by Dr. Brenda Shoshanna
Fear is a great factor in relationships. It confuses our mind, undermines our confidence and prevents us from making choices that would be healthy for all concerned.
A great source of fear is rejection by others. Not aware that we have rejected ourselves, we become overly hungry for the approval of others. In this state of mind we use our relationships as a way to gain the love and sense of self worth we may feel is lacking.
What a danger! Many then twist themselves in all kinds of ways to receive the acceptance and validation they so deeply desire.
Sooner or later, this backfires. It takes too much of a toll. To experience real love and connection, to become free of fear, you must be willing to first know and accept yourself just as you are. You must be willing to let go of demands that you please others and learn how to be happy with and please yourself, just as you are.
Here is an exercise which will help in doing this. It will help you dip into your innate storehouse of courage and strength.
An Exercise to Help Your Relationships
Notice how much time you spend each day escaping that which would truly make you happy? Take note of how much time you spend not considering what is important to you? Do you see how this drains the meaning from your life, the joy out of your day? Wake Up. This is your life you are losing. You lose yourself daily in hundreds of tiny ways.
You make choices that harm you, decide to stay in deadening situations, don’t speak up about that which matters. You feel you have all the time in the world to wait for things to change. You don’t. Fear tells you it is dangerous to be truthful. The real danger, however, is believing this fear, not discovering and living from your truth.
How many of us even know what it is that our heart treasures? How many have numbed ourselves so much we’ve blocked it out? In order to become able to be really there for another, you must first learn how to be really there for yourself.
Revitalize the Self – Revitalize the Relationships
Self Recovery: Restoring the Self
There are many recovery groups these days; groups for alcohol, drug abuse, relationship abuse, sexual addiction, eating disorders, addictions of all kinds. How about recovery of the Self? Once the Self is recovered, equilibrium is established and everything else falls into place.
In order to know who you are, you must also know who you are not, what is false and unworkable in your life, where you are living someone else’s dream. It’s important to acknowledge that which you cannot do, that which is not for you. So many spend years conforming to others that they lose touch with what is real for them.
Families are famous for projecting their demands on their members. People “in love” do the same. However, these images cause pain, distortion and lack of knowing who you truly are. Do not define yourself by the needs of others in your relationships.
You Can’t Say Yes if You Can’t Say No
This is a statement of truth and a great medicine, which needs to be deeply absorbed. Much fear arises because you are unable to say No. I am not speaking of the impulsive, automatic no you offer out of resistance, anger or stubbornness. I’m speaking of a different kind of No.
It comes from understanding and accepting who you are and who we are not. It comes from knowing what is true for you and what is false. This No is a sign of respect for yourself, recognition that it is perfectly fine to be who you are; you do not have to disguise, distort or reject your truth.
You do not have to be all things to all people. Many don’t know what they should say No to. They feel guilty and ashamed of not going along with everything. They feel that if they don’t meet everyone’s needs, they have failed or there is something wrong with them. Some imagine that they should be able to belong everywhere. This scatters your forces and confuses your mind.
If others reject you because you’ve said No, let them. Realize that you can’t say yes if you can’t say no. Your yes is then not a real yes. It is an automatic, knee jerk response. It arises out of obligation, and the wish to be accepted.
This is not a true Yes, offered from the fullness of your being. When you can say Yes, or No in an unconditional, whole-hearted manner, your relationships become established on another basis and fear has nowhere to stick.
From Sarah: I discovered Dr. Shoshanna and quickly got her permission to reprint her articles…she’s amazing, and you’ll love her book “Save Your Relationship.” Just go here to read more about Dr. Shoshanna and get quick, new help for your relationship–>>