I have been thinking a lot lately about something that a good sexy friend was talking to me about. (Thanks for the inspiration B!)
I think this is a really thought-provoking framework. I think that it adds a lot to my understanding of myself, and can provide some interesting ways of approaching my relationship with J and other partners. I think perhaps there is a gray area, though, that isn’t accounted for. What happens when my love for myself dictates that I behave in a way that seems fear-based to others? How do I balance my need to be honest with any fear-based feelings with the need to express behaviors that demonstrate my love for others? I think it is interesting to note that both feelings, love and fear, can be extremely vulnerable and both can produce highly vulnerable states of mind.
I think it is intriguing to think about how rules and boundaries are negotiated in a relationship, and what basic motivation (love and fear in this case) is driving them. What about negotiations and compromises? To me, communication and negotiating can be approached similarly- with fear or love. A fear-based conversation is wrought with reactionary language and drama. A love-based conversation is filled with active listening, validation, compassion, and kindness. This of course doesn’t mean that a love-based conversation can’t include directness, honesty, and communicating about needs. And it doesn’t mean that one person has to “give up” what they want in order to appease another.
Overall, J doesn’t find this framework especially helpful for him. It feels a little too “new-agey” or “woo woo” for him 🙂 I think it is helpful for me in trying to approach some of my common triggers differently, and experimenting with a different frame to see if I can achieve some different results.
I really like this from a website I found (my added comments are in red):
1. Love and accept yourself. Only with true love and acceptance can you let go of the part of you that is overtaken by fear.
Accept yourself with all of your imperfection. Accept your worries, doubts. Accept the fact that you were making those fear based decisions.
Accept even the fact that you might continue making them no matter how hard you try to stop. This last point sounds counterintuitive, but, trust me, what you resist, persists. Instead of fighting, try accepting and facing. I really, really like this first point. I need to accept myself for who I am, completely, before anything can change. I also feel like I need to be accepted by the people in my life for who I am already, before I can feel supported in changing and growing. If I feel like I am expected to change before I can be loved, I am extremely limited in my confidence and motivation to do the work to change. Also, I think making love-based decisions for myself first, before others, is extremely important.
2. Make unconscious conscious. It is proven that up to 95% of our daily activity is based on the subconscious programming we have downloaded from the past. Most of the decisions we make on a daily basis, we don’t even question. We make them based on that programming.
The result? Lots of fear without us even realizing we have it.
How do you stop living on autopilot? Learn self awareness. Learn being fully present in every moment. Then you’ll be able to consciously make a choice and notice yourself making fear based decision right away.
3. Find your “Whys”. Why do you want to stop making decision based on fear? Even if they are small ones. Even if you hardly notice doing it. Why do you want to stop? What are your “whys”?
Most likely one of your “whys” is a desire to live a more authentic life. Or maybe a desire to spread the vibe of love and acceptance? Or maybe your “why” is your desire to have that inner knowing that you are being true to yourself?
What are your “whys”?
4. Find your True Self, find your purpose and passions. Too often we live our lives based on the limitations and standards others imposed on us.
What do You truly want in life? What is your purpose? What are your passions? Amazingly, once we discover our purpose and what we truly are passionate about, making love based decisions and letting go of those that are based on fear becomes so much easier. This is J’s favorite out of the list. We have talked a lot about fear-based decision making around employment and pay, and how breaking out of the paradigm that you have to stay really busy and make a lot of money is really difficult to do.
5. Jump, the net will appear. It takes courage to leave a job that is paying your bills and commit to doing what you love. It sometimes takes courage to leave relationships that no longer make you happy.
It takes courage and lots of faith to commit to making only love based decisions. Take that courage.