Fear and anxiety are a part of life. If anyone tells you they have no fear, they are lying. Which means they either have a fear of vulnerability or of telling the truth ;)
Fear, and the anxiety that usually walks hand in hand with it, causes us to do a lot of terrible things to people that probably don't deserve it. We will strike out at people, push people away, use people, hurt people, and leave people, all because of our fears. I'm guilty.
Very recently several people have allowed their fear to cause me hurt, harm, and may cost me things I can never replace.
It has been difficult. Processing someone else's fear response, trying to forgive them for things said about me, assumptions made about my motivations, acts of violence committed against me and my character has been at times downright impossible. Partially because if these people would have taken the time to share their fears with me, I could have alleviated them, but mainly because their fear reactions have caused my own fears to be triggered as well.
Fear that I will be rejected, left alone. That I will lose someone I love dearly and that I will lose my livelihood.
My motivations are simple...I want to love and be loved. Basic human need. I want to heal hurts, change lives, make a difference in the World. I want to leave a legacy. I want my daughter to look at me and think "I'd love to be compared to her when I grow up". When you boil it all down though, I really just want to be loved and be able to love those people who love me in return.
A friend recently texted me that she is so afraid of being hurt by falling in love. I replied that in order to experience the thrill of loving and being loved, you have to be willing to risk being hurt.
Fear stops us from being authentic, from being perfectly us, with all of our imperfections. Our attempts to hide those imperfections, our fear that we will be found lacking, they cause our imperfections to be highlighted.
There is good fear, healthy fear. It causes us not to break the law, because we are afraid to go to prison. It causes us to lock our doors so we are not robbed, to avoid unsafe areas. Fear kicks in our self preservation and can be very healthy...
But when we let fear take over, when we allow it to stop us from being authentic... When we are too afraid to ask for what we need...we lose out. We aren't ourselves and how can we love and be loved if we aren't willing to be ourselves??
Who pays the price for our fear? Sure, we may strike out at someone, we may drive them away, we may keep ourselves from being hurt...but we may end up alone, miserable, untrusting, bitter, angry, trapped in a cage we created because we were too afraid to step out in fear and say "I need to be loved". In the end, who pays?
We do. Be gentle my friends. Be forgiving. Be fearless.