Can fear of abandonment make you more beautiful?
They say that the opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t hate humans often. I hate certain ideas and I hate mediocrity (which means I hate myself sometimes).
On the occasion that I do feel hate, it’s towards people that I care about and it’s because they are not open (they are not love). They are in denial about truth.
In other words, they’re indifferent to relationship and life. They just don’t care. They choose to be thick and impenetrable. They choose fear over love. Or they choose fear over infinity.
Indifference is worse than hate in matters of love.
(I don’t mean ‘love’ as in dating and falling in love, although that’s part of it. I mean ‘love’ as in a softness and vulnerability. More on this soon).
And indifference to your own need for attachment (for fear that you might be needy) is like poisoning yourself. I don’t mean your ability to logically acknowledge your need for attachment, I mean the act of opening in to yourself; and not pushing. I’m talking about the push against your heart’s yearning.
That “push” is a resistance that comes across as your body being closed. Not just to men, but to many intelligent people.
Can fear of abandonment make you more beautiful?
So this brings us to talk about fear of abandonment. Refusal to be vulnerable relates to fear of abandonment.
Vulnerability is beautiful. It’s real.
Fear of abandonment is beautiful only when we make it okay to have that fear (AND all the emotions that come with it, because the fear is essentially fear of the emotions that we might have to open to feeling) it is not just a fear of being physically abandoned and left to die. It is the fear that we might have to feel. And that’s what is so important.
That’s where the beauty is. The beauty is where we are okay with embodying emotions; because to block things out means to lose calibration to your relationship. (With yourself or your man).
When we truly feel that fear and let that fear fill us and make us stronger for having felt it – we start to realise the gift it is giving us: you will need to find out for yourself what that gift is. The key is to feel the primary emotion beneath your first reactions and coping mechanisms.
And once you get to the primary emotion, you can then find a better meaning in all of this.
A clue? You may discover that it’s a reminder that anything we have (and any time we have with loved ones) is only transient; and we are blessed.
Feeling that we’re scared (like feeling other emotions) has the potential to give our life depth, meaning and passion.
Greeting moments of fear as if it were your lover…
Fear can guide us if we give it the open armed embrace we would give our lover if we were totally open to them.
To be clear: don’t act from the fear, yet allow the fear to exist; don’t judge it or resist it. Allow it.
That creates a kind of raw beauty in you, and in your life.
People don’t realise that you can’t be beautiful with makeup. There’s just no way. Chanel lied.
You can be good looking with makeup, but not beautiful.
We are born beautiful, but we cease to be beautiful because we become less of ourselves. We are less of ourselves when we keep resisting. And our body is the thing that resists life, which means it is obvious to the great, high value men (and people) in the world.
We miss out on the high value men because we refuse to be opened and we refuse to feel our fear and our pain. We choose people who don’t challenge us, who don’t offend us.
Don’t we remember, that people often think we’re the most beautiful when we’re surrendered? Because when we’re not; all sorts of strange, grating, and disagreeable personality traits show up as a coping mechanism…which usually just push people away.
What if we are indifferent to our fears and emotions?
Indifference means we don’t even care to know our fears (and emotions that come with fear). But that’s irresponsible.
Irresponsibility is one thing that makes us unable to get a man’s commitment, or deepen our connection with family and friends.
I’m suggesting that there is a thing called High Value Vulnerability. We talk about it with our members in our Commitment Control 2 program.
Oh by the way, if you haven’t seen my new report ’10 Crazy things that Fuel your Commitment Phobia’, find it here.
Most (not all!) women have this fear of abandonment at certain times. Many deny it. Many don’t know when it shows up because they’re shut off to it (and to themselves).
And, some others, who are maybe a little more open, know that feeling of fear of abandonment. They may not like the feeling (I know I don’t), but they acknowledge it’s there.
Our biology wants us to fear abandonment to varying extents, because we have to form an attachment to ensure our survival and the survival of our babies (to carry a child and raise it). We need help (eg: we need a man’s resources) if we can get it.
That fear is there to be felt – to remind us (among other things) that we’re getting into something big when we get close to a man and to be careful and take it slow.
For example. Imagine you had a one night stand, as is quite common these days. But imagine that instead of being indifferent to it (because some women are able to have sex with no strings attached nor emotions attached)…you found yourself experiencing regret or fear (feeling scared) the morning after.
Imagine…instead of moving forward like it wasn’t an issue; you let yourself feel whatever you felt, and you cried. In front of him.
Do you think the outcome between you and the man you slept with would be different?
The discomfort that being with a great man brings…
A great man will force the ugliest parts of yourself to show up. Now, that doesn’t mean that he would find those parts of you ugly. I’m referring to the parts of yourself that you have buried away and refuse to let be seen, for you have deemed them ‘ugly’.
Including the part of you who deeply needs attachment. (Many women try to be a cool girl these days and act like they can be as no-strings-attached as men, even if they don’t truly feel that detached on the inside.
Many years ago, when I met my incredible husband, I knew how great he was. We fell in love so perfectly (we are made for each other) and as I loved him more and more, I was afraid I’d lose him.
How is it okay to lose him? I love him too much to lose him. But like you, we all know we can’t control everything.
I knew he was better than me, so I knew that to be capable of keeping him, and to be capable of adding value to someone like him, I also had to become better. I had to not stay closed; gutless.
I hated him for that at times. How dare he open me to taking responsibility for myself, how dare he open me to a deeper knowledge, and a deeper feeling of love. I was supposed to stay small, dammit!
And I can’t say that this old fear of abandonment has fully gone. I am certainly 90% less driven by that fear than I used to be. This is because my husband and I have both been vulnerable to each other, we’ve earned each other’s trust, and because as I’ve gotten older, I have decided to take responsibility for his feelings too.
He is just as vulnerable as I am (in very different ways though, because he has no feelings. (98% of the time he has no feelings). And that vulnerability (in his way) matters. He needs me. We all need each other.
(I can talk further about how men are vulnerable to women in a later article if you wish. Just leave a comment below as a vote for it if you want it).
Hurt and heartbreak is a part of the journey
The other day I heard a heartbreaking story of an estranged mother and son, and suddenly in that moment I felt afraid that one day, my two sons will break my heart.
Yet, deep down I know that the bond I’ve created with them is strong enough that they wouldn’t want to abandon our relationship, even if we go long periods without seeing each other.
They won’t abandon the relationship permanently, they might abandon it in certain moments though. And that’s okay. They’re growing up.
Then, it occurred to me…my sons will break my heart, even if our relationship isn’t abandoned. And that’s okay.
My husband will break my heart (or hurt me deeply), even if we stay together for the rest of our lives.
Just because someone stays by your side (imagine those couples who have been married for 50 plus years), doesn’t mean that it is a good thing.
Just because someone stays with you for 50 years doesn’t mean you don’t resent each other, because you’ve been stripping each other of value and abusing each other for half a century. (No no, never known a couple like that….or have I?)
Of course I have. If you think about it, I’m sure you have too.
It’s not that we need someone to never leave or be away from us.
It’s more that we need to value our sadness (related to the void left by a man when he’s away or focused on his mission), in order to be in love. In order to be feminine. In order to be a woman.
I mean, do you think that pretending you’re an emotionally independent; cool woman and avoiding being needy at all costs is a good alternative? Sometimes it is. But not if you want deep polarity and deep intimacy; not if you do want a man to be attached to you, too.
It is your emotion and embodiment of that emotion that inspires his attachment.
A lot of women don’t value that sadness, and instead they value shutting off and pushing it far, far away.
Have you ever noticed that some of the feminists (who aren’t really feminists) call themselves feminists but inside, they’re just women using the feminist label (facade) as a way of trying to justify their journey towards shutting off to men? Cognitive dissonance, anyone?
They call it ‘patriarchy’ and ‘misogyny’, and sometimes patriarchy and misogyny really exist, but sometimes, it’s made up. Sometimes, they’re just words for justifying our own hate towards men who didn’t do anything to necessarily deserve the hate (we really just hate a past experience with men).
I think when going down this path that I’m suggesting; is to remember that some women really want to desensitise their bodies from all the wildly overcoming emotions they might feel if they opened to men (it’s much easier to just claim that all men are pigs).
And it’s not uncommon today, to find women who would rather settle for having a male partner as their equal, and keep him at bay, so she can be in control. They have a relationship, but they never intertwine at that deep place where they truly are vulnerable to each other.
What do we lose by resisting men’s absence?
But what we lose by resisting the emotions that surface during a man’s absence….(instead choosing anger, or acting like we don’t need him), what we lose by resisting a man pulling away…is grander than you might think.
We lose the ability to be in love. We lose the ability to feel in love, to feel open and beautiful. The beautiful sadness, I call it.
And when we’re in love, we’re beautiful.
But, like many women, I used to resist feeling all the emotions related to fears of abandonment. I used to resist feeling the shock to my system when he goes away for any length of time. But I still held on to anxiousness.
And after a while, I realised – wait a minute, haven’t I known this grating anxiety before? Haven’t I obsessed over whether my husband might cheat on me or leave me, very long ago?
Haven’t I, early on in the relationship with him, worried over if he might get up and leave forever?
Yes I have. History repeats itself.
That obsessiveness was my resistance to opening to him. The obsession is the tension I hold in my body to ward off natural emotional sensitivity.
Then I realised it was time to do something about this. I couldn’t keep holding on to worry, as that makes me less. Holding on to worry was a way of resisting the bond that my feelings and fears were trying to get me to make with myself, and with him.
Feeling fear is different to resisting fear (aka having anxiety over it)
And that resistance? It takes value from me. It makes me small. It’s the wrong kind of worry (as opposed to worrying about my sons and their safety when they’re doing something dangerous – that worry is a bit more serving)
Holding on to (resisting) fear of abandonment is bad because it makes me not present for my family. I couldn’t keep looking for things to make me fearful.
And, worrying and having anxiety is a way of avoiding fear. You may not think so at first, but it is. Worry is keeping feeling at bay. It’s a ‘go between’ thing where you just keep hanging out at the ‘what if’ without actually working through it, or feeling your fear in real time and learning what to do about the fear.
I’ve noticed that in any relationship (husband-wife, mother-child, father-child, best friends) where we have opened our heart consistently, that fear of loss will show up.
And it’s a fear that is intense when it comes to men. Why invest ourselves, why give of ourselves, if they might just go and give themselves to someone else?
What if I love this person and then they go away, or die?
We break each other’s hearts by refusing love, moment by moment.
We hurt each other by not investing ourselves, moment by moment.
What if some other woman catches his eye and everything dies and goes away forever?
Feeling these things (and sharing them in a sensible, calibrated way) is the very thing that inspires a man to be closer and stay closer to you. Don’t hold on to defensiveness and anger if these fears show up (unless the man is very untrustworthy); feel through to what’s beneath the anger.
The cost of not investing yourself in someone
I know everyone wants to say ‘it’s not me, it’s men. I’ve invested myself!’
Usually, these women are right. But sometimes, they are not. Sometimes, they didn’t really invest themselves in the way that matters. In the way that creates a deeper and deeper bond every day, every week.
And men say the same thing about women, too. “It’s not me, it’s women! They’re all s****!’
I know someone who has not invested herself in anyone. And she is 70 years old. She abused, used and criticized all those closest to her, and now she’s only getting worse…nobody wants to spend time with her anymore.
Family members from across the world will travel all the way here, only to not contact her, but see other people instead.
She’s unbelievable to witness. People who meet her have wondered how she got through life – it’s very rare for people to truly exist the way she has. Most people are more open than that.
She once upon a time made a decision not to invest (be vulnerable to and give to) anybody. But that never changed the fact that she, like all of us, has a deep calling for human connection and intimacy. So, without the willingness to acknowledge that and roll with it, what do you think she has to do to cope?
Well, instead, she strips everyone around her of value, because she still needs things to survive. She is a leech. It’s left her powerless in a terrible way.
Life is a heartbreak…
Sometimes I wonder. What if she realised these things:
There are always little heartbreaks, along the way. Life IS a heartbreak. Just losing all the wonderful moments of one year and moving on to the next year can be sad and heartbreaking for some.
And, there’s always little heartbreaks – at least with the ones you love. You don’t have to be open to feeling these little heartbreaks with people at work or strangers on the street. Just with people who matter (you can learn to shut it off).
The past paves way for the future; and a beautiful moment we once had will never repeat itself.
That in itself is something worth mourning.
I had a realisation at some point that yes, like other humans in the world, I had spent too much time worrying. Too much time anticipating being hurt or experiencing heartbreak.
Hyper vigilant, some might say.
Sure, we should be vigilant in the beginning of a dating relationship, where trust is still being built. There is always a ‘prove your value to each other’ period when you first start dating. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, and your love and kindness shouldn’t be open for every average joe and his dog.
But if we keep worrying beyond that time period, and anticipating betrayal, loss or heartbreak, that it is a good reminder that it’s just our old pattern. A pattern of anxiety. It is not who we are, deep down in our belly where we already have all the knowledge we need.
If you want to know how horrible old patterns (or habits) can be, read this article.
Our job as a woman…
And what I want to suggest to you is that maybe our job as women, when we fear abandonment, is to not close down in fear.
Instead, stay as open as our body can handle. And engage with total intention to connect with him.
Sure, it sucks to feel scared when he pulls away.
It’s easy to obsess, or become needy, or make him wrong.
Yet, maybe our job is to do the very thing that causes us anxiety.
You get scared when he says he doesn’t trust you? Then stay with your relationship and your connection with him – ask him why, tell him how he feels matters to you.
You hate social situations because you get anxious? Then it’s a good sign that you should try to do social situations.
You’re afraid that this man will break your heart? Well then you need to engage even more, in the right here and right now. With him. Because as you pull away love, you also pull away hope.
Maybe our arms should be open…
Maybe our arms should be open and our palms reached out to engage with our lover. Maybe it’s our job to feel the emptiness we have when we can’t be with him.
Without that emptiness, he would no longer be important in our life. And he will feel that we made him less important; he will know that.
It makes you deeper and stronger, but even more so, it makes you beautiful because you are no longer resisting life. You are instead, embodying life. You’re embodying yourself. When you don’t resist, you are soft.
Softness is beauty; and it’s feminine.
Maybe that fear that a relationship will end badly…
Maybe that fear that his attention is going somewhere else in this moment..
Maybe that fear that someone won’t value us as much as we’d hope, is the very calling to you that “Hey, stay open. You can hurt, you can cry, and you can hate, but stay with the resistance in this moment for as long as you can, and as often as you can.”
That level of emotional openness inspires men to be closer to you than pushing away your emotions ever will. And, if a man has no intention of being close to you, then you’ll find out quicker.
Disclaimer: what I describe in this article is not to be done with strangers, or with a man who hasn’t invested himself in you emotionally (ie: there was nothing beyond sexual relations between you both)