CAMPUHAN RIDGE WALK, UBUD BALI



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SIGNATURE PAULA MAREE



THERE IS ACTUALLY SUCH A THING AS A FEAR OF FALLING IN LOVE!


Recently I had a revelation when it comes to romance! There are many ways in which our subconscious thoughts might be blocking us from being the best versions of ourselves and ultimately finding love. However, a fear of falling in love may also be manifesting in your life in other ways! Who knew?


Just before we went into lockdown, I went to see a hypnotherapist and what she uncovered was the last thing that I’d expect to learn about myself! I have a fear of falling in love.

Hypnotherapy is something I have always been curious about. So when two of my fellow Flight Attendant friends went to see the same hypnotherapist and spoke so highly of their experience, I embraced the opportunity for a referral.


Something that many of you may be surprised to learn about me is that I have suffered for quite some time now with an extreme fear of falling from heights!

The fear is absolutely debilitating when I travel (I was terrified taking the picture in this post!) and it also disrupts my life on a daily basis. Working as a Flight Attendant might seem like a strange career choice for someone who suffers vertigo and is nervous about falling from heights. Yet, I feel completely safe in the sky. And riding a rollercoaster or any other amusement park ride is also not a problem. I’m not afraid when I’m securely strapped in, or there is some sort of safety barrier to break my fall. However, standing at the top of a set of stairs, or stepping onto an escalator is a whole other story and I have to do that daily at work, carrying a suitcase and in heels!


Looking back throughout my life, I can pinpoint the exact moments in which this terror took a hold of me.

Approximately ten years ago, I was travelling throughout Europe on a Contiki tour. Early one brisk morning, I was running around the top of Mount Pilatus in Switzerland in slippery shoes, when my feet came out from under me and I fell. Grabbing onto a rail and dangling by one hand, I remember a wave of sheer terror coming over me. However, I pulled myself back up, dusted myself off and kept on going.


Then, later in the trip, I slipped once again. It was late one night in Prague and after having a few too many wines I stepped onto a very steep escalator in a pair of stiletto boots and went tumbling! Once again, I was fine, as the alcohol helped to cushion my fall. But when I returned to Australia, approximately three months later I started balking at escalators and suddenly I was very aware of my fear.


Wanting desperately to overcome this phobia, I woke up early one Saturday morning and drove down the coast to see the therapist.

She spent over an hour chatting with me about my fear and uncovered some other triggers from moments in my childhood, before putting me into a hypnotic trance. However, what happened next is something that I definitely didn’t predict in that present moment!


As I was working through my fear, the therapist coached me down a set of stairs next to the ocean. I had vivid visions of the moment and I was smiling, carefree and enjoying the sun beaming down on me. The beach has always been my happy place and I remember feeling a sense of calm whilst transcending the stairs. However, all of a sudden a male figure appeared next to me. I couldn’t make out his face, but I became immediately very aware of his presence and tried to push him off the stairs! Not literally. But in a figurative way, as my mind really struggled with him being there. ‘Who are you and why are you here,’ I thought to myself, ‘This is my journey and I don’t need you here!’.


When Kim brought me out of the trance we both knew exactly what had happened! As it turns out, I’m not only afraid of ‘falling’ in a physical sense. I’m also terrified of ‘falling’ in love!

I’ve learnt not to rely on anyone, even when I am afraid and could use a helping hand. I guess this is because I have had my heart broken many times and I’ve become used to being let down. So this is now manifesting in my daily life as a fear of falling over. When I’m out walking around I’m often anxious about breaking a bone, or my phone, or some other insignificant material possession, which is actually a metaphor for having my heart broken. How mind-blowing is that!


I’ve been taken back to a painful part of my subconscious psyche. But this is something that I am determined to overcome!

Ironically, I’ve always thought that I’m very open to falling in love. Romantic love is something I craved for so long, so I was shocked to discover that it is something I find very frightening on a subconscious level! Children have no fear, so I am now channelling my inner child in order to overcome my phobia of falling in love. And if there is one thing that I could tell my ten-year-old self, it’s that it is all going to be okay. No matter how much you get hurt love is still worth putting your heart on the line for!


If I’m completely honest, this entire experience has changed me to my very core.

I hope to overcome my phobia and can’t wait to take a massive leap of faith when looking for love in the future! However, I’ve also been blown away by the realisation that all of our thoughts and physical actions are connected in some way. The brain decodes messages and stores them in set patterns that can have unpredictable impacts on our behaviour. But like any habit, there is always a way to break down a behaviour pattern and find a new path. Your own phobia may be very different to mine, but I find it very interesting that many people have at least one phobia. Or perhaps it’s just a bad behaviour that you’d like to break. My fellow Flight Attendant friend has quit smoking after having hypnotherapy and it can also be utilised to treat depression.


I’ve always been open to alternative therapies, but it does take an open mind to be receptive to it, as it’s not always a medically recognised treatment. Most importantly, though, you have to truly want to a make a change in your life in order for hypnotherapy to work. The clinical term for a fear of falling in love is ‘philophobia’, which I never would have known was even a thing if it wasn’t for this experience! And it’s now something that I’m eager to learn a lot more about. If you have given hypnotherapy a go, or you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment to share your story below.


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