Fearful Love (Part I)


“…Heart that hides,

Heart that is where?

Heart, Heart escaping

Wounded of doubts of love…”

Silvio Rodríguez in Quien Fuera.

 

Leap of Faith by Art Enrico

I am in bed hiding under the blankets. I just want to pretend that the world does not exist and that my feelings are nowhere to be felt. I do not want to face the world… but above all, I do not want to confront the feelings. I grip to my pillow as if it could protect me, and I breath deeply trying to reduce the anxiety. Yet, deep down, I know that as soon as I stick my head out of the blankets the world and the feelings will still be there, waiting to be addressed.

*

I would not describe myself as an insecure person, but I have experienced moments of intense self-doubt, especially since Saad’s passing. I hate to admit it, but our relationship was some kind of emotional cornerstone. The relationship was familiar, strong and stable. Therefore, since his death there have been days where I doubt my ability to go on, my skills, my thoughts, my words, my writing and my relationships.

Now I find myself in a new relationship, which has triggered one of the most intense periods of self-doubt that I have experienced in my life. On the one hand, there are the positive feelings such as the butterflies, the happiness and the excitement. On the other hand, I am constantly afraid of having my judgement compromised and of not being “rational” enough. The clash and mingling of all these feelings elicit doubt.

Am I imagining the sublimity of the experience? Do I really have anything to offer? Am I constructing an alternate reality in my imagination? Is he truly what I see in him? Am I truly what he thinks I am? Does this have a tangible future?

This relationship has an interesting story… it starts with the emotional turmoil that we experienced independently before meeting each other and with the search for healing, safety and happiness. For me the encounter was soothing in a way… It was like one of those random signs that Allah drops here and there.

I believe that we shall learn something from each other. It is not clear what that is, just yet. However, despite the uncertainty, I cannot help but feeling a strong connection, an irrational attachment, an endorphin-induced rush and a senseless willingness to take a huge leap of faith.

This does not come without a price. In fact, I am paying in self-doubt. It has been a while, and I can barely remember the first months of my previous relationship. I cannot tell if these feelings are “normal” or if the doubts are the result of everything I have experienced in the past eight years. But I can say that I am fearful. My feelings make me vulnerable. They make me caring, loving, sensible and protective. They make me want to share, to be there and to be the to-go person.

In my mind vulnerability can easily result in a broken heart, and I cannot stand the idea of being hurt. It feels like neither my soul not my body would be able recover from such a thing. Thus, I am constantly measuring the risk…

Can I truly risk it? Can I really afford the leap of faith that I decided to take a few months back?

It was a few years before I recognized my own vulnerability within my past relationship, and I do not recall resisting it nearly as much. I learned to be comfortable with the risk. Now, I get to do it all over again. The problem is, I am eight years older, more experienced and more jaded. My brain calls for skepticism.

It sounds silly, but I do not want the feelings. If I could, I would push them out the window. They scare me. The warm-fuzzy feeling associated with the endorphin-rush that I experience upon thinking about the man in question overrides my sense of rationality and my need to control and predict everything. It presents me with a dangerous dichotomy, where I feel safe within the relationship, but I know that everything could crumble just as easily, and I am just waiting for the worst to happen.

I know for a fact that I cannot trust anyone unconditionally. My own experience has showed me that trust is fragile, and that it has to be constantly renewed and often rebuilt. Hence, in starting something new, I feel like I am placing a very fragile piece of me in the hands of someone who I really like, somehow trust and I am seriously falling for; but what reassurance do I get that he will care for that piece the way it deserves to be cared for?

I guess it all goes back to the leap of faith… You entrust yourself to a higher power, hope for the best and jump. I have jumped, but I am still falling and there is nothing to hold on to.

*

I often pretend that everything is okay, that there is no storm in my brain and that my soul is at peace. It gives me a sense of normalcy, even if it is a fake one. This time is not different. Yet, I also know that I need to let the feelings through… That I need to allow myself to be vulnerable and to think through my fears… However, I cannot help but feeling that it will be a long arduous process before the fearful love gets transformed.

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