It's a four letter word, it starts with the letter "F," and it drastically affects our lives.
Okay, so it's not that "F" word. No, the word I'm thinking of is Fear. A familiar enemy, Fear is a crippling force that steals joy and hinders creativity.
Recently, I encountered Fear after writing a letter of thanks to someone I didn't know very well. Afterwards, I was concerned that my gesture would seem silly to the other person, and I avoided delivering it for a week.
Why Do I Fear Vulnerability?
Why do I hold back when I have so much love to give? Why do I fear being vulnerable?
Pondering this unsent letter has brought to mind other opportunities when I have restrained myself. One of the reasons for this has been due to past rejection. My prior expressions of love have not always been reciprocated; believing that the rejection was my fault, I have held back words of affirmation.
It's All About Me
In this cycle of Fear, there has been a lot of focus on myself. I am concerned about what others think of me, and I don't want to get hurt.
But what if I switched focus and considered that people who reject my love might do so because they are afraid? What if love scares people, and they reject it when they feel unworthy? When they feel vulnerable?
Once I acknowledged that Fear was keeping me from delivering this particular letter, there were only three options:
1) I could continue in fear and not deliver it.
2) I could wallow in agony over missed opportunities from the past, which would probably cause me to default back to option one.
3) I could reject fear and deliver it, regardless of the outcome.
With a muster of courage, I chose option three. With nervous steps, I discreetly slipped the letter into the recipient's mailbox and breathed a sigh of relief. Whether my words are received or rejected, I have released another letter of love, and that feels pretty good.
How are you conquering Fear today? How are you releasing love? I'd love to hear in the comments below.