Imagining ourselves apart from others in an illusion that makes us sick of selfishness?

Contributed by Isabel Hernández Negrin from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

What separates us from others? Fear of feeling vulnerable, fragile. We feel vulnerable if they ask for help and we believe that if we give it, they will consider us weak. If we feel criticized, even if constructively, because we find it hard to admit an error and feel the fragility. If they deny us something, because we believe that we deserve everything. If we hear opinions different from ours, because that would be like finding ourselves weak. If they propose to us to accept challenges for which we do not feel capable and we fear to be embarrassed.

You can recognize in yourself some of these situations and you will see that in all of them there is the fear of being vulnerable. This fear leads us to be always on guard against others. In this state, we are not ready to lose anything, be it material (money or other possessions) or immaterial (the image I have of myself) that makes us more vulnerable.

With that attitude, I accumulate everything I can – assets, success, relationships, admiration of others, power… You see, then, that all these are nothing but signs of an egocentric behaviour that separates us from the others, from the potential adversaries that can cause us some kind of harm.

If I did not fear losing and feeling fragile, why would I want to accumulate all sorts of things? I want to feel safe, driven by my fear of fragility.

When you detect in yourself some feeling or behaviour of this nature, observe yourself from the inside and face its origin. Discover the fear that drives you, without condemning yourself for what you have thought, felt or done. Just be conscious of it, because that realization is what will offer you the possibility to gain freedom from the fears and feel peace within yourself. Others do not want to cause harm, they just do the same thing as you: avoid feeling vulnerable.