Fear and Love

I was raised Catholic, for the younger years of my life. I sat in the pews, trying to memorize hymns I couldn’t relate to, prayers that seemed far-fetched. But, as with anything, I made it my faith, whether I had doubts or not. I let myself believe that by having faith, and by having fear, my life could be saved.

In the Catholic religion, you are taught that God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, can save your wretched soul if you only just believe, if you full heartedly accept the faith as fact, and do not ask questions. Questions, are form of doubt, and doubt must be repented for. I grew up thinking, that if Fear was not the heart of Love, I could be damned to Hell.

If all these religious references make you uncomfortable, don’t stop reading. I’m getting to the point. Eventually, I always do.

My point is, not anything really but another question. Which, if you know me, you know I have a lot of them. I was raised, asking ‘why?’

We must fear God, if we did not, we would not do right by Him. If we did not fear Him, we would not ask for forgiveness. If we did not fear Him, there would be no religion.

If we did not fear Him, there would be no faith.

But is fear truly the heart of love? In our loved ones, do we cherish, adore, admire and motivate them only to know that a subconscious part of us is greatly afraid of them? Not for reasons one might instinctively think of, but for smaller, more intrinsic, more sensitive reasons. Does some part of us fear that we could be abandoned? And in turn we love deeper, hold tighter.

Maybe in love… we fear that our world may not be the same without this person, we fear being without them, that without them we only had faith in ourselves, and nothing larger. We fear, if we ever love another, they won’t be quite the same. The love won’t be quite the same.

Is it wrong to put someone we love in the seat of a God? To give them the power, to save your life or damn you? Or is it loving without fear, without boundaries, that makes a love pure and tightly bound?

At what point do we become fearless, and in love’s case, is loving fearlessly any different from loving with fear?

We are either giving ourselves endlessly and fearing no consequences, or we are giving ourselves endlessly in order to endure no consequences?

I’m sure it is individual. Different per relationship, different per person, per time period.

I will say that before I sat down to write this I believed that I feared those whom I love. I agreed with the Catholics who force-fed me perfectionism and shame at a young age. Yet, as I am putting these words to paper, I’ve found it’s much different.

I love fearlessly, without bounds. It’s a more painful way to love, it’s handing yourself over to someone and saying ‘you have all of me and I will give to you endlessly and I will not fear that you will hurt me because I don’t believe you would have a reason to want to.’

It’s trusting in yourself enough to know that you can put your heart in someone else’s hands, and risk them letting it go. But if you risk that, what a miracle it is when they accept yours and give you theirs in return. If I dare say; what a gift from God.

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