Fear is always over rated and under rated too. The fear of this is called this phobia and the fear of that is called that phobia. Did you know that the fear of number 13 is called 'Triskaidekaphobia'? Sounds silly that some people have such fears right? But no, everyone has their own fears. Be it of heights, water or anything else. I have always been a ferocious child and was not scared of anything. I used to jump from one roof top to another easily in my locality. My parents would cringe and scream as I scaled the third floor of every building. I do not know swimming, but I am not scared of water. I like the presence of water and the loud gush of a waterfall. Swimming has been on my agenda since ten years now but some how I haven't found the time to take it up. It goes on my resolution for 2015 too and hopefully this time I shall fulfill it. Fear is not just a feeling, it is a drawback. It holds you back from all the things that you want to do. At least, if you are afraid of water, heights or darkness you can take precautions to avoid it. But me, I had the fear of attachment and commitment. How could I avoid this?
This goes back to around twelve years when my family suffered a major loss financially and I saw all my relatives walk away. All the people I was close to, suddenly used to look down upon me and insult me. Money was the sole topic of discussion when we attended family functions and I could see fingers being pointed at my parents and me. We did not want them to help us financially, which they clearly did not do when we asked; but all we needed was support and encouragement to get out of this bad phase. But none of it happened. The fact that I had been close to such people began eating me from inside. All my cousins had suddenly become strangers and the attachment was surely gone. As a young teen I blamed myself for it. I thought, why did I have to invest emotions on people like this? Attachment hurts and it is not a not a good feeling to feel not wanted. I then decided that I would never let attachment come in the way of anything that I have to do. That is when I became a rebel and decided to do things just for myself and my parents. I even blamed my parents for putting us in such a situation. The fear of attachment weakens every last thread of it. You see fear is always irrational, it knows no boundaries.
I channelled all my emotions on the guy I was dating at that time. He was my sole distraction and lonely escape. He was the fresh picture that took me away from the mess of my life. He supported me through thick and thin and soon I realized that out siders are actually better than the people whom you call relatives. They aren't selfish, to start off with. The rebel in me remained, but soon this guy brought out a soft side of me that I did not know existed until then. I began seeing things in a different light and soon started falling in love. It happens. When everything in your life is a chaos and then someone comes in with a ray of light, you tend to steer towards it. He supported me through every crisis and this attachment with him, I was not afraid of. I gave in heart and soul and invested everything I had into this relationship. But they say all good things must come to an end, and this one collapsed in the worst way possible.
There were doubts raised and insecurity bloomed. The happy tale soon got so painful that I had to pull away from it. But it came at a price. The fear of attachment was back but this time with twice the magnitude. The pain of lost love did not hold a candle to fear I was feeling inside. I had it engraved in my mind that attachment causes pain and only pain and that the only way to not get hurt was to not get attached to anyone. Silly now, but it made sense to me then. And believe me, life was beautiful inspite of this fear. All the financial issues at home were now solved and my folks were smiling again. The relatives remained where they were and I did not intend for anything else too. Once a thread is broken, the knot always remains. And I couldn't care less about it. Some people deserved to be kept at a distance. But this attitude of mine, was taking a toll on my personal life. I had relationships, but on my conditions. I gave in 60% and when I was on the verge of attachment I voluntarily stepped out of it. Love is beautiful yes, but taking that one step further is something that I did not want to do. Until now, love and attachment had only hurt me and this was the only thing that I was afraid of.
People mocked me for having relationships that ended so soon, but I held on to my beliefs. 'Love hurts, attachment hurts', was my motto and strangely life seemed good for me. But when I started losing out on wonderful people as friends and some good partners, I was back into the thought mode again. By giving in only 60%, if things were this good, just imagine how awesome it would be if I gave in 100%. I had just realized this myself when someone else echoed the same to me. I hardly knew the man, but what he said, started making sense to me. I became a little more accepting of things and people and I saw that it was worth it. It was not easy to let go of this fear, because unlike other fears that would mean death, this one was far worse than it. This would leave me with a broken heart and I would die every second with the pain. But he held my hand and walked me through it. He gave me more than 100% of the love he had and showed me that it is not a bad thing. Yet, I held back. I was not ready, not yet. He then told me that if I would not let go of my fear now, then I would never be able to do it.
Slowly, I started relaxing and began giving more love. I was not afraid of losing myself and soon the motto in my mind began erasing. Life showed me how beautiful love can be and how this is the only thing that I would need to survive. For the first time in my life, I gave in completely without any expectations and I was surprised at the happiness I was rewarded with. It felt like magic and the fear was all gone. All it took was that one minute of thought and that one decision of letting go. It obviously is a risk as you can get back to where you were before or still worse than that, but if you do not take the risk, how will you know where it shall take you. Today, I'm happily married to the same person and I have learnt to live with zero expectations from others. Attachments no longer trouble me and I can now be the poster girl for love and commitment. Do not let anything hold you back from what you want to do. It is not worth it, it feels like a punishment.
The fear lies in the mind and sometimes, like me, it can be embedded in your soul as well. But the only thing that you can do is let go of it. All it takes is that one moment of realization and courage. If you are lucky, you will have someone with you giving you the push to do it. Just do it, if you succeed then good for you. If you do not, then call it a practice session and try again. You cannot fail every time. Believe in yourself and do not succumb to fear.
Remember, fear is not an excuse. It is a sign of failure.
This post is written as an entry for Indi Happy Hours - RiseAboveFear Campaign in association with Indiblogger and Mountain Dew.