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Scared Separate

by David Truman

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Chapter 1: Unbreak Your Heart

The plague of social fear

Validate your heart

How to change the world, starting with yourself

The plague of social fear

Society has been intensely infected with fear of love and trust. Parents, friends, psychologists, and self-help books warn us to guard our hearts, rely on ourselves alone, depend on no one, trust no one. Everywhere you turn you get the prudent advice that cautions you against love, commitment, and interdependence.

"Every man for himself" is the basic rule of society. But my question is: what does that rule have to do with the needs of the human heart? The fact is, human beings need relationships—and not just superficial relationships—relationships that are close and deeply satisfying. Love, trust, intimacy, someone you can count on, someone who understands you—these are basic needs of the heart. No matter how people are living, or what choices they make, these needs remain.

It's a sane, healthy lifestyle to be interdependent with others, to have relationships of mutual support and enduring loyalty—but sadly, that isn't generally what society affords. The social functionality of people, the ability to hold relationships together, is mostly deficient.

The disease of fear and skepticism has ravaged society and left millions desolate, lonely, and in intense emotional pain—and it's gathering momentum. About 50% of marriages end in divorce; more and more people live alone; and an insidious cynicism about love has crept into the minds of our youth.

But thankfully, the heart never dies. It never stops talking. It never stops desiring. It never stops asserting itself. It never lets us down. Never. That's why, no matter how hard we try, we cannot get rid of our yearning for love and companionship.

People struggle to be self-sufficient; they may spend years trying to get comfortable with aloneness, but they find it just isn't working. "What's wrong with me?" they wonder. "I still love too easily. I still trust too much. I still want too much. I still need too much. I'm still obsessive about people. I still too easily get off my center as soon as I start to fall in love. I've been working on being self-sufficient for years, but I can't seem to achieve it."

That's because it's unachievable. It's against who we are. It's against the fundamental nature of a human being. We can't change our heart's needs and desires. We can't become as different from ourselves as so many are trying to become. No person can be satisfied with a lack of love—even if they're a good meditator, a successful businessperson, an avid reader, or whatever else people like to think can replace love. No matter how hard we try, a human being cannot achieve the stainless steel independence and self-completeness that has been idealized by modern society.

There's a saying: "Throw it away, and if it finds its way back to you, it's yours." That's true of your love, your need, your dependence, your desire for people, your vulnerability. You can try to throw it away as many times as you want, but it will always come back. It will always rear its lovely head again, to remind you that you were not meant to be alone.

Validate your heart

The heart's true ways have been systematically and thoroughly invalidated by ego-spawned culture—much to the detriment of humanity. If we want life to be better, we must swim upstream, against the tide of fear that is bringing the whole world to ruin. We must do something substantially, emotionally different than the norm.

The way to peace and happiness is to accept the parts of ourselves we've been working against and trying to extinguish. When will we validate our trusting tendency? When will we validate our generous nature, which we've learned to believe is our downfall? When will we validate our love? Our need and desire for relationship, for closeness, for togetherness? These are natural, beautiful, human impulses, but they have been slandered and maligned.

Validation must start in each individual. Validate yourself. Validate that you love love, that you want belonging, that you want togetherness. Validate that you don't want to operate in a vacuum of personal (so-called) independence or self-sufficiency. You don't want to be an island. No man is an island. You want to belong. You want to cooperate. You want mutual interdependence. You want to serve people—people you love, people close to you. And you want to serve with them, arm in arm—serve the humanity, serve the world. That's who you are.

How to change the world, starting with yourself

If we want to change the world and make a positive difference to others, we must start with our own psychology. You may have reasons to fear—everybody does—but fear won't do you any good. Anyone who fears becomes a prisoner of fear; and that fear will deprive you of love, ruin your relationships, and keep you from cooperative involvements with others. It takes a strong person to live beyond fear. It has been said, love is letting go of fear—and indeed it is!

Do not participate in and buy into the climate of fear and the invalidation of all that is good and true in yourself—your love, your innocence, your generosity, your trusting nature, your so-called "naiveté," your devotion. These qualities are the crown jewels of your being, the spiritual epitome of humanity, the best and brightest of what God made. They are beautiful. To participate in their invalidation, to buy into the idea that they are stupid or wrong, is to be part of the problem.

To be part of the solution is to give positive energy and acknowledgement to that which is truly beautiful in yourself and others. You can't build up a child by swearing at them, hating them and suspecting them, telling them that they're bad and wrong. You build up a child by validating what is good and true in them, and thereby reinforcing it: "You are love. You are trust. You are generous. This is a good thing. I admire that. I revere that. I support that."

Gratify your heart's true desire. Look to the possibility of making true love commitments to other human beings—and have those commitments be deep, not merely superficial. Not just send a check to save the whale. Not just volunteering in the soup line, doling out soup once a week. Do something truly, substantially heart-satisfying with human beings, and make human commitments that are true—because without that we haven't the basis for emotional fulfillment. Human beings require loyalty, dedication, long-lasting love, and stable relationships in order to be happy, fulfilled, even comfortable. The whole idea of living in an exile of solitary self-survival is antithetical to the needs of the heart.

To live according to your heart's commands to give, to commit to others, to love, will alleviate chronic feelings of depression—which any fear-bound individual surely has—and replace them with a sense of renewed hope and optimism for a better life to come. A better life that you are not merely waiting for, but creating. Trust and love, which are so natural for you, are as good at building relationships up as distrust and skepticism are at tearing them down, preventing them, and ruining them.

So... validate your heart, your trust, your desire, your love. Be who you really are—generous, passionate, kind, and good. Don't shy away from your natural impulses out of fear or self-protection. Do what you were made to do. Only then will you be part of the solution.

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Chapter 2: Take Off Your Fear-Colored Glasses

by David Truman

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