there’s another way
Fear divides us from ourselves and from each other.
It feeds us the narrative of not enoughness by pushing us to avoid rejection and seek approval.
There’s a very unpleasant hook that goes along with this fearful approach to living: when we seek approval outside of ourselves we will always find evidence that we’re not enough because people’s perceptions of us are based on their own personal experience and values.
For one person, we’ll be too spiritual.
For another, we’ll be too logical.
For one person, we’ll be too loud.
For another, we’ll be too quiet.
For one person, we’ll be too independent.
For another, we’ll be too needy.
For one person, we’ll be too ambitious.
For another, we’ll be too passive.
Like a hamster on a wheel, we never arrive.
We become trapped, pouring even more energy into the hustle to measure up.
Here’s another brutal truth about this fear-based way of living: we can play this crazy-making game with ourselves too.
One client I worked with, looked at a photo of her sixteen-year-old self and thought: how could I have thought I was too fat back then? I’d give anything to have that body now.
Another client, looked at the success of his thirty-year-old self, after having gone bankrupt in his forties, and thought: I can’t believe I thought I wasn’t successful enough then. I had hit all my goals, I’d give anything to be back there now.
When we are motivated by fear we become attached to the wrong thing.
Superior social status and the illusion of security.
The perfect ‘you complete me’ kind of partner.
Approval and accolades.
The best friend forever.
When we carry the fearful label of inadequacy, we can go through years of craving and wanting, hurting and hustling and eventually ending up in disillusionment and burnout.
Living from love instead of fear means flipping the script from wounded to worthy.
It’s about embracing the wholeness of who you are instead of just the pleasing parts.
It’s about knowing you are enough as you are right now.
On our way to living from love over fear, we might not get everything we think we want.
The perfect ‘you complete me’ relationship might not show up when we want it.
We may never hear the words we want to hear from our parents.
The sculpted beach-body may never be molded.
The bank balance we desire may be elusive.
When this happens, fear is likely to swoop in and say …
“See! I told you so, you’re not inherently worthy of love, the only way you’re going to get what you want is if you hustle for your worthiness – you have to prove it!”
Fear uses your disappointments against you to wiggle its way back in.
It can spin lies out of your heartbreak, hoping you’ll cascade back into self-abandonment and unhealthy habits (workaholism, addiction, distraction, avoidance, self-sacrifice, approval seeking).
But, when we bring those wounded, fragmented, fearful parts into our heart – wholeness happens.
We increase our capacity to move through the world loving more and fearing less.