“Our eyes are not viewers; they are also projectors that are running a second story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time. Fear is writing that script. Now fear is going to be a player in your life. You get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment which are based in either love or fear.”
It’s our ultimate decision: How much do we allow fear to run our life? In every moment, we’re offered the choice. Every time we choose love, our heart opens. Every time we choose fear, we contract further behind the wall of pain that barricades the heart. And if you choose fear, you will see the world through fear-eyes. Life will look bleak and you’ll fall prey to fear’s soundtrack, the running commentary that has likely powered too much of your life. If you’re prone to relationship anxiety, this fear-based commentary will become projected onto the movie screen of your partner. If you don’t understand how projection works, you’ll easily believe that something is wrong, for how can you look at the person who loves you most in the world and feel nothing or like you want to run?
What very few people understand is that fear distorts perception. Fear is the projector that tries to convince you to run because you don’t feel enough love or attraction, because you feel irritation and some part of you wants to reject your partner. It’s fear that wants to reject. It’s fear that doesn’t want to take the risk. Fear is the projector and the protector. Fear creates the armor around your heart so that you cannot get hurt again.
If you don’t understand this, you’ll run at the first sign of fear, even if that running takes the form of withdrawal or shutting down. Because our culture doesn’t teach us about real love and teaches even less about being stuck in a projection, we have no roadmaps to navigate the normal pitfalls of real love. We don’t understand that real love, love that touches deep inside your heart, will also kick up dust storms of fear. Why? Because we all carry love scripts that link love with fear – fear of getting hurt, fear of being known, fear of rejection, fear of invasion – and because it’s simply part of the human condition to do battle with fear. Facing fear is how we grow. We seem to understand this in many realms of our life, but when it comes to intimate relationships we don’t dare breathe love and fear in the same breath because we know we’ll hear, “Doubt means don’t.”
Doubt doesn’t mean don’t. Doubt is another word for fear and it’s the fallback term for describing what happens when someone gets too close. Fear is writing that script, says Jim Carrey, meaning the second story that overlays the first. He’s talking about projection, that powerful psychological phenomena in which the fear that lives inside of us is projected like a movie onto the screen of our partner. Suddenly his or her face, which looked lovely a moment ago or a month ago, looks distorted. How can that be? Fear distorts perception. It literally alters the way we see our partners, ourselves, and the world.
It’s often when the relationship turns solid – when you know that your partner isn’t going anywhere – that the fear of being rejected turns into the fear of rejection. Oh, you’re not going to reject me? Then I’m going to have to reject you first. This whole love thing is much too risky. I’ve been hurt too many times; I’m not going to hurt again. Except it doesn’t appear so literally. Instead you think, “Do I love her enough?” or “Why isn’t he more social? Can I really love someone who isn’t as social as I am?” You pick apart your partner because you’re terrified of the vulnerability that comes with loving, and picking someone apart keeps you separate and safe.
But underneath you know the truth. In moments of clarity, you see the beautiful essence of this man or woman who stands before you, hand outstretched, waiting for you to hold it. When the overlay of the second story – the one that fear writes – is removed, you see truth and beauty. You see the loveliness that shines through your partner’s eyes. You stop fighting and settle into the rhythm of home and stability. You rest in the knowing that here before you is everything you’ve ever wanted.
This can only happen when you remove the fear-tinted glasses. Are you ready to do it? There are Love Laws and Loving Actions that, when practiced, will show you how. There’s a roadmap for cultivating and sustaining real love, and when you follow the map by learning and taking the loving actions, you grow the love and shrink the fear. For there is one sure antidote to fear’s convincing tactics: Love. Love is stronger than fear. Gratitude is stronger than fear. Setting your intention to learn and grow is stronger than fear. It takes courage to move toward the one you love despite the voices that tell you to run. Are you ready?
This is the last week to sign up for my fourth round of Open Your Heart: A 30 day program to feel more love and attraction for your partner, which starts this Saturday, September 13th, 2014.