Fears In Your Life

When fear enters our lives, it can affect us all. We are perfectly fine the way we are, but sometimes pulled into social falsehoods. It is all around us.

Expectations can ruin a relationship, but fear can ruin lives. And fear can invade everything, including relationships.
Fear is the direct opposite of love, and it makes itself known through the form of defensive behaviors. Many people make up for the things they do not have, the “illusion” of inadequacy. They hide a part of them because they feel less than perfect and work very hard to convince all those around them that they are okay.
The fact is they are perfectly fine the way they are, but pulled into a social falsehood. It is all around us—people who are poor, overweight, or who do not look like a movie star.
These are only a few types of fear that enter our lives.
Men are fearful because they are conditioned by society not to show vulnerability. If a woman see herself as less than “ideal”—thin and gorgeous—she trembles in her shoes at the prospect of judgment, leading to the ultimate fear—rejection. This climate of social fears casts a pall over most of humanity, even though it manifests itself in many ways.
What exactly is fear of rejection? Like all social activities, there are two actors—the rejecter and the rejected. Nothing like this ever occurs in a vacuum, it is all about context. Similar are most human endeavors: one performs an action, and another is acted upon. Love, hate, war and sex are all variations of the same themes.
All it takes for the act of rejection is one simple statement—“I do not want you.” This starts a chain reaction of complex emotions that take into account all sorts of feelings and thoughts. It can be a crushing reality, especially if there are aspirations of love and romance.
In a perfect world, people are wholly unto themselves and those rejected would take the statement simply at face value. Acceptance would come with the realization that the rejecter only wishes to spend his or her time elsewhere.
No harm, no foul.
It could even be that the two people involved are—in reality—perfect for each other, only the circumstances may not be right. Wrong time, wrong place… right people.
What is necessary in this situation is one thing: acceptance of the rejecter by not taking the statement personally. We did not fill requirements they were looking for, but we are not to blame.
When rejected, it is most often that we perceive that there is something wrong with us. We view ourselves as less than savory, and only a matter of time that our faults were brought to our attention.
For example, one may say, “I like you well enough, but your anger is unacceptable.” Remember, not all accusations are based in fact. You become defensive—and fearful—that what they are saying is the truth!
In fact, people exaggerate and make up stories as to why they do not want to be with you. It is important to use judgment, and you know in your heart what is really true.
There is a more subtle fear that creeps into many relationships. Often misunderstood, it creates a sense of dependency that weakens the loving bond.
It is the fear of being unneeded.
If you are frail, the need to be needed can turn clingy. A more headstrong person  would have this fear trigger a walk away from the relationship—looking for something or someone else. It is a common yet complex presence in a relationship. It is the source of co-dependency.
Dependency is allowed—even accepted—because it reinforces the desire to be needed. This can be an emotional minefield, and is disturbingly widespread. If one partner sees the other striking out—enjoying their interests and friends—the other panics and becomes dependent. Fear takes over—a fear of being replaced, abandoned or not loved.
The question becomes… what do you do?
The way to combat this is by loving yourself. Inner love is to let those people have their feelings, and not to be frightened or threatened. Our first reaction is to remove the things that take attention away from us, but this is not love. It is a self-centered and selfish feeling that only goes to chip away at our own self-esteem. And this is the destructive nature of fear.
Relationships are like a jar, which is filled with either love or fear. When you pour in fear, love spills out. Empty the jar of fear and love can return and take its rightful place.
The universal fear is of being alone. Humanity has never been meant to be alone, which makes being alone a primal fear. We crave the company of others, but like other primal fears, are quickly distorted.
Fear of being alone is natural, but it becomes irrational if we cling to relationships for this reason alone. A bond that does not serve any higher purpose than fear of being alone is unhealthy. It is similar to staying with an abusive spouse for companionship—at times, the bad outweighs the good.
So now comes time for the hard questions. What are your fears? Rejection? Solitude?
We all have fears… what counts it is how you handle your fears. It has been said that heroes are no different from ordinary people—they are only braver for a few minutes more than the rest of us.
That is the challenge of life… to understand your fears and remain brave—even if it is for only five minutes longer.
It’s a good start.

Living Healthy Can Be Simple

Living a healthy lifestyle. It is a natural way to live and is possible for anyone.  If your goals are to live a healthier lifestyle, or to maintain the health you have, taking a few small steps will lead to substantial benefits.

Here are few things to consider:

·                     Take care of what you already have.

Maintain the health you have now. If you feel you are not living as healthy as you want, start with this moment! The past is history. Your new life is here. Every day you are one step closer to achieving the health goals you set. Take care of your body and soul—by taking action now.

As your grandmother used to say, “No time like the present.”

·                     Get moving!

Introducing exercise into your life can be the most important thing a person can do to reach a healthy lifestyle.  It is something you can do today.  A short 20 minutes of walking can be a good start. Exercise does not mean hours in an expensive gym or hundreds of dollars of special equipment.  All you need is an open door.  Go outside and walk.  Start slow and have fun!  Pace yourself.  If you try to do too much at once, you run the risk of burnout. Even a few minutes can be fine—anything is a good start! 

A healthy lifestyle is a process and takes one day at a time.

·                     Make healthier diet choices.

You do not have to give up the things you love to be on the road to health.  Start small and be creative.  Introduce some new vegetables into your diet.  Find some healthy foods you like and add them to your diet.  Read labels and watch salt, sugar and fat counts.

·                     Watch what you eat.

In a healthy lifestyle, the amount you eat is as important as the food you eat. Small snacks several times a day are better for your body than three huge meals.  Your body is like an engine, and small bursts of energy will keep your engine running smoothly.  Invest in a small kitchen scale. It does not have to be expensive. You can find them at the thrift store.  Use it and keep aware of the size of your food portions. Monitor your eating habits by starting a food journal.

You may be surprised with amounts of food you consume, sometimes without even knowing!

·                     Do not “lose weight”—be healthy.

It is important for a healthy lifestyle to keep a proper weight.  In addition, no one likes to be told they need to lose a few pounds.  If your health goal is only to lose weight, you will be less successful.  The idea for a healthy lifestyle is to feel better and live better.  Taking care of you should be the reason for any lifestyle changes. 

The goal is to be happy with yourself and your body, no matter your size.

·                     Talk with an expert.

Take the time to get regular checkups, including blood pressure and diabetes.  Have a conversation with your doctor or health professional. If you have any family history of health problems, it is essential to talk with them about any changes to your lifestyle.  They can guide you in how important it is to maintain good health.
Health is something that cannot be rushed. The most successful lifestyle changes are ones that come gradually.  It is impossible to force well being. Nevertheless, you can always take an active part in creating the lifestyle you want. 

The best thing for your body is to start slow and let your wellbeing build naturally. You will find that with good things, one positive step will lead to the next.  Healthiness can be like a snowball rolling down a hill.  It will grow on itself. 

By making some small initial changes in your everyday life, you will begin feel better. Soon your new lifestyle will make you healthier and happier.

Lost in Love?

You find yourself in love… and this time you know it’s different. You will do whatever it takes to keep it.

Feels great doesn’t it?

Of course, that is until you find yourself completely consumed with romance. You start to feel lost, and feel as though you don’t know yourself any more. Sadly, your friends start to fade away.

You have heard someone say, “You can’t truly love someone unless you first love yourself.” But in this relationship, you find yourself focusing 100 percent on loving someone else and all your energies on keeping your love together.

Is this right or wrong? A hard question to answer… isn’t it? It’s true you want to make your loved one feel as if they are the most important person in the world, but what about you?

Compromise in a relationship is vital, but replacing who you really are with the thoughts, feelings and emotions of another is not. When you realize that you may be in a totally consuming relationship, there will be little left but resentment towards your partner. It is hard to reclaim yourself while staying in this kind of relationship. The outcome is usually heart-breaking crisis, with no one to blame but you.        

On the other side is finding yourself in a halfhearted relationship. In this, one or both of you hold back affections until you know for sure that yours is in love with you. In this type of relationship you fear that you will be putting more into the relationship than what you get out of it. This conditional view creates a lot of emotional insecurities on both sides and typically doesn’t end well.  

Both of these relationships are very unhealthy and are led by fear. In an all-consuming relationship, it’s fear of not being loved. In a halfhearted relationship, it’s a fear of being hurt. In order to love whole-heartedly without losing who you are requires a different perspective on relationships all together. Even though you know that relationships require work, you may find yourself thinking that all it takes is to meet the right person.        

Are you wishing for a partner who is going to give themselves to the relationship 100 percent? Then you first need to take a close look at yourself. Ask are you willing to do the same? Do you give back the same as what you get? Listen to your heart. When things feel right, allow yourself to feel the fear and then give love anyway. Love without hesitation and with all of your heart. Don’t let your fear of rejection or getting hurt damage your relationship.   

Love is about making choices. Whatever you choose it must be done whole-heartedly, that way there is a good chance you will never lose it. 

Love teaches you to become a better person.

Restore your faith in love and become emotionally available to each other. Put your fears and your past behind you. Learn to trust by trusting yourself… the most powerful lesson you will ever learn.

Love is not something you find, but something that you share. A relationship allows you to do this. Don’t turn your back on love every time it touches you, because if you give up on love then you give up on yourself.

Love—The Gift Anyone Can Give!

Love—The Gift Anyone Can Give!

Love allows you to open yourself completely to another, and can join two spirits to love each other as much as they love themselves.
The ability to love is one of humanity’s highest achievements… and one of its greatest mysteries.
But there are a few things we should know about love.
Love is not an object that can be presented from one person to another—although it can be the ultimate gift. It is not a thing you can hold in your hand—even though there are many ways it can take shape and many forms it can assume. Few can identify, exactly, when love comes but everybody knows when it is gone.
Love is a behavior.
Yes, love is an action—and to thrive it must be shown, at least, to one other person. It is also something that is given freely and openly. And that is love’s most important quality!
The effect of genuine giving, centered somewhere other than the self, can be intense and profound. It allows people to open themselves completely to others, and join two spirits to love each other as much as they love themselves.
This is how many people understand love… as if it can be truly understood. They have a “know it when you see it” attitude, where love is something that spontaneously arises from within. Very secretive and covert,  it plays “gotcha” with your emotions.
But what is “love”… real everlasting love?
Love is a bond that comes from appreciating the good in another.
Yes… I said it… the “good.”
I know it may be surprising to hear that word—goodness—when putting love in context. I guarantee that very few love stories incorporate people’s ethical considerations. Nobody ever talks breathlessly about high moral values during a passionate embrace.
However, in studies of successful long-term relationships, one of the highest ranked factors is the value placed in a partner’s moral qualities.
To those in the Jewish mindset, this is not a surprise. Of course, the things that we value in ourselves,  are the same things that we appreciate in others. We were created to see ourselves as good, and it is only logical that we seek the goodness in others.
So… beautiful looks, sparkling personality, wit and intelligence may be attractive to you, but goodness is the true fertile soil of love.
If love comes as a result of the appreciation you have for the goodness of your partner, then it does not just happen. It can be made to happen! You can produce it! It is only a matter of focus. And if you can create it… you can choose it!
When you look at another person and say, “I love you,” what you are really saying is that you respect and appreciate who they are and what they stand for. It is the goodness they represent that attracts you.
Certainly, there is a huge difference between this and the deep, profound love that develops over time—especially in long-term relationships and marriage. But it is a start!
Since love is a behavior, it is also a choice!
By focusing on the good in others, you can choose to love almost anyone, and by extension, the entire human race. However, what do you need to do to deepen this warmth for a specific person?
Feelings are affected by many things, but our actions touch our feelings the most. It leads us to believe that if we want to be a more compassionate, thoughtful and loving person, we must start by having more compassionate and loving thoughts, and follow it up with acts of rakhmim… charity.
Most people think that love is the source of giving, but true kindness is the exact opposite—the act of giving leads to love.
After all is said and done, true love is an act of giving centered on others—not ourselves—and requires several elements:
  • A specific recipient for your love.
  • A sense of commitment.
  • The conscious act of loving.
  • Understanding the common bond that links us all.
When love is broken down to its most basic parts, it can actually be possible to find, create and maintain love over the long term, with anyone of your choosing. Love is a combination of goodness, giving and respect—things a thoughtful and sensitive person can control.
It is time to rejoice! This realization is certainly something that should be celebrated. Love is not a mystical phantom that arises suddenly and without warning, but is a wonderful behavior that is created, nurtured, cherished and—of course—shared!