Today’s blog is about how love and anxiety work together; or more accurately, in opposition to each other. The body state of being deeply loved, or deeply loving, is the polar opposite of the body state of fear and anxiety. When we are afraid, our amygdala is signaling danger and our body is being shot full of a solution of cortisol and adrenaline.
When we are full of love or desire for something or someone, we move toward that person or goal. However, when we are very afraid of someone or something, we move away from that person or goal. I often share this simple formula with my clients. ‘When your love or desire for something is greater than your fear, you will pursue and risk. But if your fear is greater than your love or desire for something, you will retreat and not risk’. So, if you have a situation where you really want a certain goal or outcome but you are very afraid, the best thing you can do is to work on increasing your desire for the end goal. As your love/desire grows, your fear will begin to give way. The love/desire is a stronger and more powerful motivator than fear is, but fear SCREAMS louder in our minds, and grabs our attention much more quickly.
I will use my own experience this morning to illustrate. My friends have been asking me repeatedly to join the early morning surf party. My first experience with surfing was negative, I got hurt and never tried again, (I know how sad). And, I really don’t enjoy cold water, or being cold, you could almost say it scares me. So between the two thoughts, cold water and I might get hurt again, my fear of going was much stronger than my desire to go. However, I attended a conference and by chance surf lessons were included. So I went and had a great time, and a very positive experience. Along with the patient encouragement of my dear friend Char I had so much new motivation that my desire to go surfing began to grow and my fear began to recede, just like the ocean tide!
So this morning, I wiggle into my sausage skin, (read full wetsuit), and head for the water. My desire to try is strong, but my fear is still there. Though my friends were with me, the first 30 minutes, I was mostly aware of how cold my body was, (you can’t die from 30 mins in cold water can you?) and how big the waves seemed. So I took a short break to warm up. But, the second time I went in, Char came along and stood beside me. Remember, we need each other for a sense of safety. And that time I caught a few small waves, and I stood up!! Though I might have resembled a drunk staggering out of a saloon, I did it, and it was awesome! Now my fear is much smaller and my desire is much greater.
So just remind yourself, desire and fear can’t both stay high. One goes up and one goes down. So go for it, try that new thing, idea, business, relationship! You can do it. Allow yourself to experience the power of love/desire as a motivational source. As the bible succinctly puts its, “Perfect love casts out fear”.
1) What is it that you long for but are afraid of pursuing? Write out your fear in pencil, but then list all the reasons for your desire in lovely colors. Notice how you feel just looking at both sides
2) If you dare, spend this next week just thinking every day about this desire. Try to feel it in your body and nurture its flame. Avoid focusing on the fear, just stick with the feelings and thoughts of your desire. Let me know what happens!