My dears, I'd like to talk about a scary topic today-- our fears. I sometimes like to think that I am kind of fearless. I trust that whatever happens in my life is meant to happen, and I try not to force my control over everything... That's a little bit fearless, right?
Well, I've been learning a lot about my deepest fears lately and have been surprised by what I found. I think it's true that the more time you spend with people who love you, the more you learn about yourself. My friend Neetu last week called me her "mirror" and thanked me for reminding her of who she was. That really struck me and has stayed with me since.
People who love us are in a sense our "emotional mirrors," reflecting back our goals and keeping us accountable. They remind us of what we care about, but also out of love reveal what we haven't acknowledged out loud to ourselves. Their love and gentle guidance keeps us honest, because mirrors tell all.
One thing I've learned from my friends is my perspective on romantic relationships. My "mirrors" have helped reveal that I actually have quite a guarded heart when it comes to being vulnerable. And some of my standards which I thought were good ideals were actually rooted in my fears.
Ideals like... "he needs to love his family," or "he needs to be a Christian." While they are wonderful qualities, the root of these desires was based out of my fear of getting hurt and thinking that those qualities would minimize the risks (which is so untrue).
My "mirrors" have shown me that I often "friend zone" because I'm afraid of rejection or of repeating the same broken relationships and mistakes from the past. I keep a safe distance because I'm afraid of loving, but not being loved in return. All this time, I thought I was being wise and discerning! Funny how self respect can be a guise for self preservation.
Emotional mirrors are terrifying. They can reveal that the foundations we carefully set up are actually made up of a thousand deep-rooted fears. It's humbling to think about, but when we do begin to accept that we can be fragile and a bit broken, we can be honest with our true selves. With help from our emotional mirrors, our friends and family, we can finally heal from those wounds and be free from them. And that's pretty fearless.
(Photo credit: Mermaid photo via ERIIN tumblr; photo of the dancers by Robert Doisneau; forgive tattoo via A Well Traveled Woman tumblr)
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