Yup. I said it. I’m afraid of love.
Specifically, I’m afraid of being loved. Loving others. And loving myself. If there is any form or exchange of love I have left out, just for the record I’m probably afraid of that too.
Over the years as I’ve studied different faith paths and philosophies, I have often been interested to hear saints and great beings speak of the intensity of the love experience. Jesus scared his disciples so bad when he let his inner love out (commonly called the “Transfiguration”) that their fear paralyzed them and they fell over.
I can only imagine I’d react the same way….or worse.
While I don’t always understand what Ruiz is talking about in his books, I am always very receptive to understanding it. Recently I ordered Ruiz’ “The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship.” I was very excited when it arrived.
Unfortunately, I found it to be so profound that after having it in my possession for three days, I am still on page two of chapter one. On this page, Ruiz writes, “You have the power to create. Your power is so strong that whatever you believe comes true. You create yourself, whatever you believe you are.”
On the next page he goes on to write, “You have practiced all of your life to be what you are, and you do it so well that you master what you believe you are. You master your own personality, your own beliefs; you master every action, every reaction. You practice for years and years, and you achieve the level of mastery to be what you believe you are. Once we can see that all of us are masters, we can see what kind of mastery we have.”
Here I can see clearly that I have mastered the art of fearing love.
But then on the next page Ruiz writes something even more exciting. “To become masters of love, we have to practice love.”
Of course, to my love-fearing ears this sounds like Ruiz just instructed me to practice handling snakes (I am also quite afraid of snakes). But on the plus side, he didn’t say I have to handle actual snakes (technically, “love” is more like a virtual snake with virtual fangs). So I decided I’d give it a go.
That was about three hours ago, and I’m still doing okay. The thing is, I do have lots of love in my life. I have lots of relationships in my life. I have my family. My friends. My mentors. My colleagues. My community (MentorCONNECT). My bird Pearl. Myself. Some of those relationships overlap and of course some are deeper or closer than others.
The point I’m trying to make (to myself and to you if you are still reading) is that I already possess clear proof that I have survived the ravages of love thus far with most of me still mostly intact.
So I have decided that for now I will continue to “practice love” as Ruiz suggests.
Whenever I am trying to learn something new, or unlearn something old, my mentor always likes to remind me that awareness is the first step towards progress. I really like this, and it is very applicable here because until about a week ago I wasn’t aware that I was afraid of love. Now I am. So now that I have that knowledge about myself, I can do something about my fear.
Hopefully (best case scenario here) I might even be able to pull off what all the great masters seem to like to recommend – which is to transform my fear into, well, love.
Today’s Takeaway: What is your relationship with love itself? Do you love it? Like it? Hate it? Dislike it? Fear it? All of the above? Or something else? What works for you to create a more trusting, connected relationship with love itself, with yourself and with the people you love and those who love you?
Fearful woman photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 18 Apr 2013