THEY GET SCARED: What if a man knows he is falling in love? What if he is overwhelmed by those emotions but he KNOWS what they are? What if he’s not confused at all? Then he’s simply scared. This is one reason that everyone can understand. Falling in love is scary, even if you KNOW what you’re doing! Falling in love is a life-changing event. It changes a person on a very deep level. Is it any wonder that it scares men half to death? That’s why he needs your patience. You can’t wait forever, but you can cut him a little bit of slack. Everybody gets scared. He’s going to get scared, too. And that’s okay. The catch is this: Do NOT let him think that it is okay to STAY scared. Sometimes a man will try to avoid moving into a deeper relationship by saying he is scared of those overwhelming feelings. He might ask for more time. This is okay to a point. But always recognize it as a POSSIBLE stalling tactic. If you think he is stalling, it is time to draw back. Give him a taste of missing you. THEN he will have to move forward. A man can get over being scared if he is scared of losing you!
One of the Ten Commandments of masculinity is “Thou shall not feel”.This kind of mind-heart disconnect begins when boys are in the early years of elementary school. You’ll see kindergarten and first-grade boys bringing stuffed animals from home to comfort them amid their fear of the social demands of school. They’ll even hold hands and put their arms around other boys and girls to show affection and express joy. By second grade, male indoctrination begins. Boys are sissies if they show fear, pain or heaven forbid the most taboo expression of all: crying. For girls, that shift never really happens. Girls have the license to continue a full range of emotional expressions that is, except for one; anger. Girls get angry, of course, but it is taboo for them to express it. It is not feminine to get or express anger. This is a commandment that has caused women a world of grief into their adult lives. Ironically, anger is one of the few acceptable emotions sanctioned for boys and men to publicly express. Adapted from the book “Code Switching: How to Talk so Men will Listen” by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D.
what little things
Real Self Confidence and Esteem is based in emotion, not a self-image. To build self-confidence and overcome low self-esteem is to change how we feel emotionally about ourselves. To change our emotion requires changing two different core beliefs about self-image. The first core belief is obvious. It is the belief that we are not good enough. It may have a more specific association to how we look, how smart we are, money, or lack of confidence sexually. The second core belief to change is the image of success that we feel we should be. Changing this belief is contrary to logic, but is a must if we are to overcome insecurity and raise our self-esteem. When your mind has an image of success that you “should be” it associates happy emotions with that picture. I call that the image of perfection in our mind. The mind does a comparison between the image of perfection and how you see your self-image currently. The comparison results in judgment and self rejection for not meeting the image of perfection. The self rejection results in feeling unworthy and of low self-esteem. While the image of perfection appears to be a way for us to feel good about ourselves, it is actually causing us to reject ourselves which creates feelings of “not being good enough.” If you were to dissolve the belief that you should fit into the image of perfection you would eliminate the self rejection and feelings of unworthiness that result. Taken from “Insecurity and Confidence”
A man’s spirit is free,
but his pride binds him
with chains of suffocation
in a prison of his own insecurities.
Wherever there is codependency, there is fear. Wherever there is fear, there is mistrust. And wherever there is mistrust, there is instability in the relationship. Ask yourself what you may be projecting onto your partner. Projection is a defense mechanism in which one’s unacceptable behaviors or thoughts are attributed to someone else. For example, a husband may insist he knows that his wife hates him when in fact it is he who has these feelings towards her. We all do this to some extent, but sometimes all we see is what we want to see. Our blinders keep us from keeping our relationship real because we have unrealistic expectations of our partner based on our projection of what we want them to be vs. who they really are. Excerpt #2 from “He Said, She said: Codependency vs. true love — how to tell them apart” By Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D. and M’Lissa Trent, Ph.D.
To fear love is to fear life,
and those who fear life
are already three parts dead.
I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always … so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you. From “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel
Our greatest fear
should not be of failure
but of succeeding at things in life
that don’t really matter.
When you are born…your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk, and crusty things, and dirt, and fear, and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in a while, you have to scrub it up and get the works going, or else you’ll never be brave again. Catherynne M. Valente
Play is the highest
form of research.
Someone once said that codependency is needing others so much that a codependent becomes too afraid of losing someone to ask for what he wants. Or else, if I do ask for what I need a person may not be able to give it to me or choose not to. Simply asking to have my needs and wants met was a huge step and to this day presents a giant challenge. As a child I was taught to “shut up and be quiet” and that the desires of a kid did not matter. Things like being ignored when I had a horrible toothache and begged to go to the dentist taught formative dysfuction which followed me into adult life. Even though I have learned to ask to have my needs met by others (sometimes), I often feel guilty when I do. Even something as simple as asking a friend to help me my piano around is something I hesitate doing. Somehow it feels like I am being a burden if I ask. When I do manage to ask for and get help, it is empowering. As a recovering codependent I will always be one who jumps up too quickly to help others or give advice, but too slowly getting around to asking to have my needs and wants met. Doing a little better, a little at a time, is a rewarding struggle.
If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.
When getting caught up in thinking too much what might happen I often end up “future tripping”. It’s then that “borrowing trouble” begins and I take a course of action that causes me harm. The injury comes first from not being aware enough to fully live life in the present. Second I harm my future by clouding my very existance with an obsession about outcome. Certainly planning ahead and having a view of what I want my possible future to be like is healthy then to do. But when I am fixated on it I become the walking dead in the present. Repetition of thinking “if I’d only thought ahead, I wouldn’t have this problem now” created my bad habit. Realization that problems are just a normal part of life and not caused by a flaw within changed how much worry and fretting I live with. It still happens, but less and less all the time. Living well in the present is my best insurance of a good future.
Worry is a misuse of imagination.
Boats don’t sail well directly against a storm’s wind and can get spun around aimlessly if faced straight into a squall. A sailing ship instead makes its way forward best by being turned at an angle to the wind’s force and continuing forward slowly with caution. Life’s trial, trouble and tribulation often comes as a force much like a howling strong wind. If I face adversity head on, my progress is stopped and I frequently am blown about with a loss of control. But if I angle my approach carefully into the wind of difficulty then slowly I continue forward. How I move toward trouble decides if it stops my progress completely or just slows me down.
Not to have control over the senses
is like sailing in a rudderless ship.
Much like a mouse can cast a giant shadow when light is cast on it a particular way, what I fear has a way of looming larger than reality if I lend my attention to it. Energy of all types heightens and increases what it is applied to. Applied to exercise I get into better shape. Applied to my yard, landscaping of my home improves. The same is true of bad habits; energy applied to an addiction brings it in stronger form. Applied to what I am afraid of, my fear of it increases and I become unnecessarily cruel to myself. Much like the sun can be concentrated through a magnifying glass, I can focus my energy. The key is to be conscious what I apply the energy of my thoughts toward and thereby increase and multiply. Like a parent corrects a child, telling myself to “stop it” when I am putting energy into my fears yields results when I do it consistently. We are always the parent of the child within.
Obstacles are like wild animals.
They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.
If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you;
but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
Orison Swett Marden