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Love and Fear: The Mixture We All Drink From

In all honesty, it doesn’t seem bad. Getting to know someone. Becoming friends.

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In all honesty, it doesn’t seem bad.

Getting to know someone. Becoming friends. Falling in love. Being there when times get tough. Staying with it when you both grow and change and evolve. Constantly working on life together.

I have had my chances in the past to cultivate this. It didn’t pan out. It wasn’t about whose fault it was. It’s not about blame. It simply didn’t work. The mixture was wrong. The chemistry ran its course. The alignment was off.

And I know what I needed to do to take responsibility for my actions and half. I know that for next time.

And with all the answers in front of me, the way I think about my past, the connections, the moments, I know the next one will be the best one. I have learned like a student the last six months, analyzing every move, every choice I made in my past relationship. I read and read and read as much as I could to gather. Some of my friends were probably sick and tired of me processing out loud to them (yes, I process out loud, and I’m sure you do as well.)

Yet, I am fearful, and I should be fearful of it because, let’s face it, it’s fucking scary to love someone with all of your heart and soul. It’s the ultimate form of vulnerability. You’re completely and utterly naked. You have no room to hide, nothing to cover you. You have no armor, no shield. Every hit to you feels like you could die. One argument, one conversation, one comment you said with good intent but came out your ass instead of your mouth. She gets mad at you. He gets offended. Next thing you know, you’re crying inside and outside, wondering what you said or did wrong, wishing it would all go away and having it go back to the early days, the days where you both were over the moon about each other.

It’s quite the paradox. We want love, yet we are too afraid to put ourselves out there. Being too afraid to put yourself out there. We give love, yet we do not feel we are worthy to receive it.

We say we deserve the best after dating many misfits, bad boys, bad girls, party animals, rockstars, broke folks, rich and prominent, tightwads. But, we refuse to be the best for someone else.

This is love and fear at its finest.

So how does one learn to embrace the fear and push forward?

In the Marines, they would tell us that there was something wrong with us when we went to war if we weren’t scared. I remember vividly a Staff Sergeant telling a story to us a week out from our deployment to Iraq that when he got shot at the first time during Mogadishu, he laughed. Seriously, chuckled his ass off in the face of rounds coming downrange and rockets being shot overhead. He told us he laughed because he was so scared it was the only way that fear came out.

“How did you not freeze or become overwhelmed with fear?” one of the privates asked him.

“Simple,” he replied. “I refused to let myself be conquered by it. My Marines depended on me. I depended on myself. And the only way out is through.”

As you embrace fear, remember that the more scared you are, the more you must will yourself to charge forward. When it comes to love, embrace the fear, the vulnerability. Give into the fact that you will be seen for all you are and you may be accepted for it or not. At least you know you charged forward, heart open, full of fear.

Knowing the only way out is through.