While expectations are the great disturber of relationships, fear is the great disturber of life, and therefore permeates all things, including relationships.
Fear is the opposite of love, and you will find it in the form of defensive behavior. I speak not from books, but from my own experience. I grew up with less than what most people in my town had, so I spent a great many years trying to make up for this "illusion" of inadequacy. I tried to hide this part of me that others had convinced me was less than perfect and go around convincing everyone else I was okay. The fact is, I was perfectly fine just the way I was. The problem was, I got sucked into a social falsehood. Anyone who isn't a beauty queen, is overweight, or poor, knows exactly what I am talking about.
There are many of these types of fears. Men are afraid because society has taught them that they cannot show vulnerabilities. Ịf a woman is anything less than thin and gorgeous she trembles in her shoes at the ax of judgment that she is sure will fall over her head at any moment, and of these fears, of course, is the ultimate fear, which is rejection. This fear pervades over most of humanity and is the crème de la crème of fears.
But what is the fear of rejection? If you wanted a low level answer, well, you wouldn't be visiting my webpage and reading this. There are two intricate parts to rejection: the rejecter and the rejectee. The rejecter simply has made the statement "I do not want you." This can be a crushing reality for the rejectee who had glowing aspirations to be loved by the aforementioned person. But if the rejectee was utterly whole unto themselves, there would be no rejection, just an acceptance of a statement that the other person wishes to spend their energies elsewhere. And the rejectee could even be the right person, but at the wrong time. What is called for here is several things: one is acceptance of the rejecter. To not take this personally because we didn't fill some criteria that they were looking for. Or another perspective is that there is something about us that is less than savory, and the gift that was given here is that it was brought to our attention. For example, someone may say, "you are the right person, but your temper does not resonate with me right now." You can become defensive (fear) or look at what they are saying and see if it is true. Now mind you, not all accusations are accurate! In fact, people can make up stories as to why they don't want to be with you, so use your own better judgment here. But you know in your heart what is really true or not true for you.
Now here I must mention a most subtle fear that enters into most relationships. One that is rarely understood, and that is the fear of not being needed. To be needed creates a dependency. If you are frail, and clinging then you need me. If you grow strong, you may walk away and find something or someone else. This is a very common and yet complex presence in a relationship. This is why people create co-dependency. They allow dependency because it reinforces the other person's need for them. This is dangerous ground to tread. But it is frighteningly common. In fact, when a partner observes the other one taking on friends, hobbies, and what not, the mate will become clingy, accusing, and worried. They are afraid of being replaced which is ultimately afraid of not being loved.
To combat this is a sheer act of inner love. To let that person have those things, and not be threatened or frightened by it. Our gut reaction is to take away those things that take them away from us, but this is not love. Relationships are like a cup. You can either fill it with fear, or fill it with love or a mix of the two. If you fill it with fear, the love inside will spill forth out of the cup. But love can always return, and take its place.
Another universal fear is the fear of being alone. As I said in a previous article, we were never meant to be alone so this is one of the most natural fears there are. We desire the company of others, and this is natural but can get distorted fast. We are happy when we are surrounded by beings that we love. Now, while to fear being alone is natural, we cannot cling to a relationship that is not serving our higher purpose because of this. This would be no different than a person sticking with a mate who is abusing them just for the sake of having companionship, bad as it may be. We cannot find the right one, if we are clinging, out of fear, to the wrong one.
What do you fear? Rejection? Solitude? Not being needed? Lack of control?
These are very hard questions, I know. As I sit and write this article, I ask these of myself, and a few spring to mind. But through awareness brings change. I don't know about you, but I want the highest and best for myself. I am willing to look deep within, feel some major discomfort, and find that awareness.
We walk the same path, you and I. You can be afraid, but hopefully a little less with me.
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