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Fear and Relationships  

A number of teachers, mostly in the spiritual realm, have offered the teaching that there are only two emotions: fear and love. While the idea is a bit new agey for me to buy into and I think emotions are a bit more complicated than that, it is an interesting idea and I think fear is a big hindrance to healthy relationships. In fact, it is important enough that I am starting a new series on fear and relationships. Here is a quote on love and fear from Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross, who I do have a good deal of respect for.

There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It's true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it's more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They're opposites. If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.

I particularly like the idea of love and fear being opposites. I think fear is one of the most toxic things that exists for relationships, primarily because it drives those things that we normally think of as being toxic: anger, hate, anxiety, guilt. Those emotions are what I sometimes call secondary emotions, and while it is their expression that tends to cause damage in relationships, they are generally pretty difficult to deal with directly. Dealing with the primary emotions, of which fear is a big one, is much more helpful.

Over the next few months I will examine fear in relationships, how that impacts relationships, and make some suggestions for how to address and deal with that fear. This will include both the fear that has to do with the relationship and the general fear that many people seem to have about things going on in the world.