08 Sep 2012
Say Yes to Love in the Face of Your Fear
Sometimes it takes immense, raw courage to open yourself to love.
The fairy tales and movies make it look so easy but warriors of the heart who have lost love, or even won love before, know the uncomfortable truth:
Saying a wholehearted “Yes” to the vulnerabilities inherent to the journey of opening yourself to the possibility of authentic love can be a little overwhelming. Perhaps even terrifying.
How can that be possible? Isn’t true love supposed to heal all our wounds and soothe all our fears as we finally rest safely and contently in the arms of our beloved?
One would hope, yes. And you can most certainly call in a beautiful love that nurtures, fulfills and inspires you, so that your life is radically transformed into an oasis of delight.
However, having been privileged to work with thousands of people over the past several years who have taken a powerful stand to call love into their lives, I am also aware that, all too often, we rarely consider what the journey towards such a stunning love will actually require of us.
For in Calling in “The One,” we don’t so much run right out to try to find love, as much as we look within to transform into the best-yet version of ourselves in order to attract it in, and then sustain it. In other words, we seek to become genuinely ready to embrace and co-create love with another human being.
For some of us, it’s a bit of a hot seat. As the Calling in “The One” journey can bring us face to face with all of the hidden ways we’ve been trying to protect ourselves from being hurt and disappointed in ways similar to how we have been hurt and disappointed in the past.
And so, if you find yourself tentatively stepping toward love, wanting it on the one hand and yet not quite sure that you want it on the other, just know that often the very commitment to calling in love might put you face to face with all the ways it’s not been safe for you to love before, and with all of the memories of how you’ve been disappointed by those who’ve hurt your open, tender heart in the past.
In response, I encourage you to see this moment as one where you need to take a bold and courageous step towards love anyway, even in the midst of all of your fears.
For we all have those fears. The “what ifs.” What if I mess it up again? What if I miss all the red flags once more? What if I become really trapped with someone who treats me badly? What if I give myself away all over again?
To show you what that brave choice might look like, I want to share a story about a woman named Donna that I had the privilege to recently council as she moved through the Calling in “The One” process.
Donna was doing some wonderful inner work, identifying her internal barriers to love — breaking up her sense of victimization and being willing to see herself as the source of all of the disappointments in love she’s experienced over the years.
In reflecting upon herself as the throughline of all her sad stories of love gone wrong, she suddenly realized with a great sense of sadness:
“I’ve never really believed that I was good enough to have love. And because of this, I have never known true love. Because of the Calling in “The One” work, I can now see that inside of being so afraid that I wasn’t good enough to be loved, I’ve always pretended to be someone that I’m not. I did this even when I was married.”
“It’s kind of a relief to see it clearly,” she continued. “Yet, in some ways, now I’m even more terrified! I can’t imagine just showing up as my real self, without trying to hide all of the things I feel insecure about. What if I find out that I’m really not good enough to be loved? At least when I’m not really myself in relationship, if I am rejected I can feel like they didn’t know the real me!”
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you start to see all the ways that you yourself may have blocked the experience of love in your life. Yet, these powerful new realizations, even if they are painful or surprising, are critical to liberate you from the patterns of your past and help you to transform whatever is blocking you from receiving true love into your life right now.
The possibility that opens up inside of seeing so clearly how you’ve been generating your old painful pattern in love is enormous! For you now have the opportunity to begin doing things very, very differently, based on the deeper truth of your own value and your worthiness to love and be loved.
Was it true that Donna was not good enough to be loved? Of course not! To the contrary, Donna, like so many who follow the Calling in “The One” teachings, was (and still is) a catch! Smart, self-aware, developed and deeply good-hearted; Donna had an old belief formed long, long ago that had little to do with what was really true that she was still operating inside of. And inside of the lens of that belief, she was showing up in ways that covertly recreated that experience over and over again.
Seeing it as clearly as she could that day, she was finally able to challenge the underlying belief and to course correct her behavior. Behavior that was sure to generate disappointment in love each and every time, no matter how much she hoped, wished, and prayed for a different outcome.
We cannot let the fear of letting go of who we’ve always known ourselves to be get in our way. Like a boil that needs to be lanced, these beliefs need to be taken on with a certain fearless ferocity.
And with that same level of ferocity, radical faith and commitment, we identify and begin cultivating new ways of showing up that are based upon the deeper truth of your own value and worthiness to have true love in your life.
For Donna, that meant having the courage to come clean with who she really is. To give up trying to be what she thought others wanted her to be in order to get love, and to take the risk of telling the truth in each and every moment, revealing the totality of who she really was.
It was a simple change that changed everything.
Today, Donna is married to her true love. She has a partnership based on authentic and deep friendship. She speaks up when something doesn’t feel right. She’s transparent about what she feels and what she needs. She has opinions that are often different than her husband’s opinions. She is authentic about her flaws and has even learned to laugh at herself when she makes mistakes, rather than see it as “evidence” that she’s fundamentally “not good enough.”
It can be a sobering moment for us to realize that nothing is ever going to change until we ourselves do.
Yet, after that initial moment of shock, we want to quickly move our attention toward where we want to go from here! And on who we would need to be being in order to create the kind of love that we so deeply desire.
You want to move your attention toward what you wish to create, taking a stand to love and be loved in a way that is reflective of the highest possibilities you hold for true and authentic connection and mutual care.
It takes a lot of raw faith and courage to move forward into the unknown in this way, and risk being a beginner . . . to stay open and vulnerable, and even make mistakes, inside of a commitment to grow and evolve in order to have the best that life and love have to offer.
Yet, this is what it is to be a powerful generator of life and of love!
You are not a victim of your limitations. You have the power to make new choices and to take new actions based upon the future you are committed to creating.
I am always overjoyed when I see people like Donna and the thousands upon thousands that I’ve taken through the Calling in “The One” process, as they step into their own transformation with clarity, courage and conviction and then begin experiencing the miracles of love that this brings.
We really can let go of our old disempowering patterns in love. We really do have the power to evolve!
And the prize of true love is well worth the effort.
Katherine Woodward Thomas, MA, MFT
P.S. Be sure to come to my free online seminar Calling in “The One”: How to Release Your Hidden Barriers to Love and Become Magnetic to Your Soulmate on Thursday, September 13 at 5pm Pacific, to learn more about my upcoming 7-week course Calling in “The One.” Click here to register.