Matt Licata: The fear of being loved

The fear of being abandoned. The terror of being lonely forever. The anxiety of being utterly dependent upon another. The panic of unbearable vulnerability and exposure. The dread of the looming death of yourself and everyone around you. These are the great fears that come as you wake, as you fall asleep, and as you dream through this life.

But perhaps the greatest fear of all is the fear of being loved. We don’t really see it this way, though. For when you are really loved, when you are entirely seen, when you are fully held, it is the end of your world as you know it. You will never be the same. You will never again be able to pretend that you are other than perfect and precious as you are. And that is terrifying.

Life is always seeing you in this way.

You long to be loved, to be seen, but please know that the implications are immense; they are cosmic. To allow yourself to be loved in this way a part of you must die. Everything you thought you weren’t must be surrendered. You must let go of the stories of the unlovable one, the awakened one, the special one, the imperfect one, and the despairing one. Love wishes to reveal your nakedness, to remove your clothing, and to burn away all that is false and less than whole within you. What you are is a raging firestorm of creativity, sensuality, openness, warmth, and kindness. Love will never stop until you know this.

In this way, love is a destructive process, for it comes to re-order everything you thought you knew. But will you step into this sweet annihilation? Yes, something will be shattered; actually, everything will be taken away. All that will be left is your wholeness and your raw, tender heart. This is your gift to this world.

– Matt Licata in Many Voices, a Sounds True blog

This fits my experience. I notice a fear of being loved in a very human way, because it goes against some familiar – and apparently safe – identities, including of being unloved and unlovable. When I look a little more closely, I find that anything in my experience – including who and what I am – is love, and taking that in, through specific and genuine examples, goes against all identifications that this mind is using to try to be safe. Taking in the love that’s already here dissolves any identifications. And that is quite scary for some parts of me. It takes away what mind has used for so long to try to stay safe. It doesn’t work, of course, and seeing that – and that it too is love – helps the mind relax and soften its hold on the idea that identification equals safety.

6 thoughts to “Matt Licata: The fear of being loved”

  1. This was a complete surprise to me. I was so addicted to needing to transmute my pain and so conditioned to growing through pain. I was not prepared for the utter vulnerable naked intimacy that opened me to overwhelming love. Continuing to stand in this is the most humbling experience of my life.

  2. I am touched in my heart by the sensitivity and Truth of this almost “Zen” brief sharing by Matt Licata ~ The fear of being loved. I am sharing my feelings about this article as a psychologist/therapist, and specializing in the past 40 years working with individuals who are in emotional and often physical crisis in their adult lives because of experiencing sexual abuse as a child…and/or having one or two parents that were seriously dysfunctional, and thus did not experience a loving childhood while in the womb, through birth, through their childhood/pre teenage years, and into adulthood.

    I am 79 years old, and have been a spiritual traveler, and also a past teacher of yoga and meditation for the past 29 years, and have 2 very loving and happy adult children.
    And, I continue to be open for a loving soulmate to come into my life before I leave my body ~ but with no expectations, and I continue to embrace my loving Heart!

    I also believe after many years of experiencing a variety of spiritual teachings, meeting and sharing time with Mother Teresa, embracing the spiritual teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadata, and a few other Awakened Beings, and my prior (not past) life during my 4 years in the Korean War, past marriages, 2 near death experiences, and the emotional loss of my older son from a first marriage, and my 2 loving children and 6 year old granddaughter….that LOVE is truly the timeless healing source, the highest Awakened state of Being….the “Absolute.”

  3. Today is my birthday. My sister asked how my day is going.

    In this life in form, all I ever really wanted was the epic, transpersonal, soulmate connection. I can’t help but notice the disparity in my response…

    “I NEED to take a day to pamper myself…

    …to walk out in nature, seen and felt by no one but the life of the planet, down in a wash, embraced by the earth …or amidst the trees, who put up a curtain to shield me from the wounds of the world, till I can bear to come back again. Yet all the while, I am naked to the entire universe overhead. There, I am always received with limitless love.”

    What room did I leave for another?

    I see it everywhere. In the grocery store, I feel my heart is open, but people are scared to death of making eye contact. True – I tend to see their faults, but everything I have ever learned in the search for love, tells me that I must fix the problem within my own self.

  4. You say that love is destructive process, but when something is rearranging it doesn’t always means that this is destructive…isn’t it? Love is difficult because of those processes but for me it is actually constructive in it’s nature…Love construct the new and the real me within me…Love reminds me of who I really am and who I always were…which I find positive. It’s not easy to face all fears. But everything comes with a price. And the price for real love…to truly love and be loved is to face those fears…Otherwise it’s just another illusion…another lie in our surreal life… 🙂

  5. Thank you. It is so true. We all want love and it’s most scary to just be “naked” on front of another. I tottaly relate to this .. The process of destructive is to face all the fears that are on the way of being naked self. (Not an easy process-if ever possible completely to be unpretentious self). Maybe some “homeless people” are closer to that.

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