Fact: Humanity is a synonym for kindness When I first went to London in 1994, it was Christmas time, I was 20, and on my own. One day, on the tube, I sat down opposite a lady in her seventies who was sitting alone. […]
Fear is a classic hoarder Fear holds onto all of our negative experiences and associations, like a hoarder stores junk. It could be emotional junk. It could a friendship or relationship that no longer serves us. It could be a grudge, or resentment, […]
I love French movies for their classy sophistication, realism, and propensity to engage my insatiable brain. This weekend I watched Un homme à la hauteur (Up for Love) and fell head over heels in love with the story, characters and soundtrack. It also evoked a lobby4love question regarding the old adage ‘Love is Blind’.
Could the ‘Love is Blind’ adage also be applied to the Love vs Fear equation?
When we fall in love, we happily overlook the shortcomings or vices of our potential love-mate. Right? The question is why? What is it about romantic love that liberates us so completely and allows us to follow blind with absolute wild abandon?
Well, there’s the scientific explanation:
Falling in love activates the pleasure centre in the brain…Which in turn releases euphoria-inducing chemicals including dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, and vasopressin. Add to that the theory of propagating the species.
Which is all well and good when the species is threatened or close to extinction, but we are no longer in that situation. Quite the opposite.
So, let’s just say that, for arguments sake, in the absence of propagation the act of blindly following love is simply natures way of overriding our usually stubborn and pesky fear of risk and pain.
Why not, right?
Which brings me to the Love vs Fear tug of war. Why do we have an override button for romantic love but not for other (more pressing) matters of the heart and self i.e. dreams, desires, self-realisation, enlightenment, personal evolution, etc.?
Why aren’t we forced to follow blind when it really matters?
Well, that’s a question I can’t answer. But what I can do is suggest. When we fall in love, we give ourselves over to the beauty and thrill of wild abandon.
While love is the drug, we happily vacate the world of ‘if onlys’ and take up residence in the land of ‘what ifs’. So why can’t we replicate that approach in our daily Love vs Fear struggle?
Surely choosing Love can be as easy as falling in love.
After all, isn’t that what conditioned fear is at its core – talking ourselves out of doing something we want to do because we’re scared of making a mistake, or failing, or getting hurt, or losing face, or being rejected?
I would argue, yes. Yes, yes, yes. If we allowed conditioned fear to get in the way of romantic love then we might well have failed to propagate.
Let’s face it, there are few experiences that equal the bliss of falling in love and the pain of failing in love. Right? But we do it anyway. Partly because we can’t help ourselves, and partly because the fear of being alone is greater than our fear of getting hurt.
That is to say, when it comes to romance our conditioning doesn’t mean shit. Love overrides our Fear every time.
So why not attempt to fall in love more often in your daily life?
Not in terms of romance, but in terms of the things I mentioned earlier – the more pressing matters of the heart and self, such as dreams, desires, self-realisation, enlightenment, and personal evolution. Imagine how good it would feel to follow your heart more often than not, to choose love in spite of the risks and consequences.
Within reason of course.
I’m not saying go crazy and say to hell with every consequence, because we do live in a world ruled by action and consequence (cause and effect). But I am saying that instead of defaulting to fear 90% of the time, maybe try to default 50% of the time and make a concerted effort to fall in love with the things that matter the remaining 50% of the time.
It’s just a thought 🙂
And on that note, I’ll leave you with a beautiful song from the movie called ‘Follow Blind’.
Until next time, lobby4love!
Fear vs Love What does that mean? Does choosing love mean that you ignore your fear, or repress it, or try to beat it by thinking positive? No way. It doesn’t. Positive thinking is null and void if that means burying your head in the […]
Imagine that you’re a rowing boat in the marina, without an anchor or rope. Now imagine a storm approaching. The wind picks up, and torrential rain causes waves to swell. You find yourself at the mercy of unpredictable weather; you sustain injury, get thrown […]
Once upon a time
Once upon a time, in a relationship far far away, the object of my affection asked me why I loved him. To which I replied (without thinking), because you make me happy.
And immediately after saying that, I scolded myself for saying something so selfish and irresponsible. Because it is not someone else’s obligation, or responsibility, or in fact within their capacity, to make another happy.
Think before you speak
Funny enough, the relationship ended shortly after that conversation and I was (cue irony, please) very unhappy.
Your point, please
In retrospect, it’s not that he made me happy, but rather that I was happy in his company. Or, put another way, my natural state of contentment was effortlessly facilitated in his company.
And it may seem like such a simple distinction, but, when you dissect it, it is rather profound.
If we rely on an individual to ‘make’ us happy, then it follows that we will rely on them to make us unhappy too.
The grey area of we, in happy
If we place our emotional contentment at the door of someone else, then we’re doing them and ourselves a huge disservice. The burden of happiness is not the responsibility of our friends, family, and partners. It is solely the individual’s responsibility. Because the question and pursuit of happiness is not an external pursuit, but an internal one. If we rely on an individual to ‘make’ us happy, then it follows that we will rely on them to make us unhappy too. Which is a vicious cycle, and as far away from inner contentment as we can get.
How to be happy
The question is how do we achieve that state of inner contentment (that we locate with ease when we’re with people we love) on our own? Like anything, it is a journey. A journey toward self-awareness and self-acceptance. A journey from fear to love. Fear will trick you into believing that happiness is an external pursuit, love reminds you that it is all within. Self-acceptance is the heartbeat of happiness and inner contentment.
So, lobby4lovers, if you’re relying on a certain person to make you happy, ask yourself what it is about that person that warms you up inside, and furthermore, what do you need to change in order to find that within yourself?
Until next time,
Fear of letting go I drove past a prison a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking about metaphorical prisons relating to the heart and to love. When it comes to the end of a relationship, be that romantic or plutonic, Fear of letting […]