Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com
Does some painful experience of the past still have an influence on the way I love?
It is late at night and outside there is a rural silence, interrupted only by the wind, and today is stronger, announcing a new season. The impression I have is that everything is quiet outside and here inside my soul. But would not it just be an impression?
The fact is that I have, in my hands, a book that has become my friend and counselor in these last days. Authored by researcher and writer Roberto Shinyashiki and Eliana Dumêt, he deals with various subjects related to human relationships, including the fear of loving. I stop on the page that I have just read and start writing as if to make sure of what I have learned, but also to share with you, reader, something that, I imagine, will do you the same good that it did to me. Have you ever been afraid to love? To relate to depth? Do you know where the fear comes from?
The example of the mouse
The writer narrates an experiment carried out by Psychology, which responds, figuratively, to this and other questions related to this subject: love. A scientist placed a mouse in a cage to evaluate his behavior. He says that, at first, the animal had been pacing back and forth, driven by curiosity. When he felt hunger, he went to the food deposited there. However, when he touched the dish, in which the researcher had installed an electric circuit, the little animal had a great shock, so strong that if it did not give up touching it, it could die.
After that, the mouse ran in the opposite direction of the dish. If we could ask him if he was hungry, he would certainly say no, because the pain of the shock would certainly make him despise his food at that moment. After a while, however, the mouse came into contact with the double possibility of death: shock or hunger. However, when the hunger became unbearable, the animal, slowly, went back to the food. In the meantime, however, the researcher shut down the circuit. The plate was no longer electrified. But when he was about to touch it, the mouse felt as if it had taken a second shock. There was tachycardia, the hairs bristled and he ran, again, in the opposite direction to the plate. If we asked him what had happened, the answer would be: “I took another shock.” Although the electric power was off, and he did not know it.
From that moment, the mouse is entering a great tension and its goal is to find an intermediate position between the limit of hunger and that of obtaining food, so that it has a certain tranquility. This state is called a point of equilibrium, because it represents a position between doing something, in the event of feeding, and, at the same time, avoiding a new shock.
The shock of feeling rejected
You are probably wondering: what does this have to do with fear of loving? I would say: Everything !. Often we see people or even see ourselves “shocked” without even touching the “plate”. Just look at how many times we feel like inviting someone to go out, talk, go to the beach or to the movies, but we did not do any of this fearing the ‘no’ shock! Or, how often do we fail to tell people how good they do us and how much we love them, for fear that the feeling is not reciprocal and thus feel rejected?
According to the researcher, this is to take a “shock without touching the plate”.
The fact is that painful experiences of the past can provoke a terrible fear of new sufferings. Worst of all is that we almost always forget that not all “dishes” are electrified, that is, not all people have the same insecurities or other weaknesses that someday gave us a shock.
According to scientific studies, understanding what we feel is the best stimulus we need to start over.
Go beyond the fear of new sufferings
Perhaps today is the right day to pause and think: Does some painful experience of the past continue to have an influence on the way I love and the depth of my relationships?
To love is the first condition to be in constant communion with God. We have no right to deprive ourselves of this wonderful vocation that the Lord imprinted on our hearts in the act of creation.
“Let us love one another, for love comes from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not come to know God, for God is love “(1 John 4,7-8).
May the Master of Love encourage us to go beyond fear and to love, in depth, those whom He, in His infinite goodness, draws near to us.
Missionary of the Canção Nova Community, since 1997, Djanira lives in the São Paulo mission, where she works in the media. Daily, she presents programs on Rádio América CN. On Tuesdays, she is at the head of the program “De manos unidas”, which offers at 9.30 pm on TV Canção Nova. She has been a columnist since 2000. Recently She launched the book “Por onde andam seus sonhos? Descubra e volte a sonhar” [Where are your dreams? Discover and dream again] by Editora Canção Nova.