which continues to perpetuate the feeling of distress and irrational behavior. And most importantly, this does not encourage a healthy, loving and respectful relationship.
So how on earth do you trust and live without fear in love and relationships, if you’ve been hurt many times? It’s not easy and it takes a lot of time and practice, and literally goes against our natural fight or flight instinct. But it can be done and here are a few things that you can do right now:
1. Trust that the Universe has your back.
Give your fears up to the Universe and let it do its work. It’s amazing how much power and peace this will give you, and how much change can take place in this space once you trust things are working for you on this level.
2. Claim your own fears and anger.
When you acknowledge you have fears, things become clearer and you open a vulnerability and honesty within yourself to your behaviors and stress reactions. This empowers you to change and therefore heal. If you are denying your fears and waiting for your partner to help you feel safe, you are creating a dependency that will not lead to you feeling empowered, and quite possibly push them away.
3. Look for the good in yourself and others.
Don’t assume someone is going to treat you the same way as another has. Look for the good in them and in yourself. Be positive with your interactions with others – positivity breeds positivity and creates less drama.
4. Talk to a trusted friend or professional.
If you feel like your fears are ruining your relationship, talking to a trusted friend or a professional counselor about your concerns can make a huge difference. Just by downloading your thoughts, you can not only alleviate the stress response but also get a different and possibly more rational take on the situation.
5. Don’t imagine the worst-case scenario.
Try and stop yourself from running the worst-case scenario in a situation. This isn’t healthy and isn’t preparing you for the worst. What it does is feed your fears and creates more anxiety about the situation as you are thinking and feeling the situation, therefore our bodies start to respond as though the event is taking place.
By managing your fears, you will bring about changes in both yourself and the relationship because you’ll be making mindful decisions instead of fearful reactions, and therefore creating a safer, respectful and loving relationship space.
Love and Light,