Are You Afraid to Love?By Dr. Margaret Paul
November 14, 2017
If you are too afraid to love - too afraid that you will get hurt - should you try to heal the fears before trying to love?
This question was asked by Jillian in one of my webinars:
“I really want to learn how to love my boyfriend, who has been showing care and love toward me. However I have fears of being taken advantage of and of being subjected to his unloving behaviors. So I feel very tight at my chest when these fears come up and I act out unlovingly. Is it possible to learn how to love him in the presence of these fears, or do I need to ‘get rid of’ these fears first before I can really love someone?”
Jillian’s fear of being taken advantage of and of being at the other end of her boyfriend’s unloving behavior results from her inner child not trusting that she knows how to show up as a loving adult for herself. If she had a well-developed spiritually connected loving adult self devoted to loving herself, she wouldn’t allow herself to be taken advantage of, and she wouldn’t take personally others’ unloving behavior.
When we are focused on loving ourselves, we feel safe inside and are able to keep our heart open to loving others.
I would say to Jillian…
“These fears won’t go away until you learn and practice Inner Bonding, which is what develops your loving adult self. It’s not about getting rid of the fears, but of learning to love yourself, which is what will resolve your fears. Instead of focusing on loving your boyfriend, focus on learning to love yourself. When you know how to fill yourself with love and take loving care of yourself around your boyfriend and others, your fears will naturally go away. And until you learn to love yourself and fill yourself with love to share, you have no love to share with your boyfriend.”
We all have a choice each moment between fear and love. Our ego wounded self always chooses fear, so when our intent is to control and avoid, we activate the false beliefs that cause our fear. When our intent is to love ourselves and others, our heart opens to the love, wisdom and guidance of Spirit coming through us.
Love is who we are in our essence, and love is what God is, so when our intent is to learn about loving ourselves, we become open to experiencing the love that is God and the truth that is always available to us from our spiritual guidance.
Listening to Our Inner Guidance System Rather Than to Our Wounded Self
The fact that Jillian’s chest tightens when her fears come up is her inner guidance – her inner child – letting her know that her wounded self is in charge, telling her programmed lies. Her wounded self is telling her that she shouldn’t love because she will get hurt by being taking advantage of and treated unlovingly, and the more she thinks these negative thoughts, the more she manifests them. So if her boyfriend responds unlovingly – from his own fears – to her unloving behavior that results from her choice to protect herself from being hurt, her wounded self might then say, “See! I told you not to open your heart! I told you that you would get hurt!” She has brought about the very thing she fears with her own unloving behavior.
If Jillian develops her loving adult self and her boyfriend were to act unlovingly, she would be able to say to herself, “He must be having a hard time today, so we will send him compassion. And if he wants help, we will help him. But if he stays closed and continues to treat us unlovingly, we will lovingly disengage until he is back into an open loving place.”
Jillian wouldn’t get hurt because she wouldn’t take his behavior personally and she would take loving care of any lonely feelings she has when he is disconnected from her.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Develop Your Loving Adult and Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
Photo by Ben Warren
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Today, every time you feel any anxiety, say a brief prayer of gratitude - even for something simple like the light from a lamp, or a soft tissue to sneeze into. Then invite Spirit into your heart and you will notice your anxiety subsiding.
By Dr. Margaret Paul