Which part of you makes your decisions—your wounded, egoic self that operates from fear or the loving part of you who has your highest good at heart?
How fear can derail love:
Samantha, a client of mine, just ended a yearlong relationship with Keith, a man who wants to marry her and have a family with her. Samantha is nearing forty and is very fearful that she won't have a child. She stayed in the relationship because of this fear rather than because she wanted to spend her life with Keith. In fact, she never felt emotionally connected to him. The whole time she was with him, she was shut down and unhappy.
Her decision to stay in the relationship for a year came from fear—not from loving herself—and now she is even more fearful and stressed because she is a year older than when she started the relationship. She knew from the beginning that she wasn't deeply connected to Keith and that she was often bored with him, but she allowed fear rather than love to determine her choice. Making the decision from fear rather than from love has not served her well at all.
How fear can misdirect your career:
Richard, the son of a successful physician, wanted to be a writer. But fearful of his father's disapproval, he went to medical school and became an internist like his father. Richard never liked being a doctor. He liked the financial security, but even that wasn't enough to bring him the inner fullness and joy he'd hoped for in life. Making decisions based on his fear of disapproval led him to living a less than fulfilled life.
How fear can keep you from what you want most:
Alexandra got pregnant when she was 18. Even as a small child she had always wanted children but became scared that she wouldn't be able to take care of the child. Even though her mother offered to help her, she allowed fear to determine her decision to put her daughter up for adoption. When I started to work with her, she had suffered deep pain for years over having given her daughter away. At 36, she was still childless. Making the decision from fear rather than love has cost her dearly.
How often have you allowed fear to govern your decisions? How often have you denied doing what you really wanted because of fear of failure, or fear of getting hurt, or fear of disapproval, or fear of embarrassment, or fear of making the wrong choice? How often have you allowed your head to decide without also consulting with your heart? When you look back on your decisions, how often have the decisions made from fear worked out well for you in terms of bringing you inner peace and joy?
Why making decisions from love is the answer:
I encourage you to consult with your heart—your inner knowing—when you have an important decision to make. The head without the heart generally makes poor decisions regarding what is in your highest good. Not only do decisions that come from fear rather than from love often bring sadness, but the stress of an unfulfilled life may contribute to illness. You will feel far less stress when your decisions come from what is loving to you and what supports your highest good rather than allowing fear to determine your choices.
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Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of nine books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? and her recently published book, Diet For Divine Connection. She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding.