• Heather Swift

Fear of Love

When people enjoy spending time together, they are demonstrating love. Love is two hearts connecting and enjoying the moment. But many of us have felt pain with those we love, we are conditioned to learn from our past experiences, look for warning signs and protect ourselves. We project our expectations onto our future encounters. Years of self-protection may have us shutting down our feelings, we have a fear of love, at some point we have been disappointed and let down by those we thought loved us and have built defences to protect us from getting hurt again. Our reptilian brain is trying to protect us, we operate from fear, anger or numbness, whether we express this or not it is inside us when we feel hurt.

We are born as loving beings that desire closeness, joy, love and liberation, yet we have little capacity to express our basic needs of safety, connection, autonomy and spontaneity. We depend upon the people in our environment to teach us how to get these needs met and develop coping tools when they are not. There are many circumstances when we might experience grief, shame, rage, frustration, terror, aloneness and pain, our care givers may also be dealing with these difficult emotions. They were unable to teach us how to feel recognition, acceptance and comfort. We develop fear, we regress, and we don’t know how to deal with these circumstances.

Chronic adverse childhood experiences in our first 6 years have us operating from fear, we have developed beliefs and ideas that we don’t deserve love, and/or we can only be loved if we’re good. We have a deep belief that nobody really loves us, we don’t know what love is, what it looks like or how to get it.

If our emotional needs are not met we do not learn how to effectively communicate, we close down our heart centre. Our real or perceived hurts and rejections subconsciously builds layers and stories about what love is or is not, telling us that it is dangerous to love and trust. Our need for emotional and physical security is denied or not fully met, so we compensate with ego, greed, anger, jealousy and envy.

We defend ourselves, we don’t want to re-experience the hurt of the past when we felt we weren’t loved and/or not good enough to be loved. We develop defence mechanisms to deal with the discomfort of feeling alone, hurt and rejection. If our physical needs have not been met we spend more time in the mental and spiritual realms of existence, denying ourselves physical connections, connections to the heart.

We want to be seen as capable, able and competent, with the ability to inspire, create, consolidate, achieve and communicate. However the walls we build to protect ourselves also keep out love and connection. We suppress and repress our needs.

We need to heal the past, not run for it. We have to get honest, open-minded and willing. There will be dark nights of the soul when we strip ourselves of the layers of beliefs and ideas built over the years. Looking at what roles we play, we discover who we really are, what we are missing and what we aren’t allowing ourselves to feel. We can now write and direct our own script. We have to be vulnerable, examining our pasts enables us to see the nature of our wrongs, but we need to look at what was done wrong to us so that we can discover our defence mechanisms and heal the inner child. It takes deep, painful inner work to examine what needs have not been met, and the veils will lift when we are expressing our love and feeling joy, peace and liberation.

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© 2023 by Heather Swift, Whistle in the dark.

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