I was raised in fear. Being so much immersed in it, it seemed normal, this constant high level of stress. Some part of me probably knew it wasn’t all that normal or even good because I kept being drawn to spacious slow music, to candlelight, people who were soft-spoken and generally everything that seemed to promise a different life. But these kinds of things are just a drop in the ocean of fear, which used to be my life.
I did not know better. I was raised in fear. And at the same time, there was always the story in my head, the hope of love in my heart, of a love so big, it can transform everything. But for a few decades, this kind of love was not accessible to me. Sure, drip drip drip, small bits here and there, but not the big constant flow of love, that I would have needed to get out of this feeling of constantly being on the run (even in the most comfy PJs on the sofa).
The Opposite of Love is Fear
At some point I had a remarkable realization, a realization, that changed my life: The opposite of love is fear, not hate! – That blew my mind! I always thought of love and hate being two sides of a coin. But nope, love and fear go together like light and shadow.
There I was, stressed as ever, although I had promised myself, I would not exhaust myself anymore, would take better care, would not drown in thoughts of competition and self-hate. And suddenly, well, let’s say over the course of some months, maybe even a few years (it’s hard to trace back the roots of this change exactly), seemingly suddenly, a flip switched.
Love is the counterpart to fear. Love is the antidote to fear, the shadow to the light, the only thing, that can save us. And just to be clear: I don’t mean romantic love! I mean BEING in the stat of love.
How do I know that this is true? Well, there are some insights, that reveal themselves on such a deep level, that you have no explanation for it, except for that it feels right, that nothing else makes sense anymore. Like a missing puzzle piece that finally explains what you have been looking at all along. I had found the missing link for myself: When in anxiety, in deep fear, in constant stress, there was no space for love left. So in order to live differently, I had to move from fear to love. And I knew it must be possible, it just had to! And when I thought of the things I had learned in therapy, read in books, saw in situations of my past, it was clear, that this fabric of pure love had been there all along. I just had not seen or felt it before.
A life-changing Promise to Myself
So I decided to stop. I swore to myself, I will never try to build anything out of fear anymore. My foundation and motivation have to come out of love. Nothing else will make me happy and be sustainable long-term.
So I stopped everything. I quit my life in Berlin and moved to a smaller city near-by. I started an experiment. I called it the “free fall” because I did not know what I was falling into, but I knew I had to be a little more intuitive about this whole love thing. And after being so tense and in control all the time, free fall seemed the perfect thing to practice for me.
So what did the fall entail? I let go of old friends, old habits (bit by bit), old views and goals. I did not have any career or any work-related project I was aiming towards anymore. I put all my ambitions aside, or rather into finding and connecting to myself. For the first time in my life, I did not have to be anyone or do anything to validate myself. I allowed myself to seem to others like I had lost it, lost myself, lost my drive. And that was scary in itself. Talk about no fear! – But scary is different than living in fear. One is fear of the unknown, the other one is being unknown to yourself.
I knew after so many times falling and hurting myself badly in the past, that this free fall was actually more like learning to fly because it was a conscious decision, not a stumble and fall from exhaustion. This fall, this time, held for the first time ever, the opportunity to find myself.
New Life – Newfound Love
I remember saying to a quite ambitious friend, when he asked me, what and how I’m doing after moving to my new life: “I’m letting my belly hang loose, so I can breathe deeply! It’s insane, I held my belly tightly sucked in for 30 years! Isn’t that crazy?” – I can only imagine how that must have sounded 🙂
Eventually, slowly, I started having goals again. But instead of pure ambition, there is a lot of passion and a lot of fun in the mix. Of course, fear is still a part of my life. And I have weeks or even months on end, where I don’t seem to be able to climb out of a dark pit. But these pits get less dark, less deep and mostly I know my way out pretty well and it is just a matter of using all the tools I have gathered for that purpose along the way.
After all this time, I know, fear is a normal part of life, but you don’t have to live fully immersed in it. It’s our nature, to have a fear response, but it does not have to define our existence. I know now, that we always have the opportunity to move from fear into love. Always! It just seems impossible at the beginning. But the more you train that muscle, the easier you transition from tension into openness, from darkness to light, from fear to love becomes.
Next time we are going to talk about love and fear as basic energies and how important it is to notice them, especially fear, as a first step to change. http://lifewithmyself.com/love-fear-choice-part2
If you want to work with me on how to shift from fear to love in your life, just contact me via this link and book a free support session. I can only encourage you to invest in this process. There is a beautiful life waiting for you. You just have to go and look for it deep inside you! I wish you all the best, lots of love, Lilly
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