Fear Disguised as Protection
One way that we often avoid the intimacy (aka the vulnerability) that we’re so afraid of is by having an all or nothing mentality. The one where we say, “well if there’s a tiny little conflict in this relationship, with this new hire in our company, or with a sibling, then I’m out.“ This kind of mentality removes all responsibility on us to be vulnerable and curious and inquisitive and interested and open to looking at the situation in a way that nurtures understanding and connection and communication. When we’re operating from this mentality, we tell ourselves we’re avoiding toxic people, or we have high standards, or we don’t have time for difficult people, but the truth is that we’re using these excuses as escape hatches because we’re afraid of the possibility of being wrong or feeling rejection or loss.
Our fears would have us believe that this is the best way to live life: avoiding risk at all costs, ensuring safety and security…but this is merely an illusion of protection. It’s not real. It is just your fear’s way of convincing you to not go all in on your life so that you never have to come up against the negative feelings that really aren’t that scary, and that won’t kill you, and that you can totally handle.
You get to pick what kind of life you want to live: do you want the full range of human emotions that includes deep sadness and fear and pain and vulnerability but also opens you up to feeling the greatest kinds of joy, or do you want the mediocrity that so many people settle for or actively choose daily? This mediocrity guarantees you a very predictable and seemingly safe life (depending on your definition of safety) but never affords you the ability or the opportunity to feel the incredible happiness, love, pride in yourself, connection with others that aren’t available to you when you shut yourself off and live in that black or white, fear-based world. If you’re reading this now, it’s likely that you’ve already chosen to dive into the deep end. Welcome.