“FEAR is the ABSENCE of LOVE”


Sscared fish 

LOVE vs FEAR
I don’t know what love is, so how can I tell?

PREVIOUS: How ACoAs Abandon Others #3b

REVIEW: ACRONYM page for abbrev.


WHAT DOES this quote MEAN?
• Like so many popular ‘spiritual’ saying there’s some truth in it, but NOT the whole story, so people can easily get confused & also misuse it.
Generally, this statement means that if we have enough love in our life, we won’t be afraid. Loved by a Higher Power, loved by family, love by pets, love by friends…  Yes, these are to be desired & cultivated.
BUT the reality for ACoAs is that we are fear based – no matter how much recovery we may have. Love & Fear are both Emotions, re. T.E.A. (ACoA website: ‘Definitions’)  There are 2 separate issues re. this quote:

1. Fear is created in CHILDHOOD by genuinely being in danger!
• As kids, ACoAs lived in an atmosphere of constant fear and were subjected to fear-producing experiences (mental, physical & emotional) practically every day of our childhood. AND there was very little comfort or validation of our reality. On the contrary, if we told anyone or complained, they said we were over-reacting, making it up, being disloyal AND it was our fault “What did you do?” Even if anyone believed us, they didn’t / couldn’t help, so we had to suck it up.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.28.15 PM.png• For many of us –  a lot of our childhood was like being: 5 yrs old, dropped off in the middle of a huge traffic intersection at rush hour, left there in our underwear, told to not whine & ‘JUST COPE’ !!  How cruel !
All that pain & terror got pushed down & where did it go?  Yes, in large part, psychologically, it went into the unconscious. But physically – the chemicals generated by terror & other painful emotions got stored in our body – in our organs, our muscles, choking our aura, meridians & chakras.

2. Fear is created NOW mainly by our thoughts – but not always:
a. Present-day reality. There are many situations we may be faced with throughout life which require much human help, a clear mind & spiritual support. They are mainly external, real-world stressors. It’s normal to be fearful when:
• we or someone we love is in danger (a child or pet is sick…)
• when we lose something that’s very important to us (like a job, or when my apartment burned down in ’92…)
• we’re overwhelmed by too many things needing our attention or a lot of emotional turmoil (visiting family, getting married or divorced…)
• we find out we’re very sick, & sometimes – don’t know the cause… or we hear about traumatic world events…

b. Toxic Thinking. On the other hand – the emotion of fear may be generated by harmful thoughts – our inner world of beliefs, family rules, damaged thinking. (cognitive distortions). ie. the harsh, negative, scary things we tell ourselves, which actually create more terror – on top of what we already carry from our past.
Fear, terror & S-H are behind ALL rage and ALL obsessions. WE:
• worry about future catastrophes & abandonments, which may never happen & which we have no control overbad voice
• project only painful outcomes to situations & relationships
• assume others will react to us the same way we think about ourselves – badly !
• are so used to things not working out, & having anxiety as our  constant companion, that we create mental drama when it’s not called for…
• believe we’re dying of cancer when we’re not seriously sick (especially if we’re not feeling well but don’t know what’s wrong)
• are convinced someone’s angry at us or can’t stand us, because they didn’t say hello or give us a compliment  ……..

SO we ended up with deep reservoirs of hidden pain, which most people call anxiety, because on the surface it doesn’t seem to be connected to anything obvious. HA !  As long as this backlog remains frozen, the pain:
a. drives much of our behavior, our thinking & our interactions with others
b. causes physical & psychological ailments….

… but in Recovery, much release work can be done, which definitely helps!  We can get to the place where we live more in a state of calmness rather than upset. There will always be some residual ‘old’ fear that shows up thru the years when we’re under stress. We’ll never be completely rid of all the original abandonment terror. This should not be a surprise – since there was so much of it.  We need to be extra kind to ourselves.: “Feel the fear & keep going”, but softly, softly.Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.34.08 PM

SCARY THOUGHTS which torture us is what the quote is primarily referring to – not being LOVING & kind to ourselves, not searching out people who can be good to us, not believing that there’s any safety in the world – for us !

HOWEVER when we practice nurturing our Inner Child, connecting with the peace of a loving H.P. & kind people, our overall fear level diminishes, especially the unnecessary suffering that we used to add to the ‘pile’.
➼  We can’t always control or eliminate old fear, but we can be in better charge of that we THINK & what we DO.

NEXT: Not Enough Love? – #1

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4 thoughts on ““FEAR is the ABSENCE of LOVE”

  1. Fascinating post.

    I am an ACOA and recovering alcoholic. Been sober a number of years. Recovering also.

    A lot of ground seems to have been gained in the past few years and I am very grateful for the journey and progress. I am at a point now where I really feel the next challenge for me is my deep fear of money.

    I’ve had it, I’ve lost it, I’ve had it again, I’ve lost it again. I hate opening mail and bills. Yet I do have a great career and have always maintained at least a decenent income, even when I crashed. So it is not a supply issue.

    In reading your post, I recall the deep fear issues from childhood when my Mom left my alcoholic father and our world went into turmoil. I was maybe 6. This was highly atypical in our neighbourhood culture. We were always provided for. Mom had a great job and Grandparents were there to help as well.

    The tricky weave I hope to untangle is to address the fear that came about from this time, while not falling into self-pity, envy, or comparisons.

    Your post sheds some light on how I may have felt back then. Very alone and vulnerable like the kid in the intersection. Even though that was far from the case. We had a home, family, and provision so poverty was not the issue.

    I am wondering what was it that rocked me back then? Fear of the unknown that Dad was not there to guide me through? Feeling different because Mom and Dad were divorced and Dad was a conspicuous drunk? Lying about why Dad lived a half hour away? (“he was closer to work” I would tell my friends).

    Then when my alcoholism manifested and my wife packed it in, the biggest fear was money. Yet poverty still has not shown up. I have been blessed through this crazy and expensive time.

    Fascinating. There is a stronghold in there of some kind.

    Thanks for the post. It is triggering some enlightening thoughts.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  2. Thanks for sharing a little of your journey. I celebrated 32 yrs in AlAnon this month – I know the dedication & patience it takes to heal. I had actually looked at your blog a couple weeks ago. I just checked there again & like your post about acceptance. I’ve written about what acceptance IS NOT. I agree that God is our only true source of healing! When I cried out to the Lord for an answer, He gave me a friend, who eventually needed me to take her to Al-Anon – I stayed, she left (for a few yrs) & I got better. PTL.

  3. Omg, I struggle with the same issues. I’m afraid of going to the mail box to get the bills. I always fear scarcity, I feel as if I’m still in survival mode. I can’t relax and I’m afraid most of the time. I have read every self-help book available and even became and expert at MBTI so I could type people. I cannot believe that I have waisted 32 years of my life like this. People like you who are willing to post this info at no charge shows me that the world my had been hell for me but it was my world.

    Thanks Donna for helping us heal our wounds.

    • Erica, thanks for writing. I’m glad I can help. Before Recovery I spend many years being afraid of the wrong things AND not afraid of things that were truly bad for me! That has changed, on both sides. Thank God for healing!

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