Trance of Fear

Many of us were taught to be somewhat stoic in dealing with problems and tragedy. “A stiff upper lip, get over it or I can’t believe you are still dwelling on it” are some of the words tossed at us.

And over time these sorts of “rules to live by” make it difficult to be real. It is as though we are layering ourselves with a closetful of parkas to protect ourselves from the cold judgment of others and ourselves.

It becomes challenging to show and display what we really feel and think of ourselves; our weaknesses and strengths, because the real “you” may be under all those layers of this deep woolly coat. We hide the weak; show the strength, but maintain a façade of humility, so as not to make anyone think our ego is too large.

As we pretend to be okay, we sink further into feeling separate, alone and threatened.

The trance of fear arises from feeling emotionally cut off in relationships. We continue to feel fundamentally insecure until we begin to experience with others some of the love and understanding we needed as children.

The first step in finding a basic sense of safety is to discover our connectedness with others.  When we begin to trust the reality of another person caring, supporting us and feeling we deserve to belong, the stranglehold of fear loosens its grip.

How many relationships do you have with others where you feel emotionally connected? Where you can be yourself and are allowed the space to unveil your insecurities instead of hide or run from them?

Oftentimes when we are afraid in a relationship, we do things that we are completely unaware of in terms of how we make our partner feel.  We may be emotionally unavailable and not aware, because fear has us in a trance.

As an example, let’s say you and your husband always love spending time talking together at the end of the day. Now your husband turns on the television and when you try to interrupt him, he says, “Please, I just need to wind down…can you just let me be right now.” And you hear that resonate in your head and run off to your bedroom and cry. You are upset and feel your whole relationship is over or in serious trouble.

He follows after you to see what he “did this time” to have you run off in this way.

Overreaction? Yes.

All you know is that you feel abandoned and you have no idea why you are in a trance of fear. Try to sit with the feeling you have in the middle of your reaction and see what it tells you. You may remember something like your dad coming home from work each day and turning on the television. And when you wanted to share news with him about you and your accomplishments or problems; he told you “not now” or “can’t you see I’m watching tv” or maybe he got really angry and found your interrupting him to be a major offense.

Unfortunately, you had no recollection of this earlier moment when your husband responded to you as to his being preoccupied. And when you become aware of these sorts of “past interludes”, you can make a different decision in the present moment to deal with your insecurity. You are then at choice to take different action.

You could explain to your husband the cause of your reaction and open up communication for further conversation. This creates emotional “availability”, connection and takes fear out of the driver’s seat, literally.

Connection in a love relationship means opening up yourself to not being alone in any sense of the word. It is building a foundation of love and understanding, which is safe, where you can share fears that are buried under the layers of your parka.

We don’t have to choose to be alone, ever.

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