Into this world we are born incapable of doing anything other than cry, we are weak and helpless, unable to navigate or comprehend the world, luckily babies are born to people motivated to keep them alive, at least I hope. Upon a baby’s arrival parents are flooded with a powerful love rarely felt, unless you’re a frequent MDMA abuser or a blissed-out meditator high on jhanas or metta. This primal love fuels parents to do anything it takes to protect their offspring, even at the cost of themselves, as evolution would say life must go on and on and on and on, so parents go on to try and keep you safe and healthy the best they can. They feed and clothe you. Teach you good from bad. What’s right and wrong based on what they’ve been taught themselves, of course. You, unable to do otherwise, unquestioningly take this all in and live by it. What your parents teach you is your holy book and doing anything against what you’ve been taught means death.
Fear then stops you from doing things that put you at risk of your caregiver’s disapproval, even if what you’re doing isn’t actually harmful. If you learn that playing with ‘boy’ things as a girl is bad, you repress the parts of you that desire whatever those boy things may be. You’re no longer being yourself and not being yourself causes suffering in all aspects of your life. You always have to be on guard, parts of you develop to protect you from those aspects of yourself. You unconsciously believe that those parts of you are bad and not worth expressing, especially since unconsciously you believe that you’re going to die if you do those things. A myriad of negative emotions stems from these repressed aspects of ourselves, shame, guilt, worry, hate, and so on.
Here you are now as an adult living in a perpetual state of fear, rooted in the fear of death as a result of your upbringing. A lot of your energy is employed to prop up a fake sense of self that when seen through the lens of your upbringing signals you’re ‘good enough’ for love, in your head you believe this is what you want and who you are, in reality, you have your caregivers voices inside you which you mistake for yours that dictate your life and unconsciously motivating your behaviour, all rooted in a fear of death due to requiring love to live.
This is no state to live in, it detracts from life since you’re constantly anxiously self-monitoring and projecting a fake self. Most of your energy is being wasted by emotional reactions beneath the surface of your consciousness. I recall walking in downtown Toronto alongside my wife, on the surface I felt fine doing so, but I’d be left feeling drained afterwards. I used to believe I just didn’t like being around so many people, it’s crowded, and loud which is partly true, but mostly each person I passed was an attack and being around so many people would bombard the scared child within that I was carrying and protecting. This would happen at school too, these subtle reminders of my inadequacy left me exhausted no wonder I struggled to do anything, my poor body/mind was focused on the perceived threats all around me and with the fragile state I was in they were everywhere. I’m astounded now at how I feel when walking in crowded places. I no longer feel drained, I walk as if I’m at home wherever I go.
It surprises me to know that love is rooted in survival and the fear of not having love is a fear of death, but in hindsight as I’ve looked inwards at an attempt to understand myself and reclaim my birthright of joy and peace it all makes sense. You love to live and you need love to live so you have to be a good girl/boy for mommy and daddy, you have no other choice.