Loving holds within it the greatest joy & pain in life. Do you have the courage to risk loving?
Love. We all want it. We develop many ways of trying to get love and be loved. From the time we are infants, we do not thrive without it. When we don’t get it, we may turn to many addictions to fill the emptiness that occurs when we don’t feel loved. When we feel loved we are on top of the world.
Yet many people have a fear of loving. Not a fear of being loved—a fear of loving.
Why Would Someone Fear Loving?
Unless you have a strong inner loving adult self who knows how to handle rejection and loss, loving might feel too scary to you.
We learn this fear early. Many of us experienced much rejection and loss as little children—way too much for us to handle without a loving parent to help us through it. But far too often, it is the parents who are doing the rejecting through various forms of abuse, or it is parents, siblings or grandparents who die and there is no one there to help us manage the intense pain of loss.
When we are rejected or abused by people we love, or we lose people we love, we may become fearful of loving.
Are You Like Danny and Hector?
Danny was a highly sensitive child. He grew up with an emotionally unavailable mother and an angry, critical father. Danny recalls numerous times as a very young child where he was devastated by his father's anger and his mother's coldness. He decided early that it was too risky to love, so he closed down his heart and learned various ways of trying to get love without risking loving.
Now, as an adult, he loves only when he feels safe from rejection. He loves his pets and sometimes his children, but finds it very scary to love his wife. The problem is that Danny never learned how to lovingly manage the painful feelings of rejection, so to love his wife and risk rejection feels too scary.
A friend of mine, Greg, lost his sister to illness when he was small. Greg's father, Hector, was so devastated by the loss that he completely shut down and left the rest of the family—leaving his two other children and his wife. A brilliant man, he took a menial job picking crops, traveling around the world so that he never attached to anyone or anything. This was his way of protecting against his fear of loss. Because Hector had no inner resources to manage loss, his terror of loving led him to leave the world of caring and sharing.
Losing a loved one to death is one of the most heartbreaking experiences in life. The only way we can manage the heartbreak is when we have a strong connection with the love and comfort of our personal source spiritual guidance. Without access this source of comfort, loving might feel too scary.
Yet, if we don't love, we never experience the greatest joy on the planet—the sharing of love. We never get to know that getting love from another will never fill the emptiness and aloneness within—that it is filled only through loving ourselves and sharing our love with others.
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell." ~The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis
Healing the Fear of Loving
When you learn and practice the Six Steps of Inner Bonding®, you learn to connect with your higher self and bring love to yourself. It is when you have a dependable source of love within that you are able to risk loving. As Danny is discovering through his Inner Bonding practice, it is only by learning to love himself that he is now able to share his love. And it is only in sharing his love with his wife and children that the alone and empty place within him gets filled.
"I'm not as scared as I used to be to love, and it feels so good!" he said in a recent Skype session.
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free!
Connect with Margaret on Facebook.
This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission from the author.