What drives us? After my experiences over the past few days, and the resulting emotional fallout I’ve been experiencing, I’m beginning to realise (and I know I’m not the first) that fear is actually the driving force behind a lot of what all of us do day to day.
I don’t mean the “shiver in your boots” kind of fear. I mean the insidious kind of fear that builds up over a lifetime of experiences and before you know it, and you probably don’t know it, it’s driving you.
Fear of loss. Fear of being hurt. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of humiliation. Any and all kinds of fear play some part in our daily decisions.
Don’t get me wrong – some fear is healthy. I mean, if we didn’t all know that stepping in front of a truck would most likely kill us and most of us didn’t have a fear of that kind of sudden death, nobody would be able to drive on the roads without hitting someone.
What I’m talking about is the kind of fear that really doesn’t have a rightful place in our lives. The kind of fear that prevents us from loving. From giving. From being vulnerable. From opening up.
For several months now, I’ve been working my way towards this realisation. I’ve even begun experimenting with testing this fear. What’s the worst that can happen if I tell a friend that I love them? And I don’t mean the romantic kind of love, I mean the unconditional kind – the “I love you as a fellow human being” kind of love. What? They think I’m crazy? Well, I’m not going to die from that experience.
So I began telling friends, my close friends, that I love them. And you know what? They all reciprocated. One was a little uncomfortable with the actual words, in fact, I think he was a little bemused with my sudden opening up, but he at least didn’t run screaming from the room.
So, even though I still fear and will experience rejection – what human being doesn’t – knowing that this small group of people in my life DO love me as I love them, gives me a strength that I never knew was there. And helps me weather the storms that life throws my way. And it’s improved our relationship to each other immeasurably. Which makes all of us happier and more secure.
How’s that for a concept? Just think how far that could take us as a world if everyone put this into practice.
I’m not saying that everyone should run around telling everybody else that they love them indiscriminately. Anything said too much can lose it’s value. But if it’s said from the heart and sincerely, then it never loses it’s strength. And love is a far more healthier and stronger power than fear – if we just let ourselves know, experience and understand it – no matter the consequences of sharing that feeling with others. The rewards of telling someone you cherish that you love them far outweighs any possible rejection.
Try it. Trust me – it will change your life. I know. It’s changed mine.