Most of us go into relationships to find security; we want to be with someone who makes us feel safe. Two people form a better unit of defense against potential hazards and tragedies than one.
If you felt truly safe, fear wouldn’t arise. From the perspective of spirit all fear is a projection from the past, and as long as these projections continue, you will keep generating fearful situations to accommodate them.
Whatever you most fear – abandonment, rejection, failure, loss, humiliation – has already occurred to you. The threats you perceive around you now, or coming at you in the future, are the long shadow being cast by your past.
The reason romantic love makes you feel so safe is not that another person is there to guard you but that love is there to guard you. Most people feel that love has such power only in early childhood.
As infants we fused love with the presence of a loving father and mother. As long as they were there watching over us, we felt both loved and protected. Once we grew up, however, we learned that our parents had their own frailties and fears, that they were not as totally secure in the world as we thought.
This lesson usually came home in a way that brought some shock and disappointment. Faced with aloneness, the young child is thrown out of love and safety at the same time.
But that is where a mistake crept in, for the one lesson – parents can’t always protect you – is true, whereas the other – love can’t protect you – is not. Unlearning the second lesson is how you stop having to control other people, for it was in early childhood, almost exactly at the time you were first left to your own devices, that you started feeling the urge to establish control.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).