I have heard people say that there are two basic emotions:
…Love and Fear…
and that they don’t coexist. They cancel, or push each other out – love drives out fear, and vice versa. I often hear this in what I think are oversimplified, overly broad terms. They suppose that love and fear are constant ways of being, and that we can choose to live in one or the other – if you catch yourself living in fear, flip that switch and turn on the love. I think that’s a high ideal but probably not attainable. Love and Fear aren’t a blanket, they’re fleeting and transient emotions that can crash over us like powerful ocean waves only to retreat again. They can also loom for awhile like a fog and become like the air we breathe. But love will always strike into fear and fear into love, like lightning cracking into the night sky.
I can feel absolutely and completely in love and forget about those fears and traumas that make me wary, shaky, and uncertain. Then once I settle a bit and start to notice nuance and detail, I begin to notice those fears again. They wait, lying dormant, but there they are. Jagged little darts of anxiety triggered by a word or tone from a lover. A simple and seemingly innocuous action might put me into a weeks long tailspin where the fear makes me forget the love for awhile.
Left unchecked this leads people to all kinds of silly or hurtful behavior. You might push your lover away until you figure things out. Or you could completely crumble and give them everything they demand of you, not realizing that this erodes you and the more you do it the more of yourself you lose. Maybe you up and leave, or seek attention elsewhere. All of these are fight or flight responses, and none are productive or healthy. They also have nothing to do with your partner, and everything to do with you.
I also hear people say that relationships are 50/50 – two people meeting in the middle to “complete” each other. I don’t think anything could be more wrong or destructive. John Legend nailed it with his song, ‘All Of Me’
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Love between two people is about 100% of me and 100% of you in a partnership where you love my worst and my best and I reciprocate and support you and learn from you and we build our empire together.
Love and Fear are natural. I choose both. I choose to love my fears, and fear my loves and learn from it all. I’m thankful for them and everything they’ve taught me about the world and myself. I’m grateful to them for giving me good instincts about people and the world. They are not what defines me, they’re a guide – an angel and devil on my shoulder, balancing me out.
Love and Respect…
and “Put some extra mozzarella on that motherfucker and shit.”