All of us can relate to fearing what’s ahead. And when it comes to intimacy and being open to love, many of us have the urge to push love away, to protect ourselves and to keep love at a distance.
We’ve all experienced disappointment and hurt: the “it” relationship where we could see how good our future life was going to be that ends suddenly, or it slowly dies over time where life resembles nothing like it should or what we wanted it to be, leaving us sad, depressed, scared and angry. We mourn not only the end of the relationship, but the end of a life we had imagined for ourselves. We listen to love songs about heartbreak, about the risk of opening our heart to another. We are naturally drawn to relationships and the companionship they bring so we make ourselves vulnerable to others and by doing so, we risk getting hurt.
Our fear of intimacy comes from our childhood fear of rejection and abandonment, where we learned to push people away to protect ourselves. Perhaps we had unhappy parents, or past relationships that hurt deeply. So choosing to evade love altogether and avoiding love might seem like the best thing to do in order to avoid being hurt. However, by putting up walls, by building a fortress of storylines that keep us safe from pain, and shutting love out of our life, we lose one of the most enchanting, connecting experiences in life: Love.
So how can we release our old storylines and open up our hearts again to new possibility?
Through awareness and questioning.
We have to first get to the bottom of our fears and the stories we keep telling ourselves that prevent us from moving on, from loving another. When we’re provoked and fear arrises in a relationship with others, pay attention to what comes up.
By being aware we become mindful of the walls we build around us and we begin to understand our core beliefs so we can question and challenge them in the face of fear.
“Over time, the more we face fear, and touch fear, the more it softens and the more courageous we become. Love can nurture us, heal us, and transform us. So it's worth it to move beyond our fears and to open to one of life’s greatest gifts” ~ Tamara Levitt.
So, dare to be vulnerable.
Love without measure.
Love without expectations.
Love with abandon.
Love like you’ve never been hurt before.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending” ~ C.S. Lewis