Editor’s Note: Good mental health is about embracing who you are, and extending that acceptance to someone else. It is about building a trusted network of meaningful relationships. Our reader, Ling, shares her heart on what it means to love in spite of her own fears and vulnerability when it comes to meeting that special someone.
As a woman, I found myself relating to my peers on similar emotional matters. Especially when it comes to boy-girl relationships (BGR) issues.
I wouldn’t dare say I’m a guru in BGR. In fact as I write this, I’m writing to myself. Yes, I’ve had my own fair share of failed relationships and struggles. So many mistakes, that when I look back, I wonder why hadn’t I the sense to make sound decisions. Is it true that love is indeed blind?
The decisions we make will determine a certain course in our life. Choose wisely, you end up well; choose wrongly, you suffer the consequences.
That, to me, was such a hard truth to reconcile for a very long time. It crippled me from making decisions as I was paralysed by the fear of making the wrong choice. This far exceeded the very faith and confidence to make even a choice.
I think if I wrote about all the lessons I have learnt in relationships, I might end up with a book. A book of what-not-to. But I’m not going to do that in this story. Rather, I would like to share on this aspect of overcoming my own fear, which I inertly battle daily.
I read that in order to overcome fear, one must battle it face to face. That remains the hardest challenge for me, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
It is much easier for me to overcome a fear of heights, or even travel alone to a land of unknown. But when it comes to trusting someone with my heart, we are talking about entrusting someone with our vulnerability. That to me bears the greatest risk compared to anything else in this world.
I do not think anybody would like to feel vulnerable. In fact, it feels good when we are in control. But once our lives are intertwined with another, when emotions are flying everywhere, the slightest act or inaction from that other person could either send you over the moon, or dash you straight into the ground.
It amazes me how love can make one feel so vulnerable, yet so strong at the same time.
Yet it is in this vulnerable state that your heart learns to grow stronger, expanding your capacity to love more generously. Or it could shrink with fear and self-defence.
I have found myself on both ends of the spectrum.
It is never easy to always tell myself to accept the challenge, to brave through my fear despite having to deal with being vulnerable. In fact, I hate that feeling. I don’t like feeling weak and out of control with my emotions. Constantly, my mind reminds me that I need to overcome such battles in order to be a stronger, more balanced person.
Sometimes I ruled my emotional battles to the fact that I am a woman. After all, we women are seen as incomprehensibly eccentric and emotional species when it comes to our male counterparts. To an extent, I agree. So I say to them, don’t attempt to rationalise our emotions, but accept us, just the way we are.
Having said all, it may seem all gloomy and complex what I struggle with. But at the same time, it also all makes sense to me, seeing this as a growing phase of my life.
Through these struggles, it gave me the opportunity to discover more about myself, and that I am constantly evolving as a human being (hopefully for the better), and gaining emotional strength with every challenge I might encounter.
What I have recently discovered for myself is that sometimes fear will never go away. That is when this phrase comes to my mind, that “perfect love casts out all fear”.
I believe the source of courage to overcome the fear and vulnerability in the arena of relationships is not the absence of fear, but the presence of love, allowing it to serve you better, not make you bitter.
Whenever I make a deliberate choice to go against my own fear, I discovered I could still walk through them and be that overcomer in my own mental battles.
I hope whoever reads this will also discover the bravery within yourself to face every onset of challenge with a positive view that you can always learn something from overcoming.
Ling is an empowered woman who believes that God will write her love story. Artistically expressive, she enjoys dance and listening to music.
Image Source: domestically-speaking.com