When I met Matt, he was one of the most frightened and lonely people I'd ever seen. After working together for some time, he began to trust that I loved him. But one day he said, "I'm afraid."
"Of?" I asked.
"I'm beginning to believe that I can be loved, but what if it's all taken away?"
"Everybody in your life who has promised to love you has taken it away, haven't they?"
"So it's understandable that you would have that fear. But let's look at whether it's true. Tell me how it could all be taken away. How would that happen? If you can't describe how it would happen, it's not likely that it would. Make sense?"
"Well, I don't know. My wife can be pretty ugly to me."
"Do I love you?"
"Do you have people in your Real Love group who love you?"
"Oh, probably a dozen or more."
"That's a lot. So, in the past you've had nobody you could depend on to love you. Now you have me and a dozen other people who do. On any given day, some of us might not be full enough to love you, but what are the odds that none of us will be able to?"
"And no matter how ugly people are to you--your wife, for example--they can't take our love from you. Individuals can withdraw their love, but they can't take away anybody else's. So what do you really have to fear?"
"Not much, I guess."
"No, you really don't."
We want to develop as many people as possible who can see us clearly and love us. Then we'll always have a supply, and we don't have to fear being alone anymore.