We often think, “If you really love me, you will protect me from my fears.”
So… we look for someone with money (to protect us from our fear of poverty).
We look for someone who’s exciting (to protect us from our fear of boredom).
We look for someone loyal (to protect us from our fear of abandonment).
We look for someone to put us on a pedestal (to protect us from our fear of not being worthy).
So why is it that the very person we thought would protect us from our fears… often ends up being the very one that exposes them? Why are they the very ones who bring us poverty, boredom, abandonment, or insecurity?
Because that’s also what love is. We just didn’t know.
We’re certain that we couldn’t survive another heartbreak, say, or another separation. But these may be exactly what we need to experience in order to overcome that fear… the antidote, so to speak. I just discovered how great my fear of being ignored was… by having to get the silent treatment over and over again… until I fully understood that it wouldn’t kill me. That it isn’t that big of a deal if someone doesn’t respond. My fear was totally disproportionate to the actuality of the event (I always imagined it was because I had done something wrong!)… but I had to learn that it wasn’t necessarily my fault by living it over and over again… until I understood.
We have these crazy, infantile fears, all in our heads. How else besides repetition could we ever discover that they aren’t real? I know that sounds harsh. But there simply is no other way to see our blind spots.
Maybe it would be more proper to say, “If you really love me, you will not protect me from my fears. You will expose me to them.” Then we begin to see our lives differently… and receive a wonderful, unexpected blessing:
We’ll finally be able to look upon even our greatest “enemies”… the people that shook us up the most… with gratitude and love.