Almost everyone who has been in love knows that truly loving someone is probably one of the scariest things to do.
Loving another human being means giving yourself permission to experience happiness, joy, intimacy and fulfillment that only comes with being in love. But loving another human being also means exposing your heart to someone who might manipulate, use and/or hurt you.
The “might hurt you” part is what makes it so scary even for those of us who are aware of the risks. Knowing that we may get hurt does not shield us from the pain of a break-up, or from the fear of emotional vulnerability.
In fact it probably makes us more fearful. It’s no longer they “might hurt” us, they already have. The illusion of “live happily ever after” has been shattered, and now there is proof that the person we love is capable of hurting us. That’s scary.
So what do you do? Walk away or take the risk of getting hurt, again?
If you are on this site, reading this, chances are you have decided that the uncertainty, risk and exposure to emotional hurt is worth it, even the second or third time around.
Fortunately for you, you and I agree. Opening your heart to love someone who has hurt you is not as some think, a weakness. Opening your heart to love again is courage.
But it doesn’t have to be blind courage born out of denial, addiction to emotional pain (yes, there is such a thing!), fear of being single, need for control/possessiveness (can’t bare to see your ex with someone else), emotional desperation, anger/desire for revenge, or plain stupidity.
Blind courage and courage driven by anger, fear, worry and/or anxiety quickly gives up. There is no reward in it, not even the reward of a lesson learned.
Courage driven by love on the other hand is strengthened by love.
1. When your ego is telling you to give in, to give up, to save face, to cut off your ex; a small voice inside of you tells you to keep trying to reach out, to connect.
2. When you start to feel fearful, worried and/or anxious; a small voice inside of you reminds you why you are putting yourself through the risk to emotional hurt in the first place.
3. When getting your ex to open up to you again seems so hard (requires a lot of effort and time); something inside of you tells you there must be a purpose, some reason, some sense in it all.
If that small voice keeps getting louder and/or is persistent, you owe it to yourself to be courageous and open up to love, again.
The best gift you can give to yourself is allowing yourself to be judiciously emotionally vulnerable.
Sometimes that means initiating contact even when it scares you that you may not get a response back; reaching out even when your ex does not respond; showing your ex that you love, care and support him/her even when you do not feel loved; giving up the need to always know, be right or control the outcome; being patient while your ex sorts out their own issues/life; putting your own feelings and needs aside to attend to your ex’s feelings and needs; showing up authentically and allowing yourself be seen and loved for who you are, etc.
But most of the time… it just means not caving in to fear, worry and/or anxiety, and letting love take it’s course. That, takes courage!