Monday, September 30, 2013
The word “fear” has come up a lot recently during conversations I’ve had about relationships. Everybody seems to have a story about it. We fear getting hurt. We fear being trapped. We fear choosing the wrong mate. And many of us fear that we will never find someone. With all the talk about fear, I started to wonder how we got so comfortable using that word to describe our feelings about relationships. Then it occurred to me, we really are fearful.
Gone are the days when believed that we would find our perfect love-that person who would cherish and care deeply for us. We have come to see love as a rare find that can only come to us if we are lucky or good or have learned how to correctly play the game. We have become jaded. We have become grown women who have seen enough to know that often, the pursuit of love does not have the fairytale ending we once dreamed of. So, we temper our expectations with just enough skepticism to show ourselves and the world that we get it. We aren’t looking for a fairytale. We want something real; and because we are so focused on being real, we have forgotten what it looks like to be shameless about our dreams of having that love that is perfect for us. We have forgotten what it looks like to be naive and eternally hopeful in the face of love. We have become fearful of being judged or ridiculed for wanting too much.
As we focus more and more on what’s “real”, we choose to talk about our disappointments, how we have failed, and how others have failed us. We talk about limited opportunities and single girl contingency plans. We talk about finding our satisfaction outside of relationships. We talk about choosing to have a life instead of chasing a relationship. And when we are being particularly generous with ourselves, we allow ourselves to speak about that course we took to better prepare ourselves for that potential relationship, should we be so lucky to ever find it. But love is not something that is out there for us to find or to “get right.” And, it is not something that can be won or lost. Love just is.
So what would it look like if we allowed ourselves to truly believe that we don’t ever have to find love, because we are constantly surrounded and embraced by it? To know that there is nothing we could ever do that could separate us from it, and that we can never lose it or get it wrong? And finally, what would it look like if we chose to change our conversation and began to speak positively about love? We can start today by letting go of the fear that we won’t have it and we can boldly speak the desire of our heart into existence. Today, we can choose to love fearlessly.