I recently read a book called ‘A Course In Miracles’. Well, to be totally honest, I read the condensed version first and then tackled the full version. The underlying message I took away from it was that every moment we get to choose whether we will live, speak or behave from a place of love or a place of fear. And the choice we make will impact our life and the lives of those around us.
I Started Noticing How Often I Chose One Over The Other … Yikes
Emotions such as frustration, anger, disdain, stress are based in fear. Behaviours such as judgement, gossiping, putting down, being nasty, speaking behind backs, these are also based in fear. I watched myself over a couple of weeks to see how often I chose love or fear. I didn’t like what I saw. What would you notice if you watched yourself for a few days? What do you think about first thing when you wake in the morning? Is it positive or is it worry and fear based? What do you think about before you go to sleep at night? What do you think about during the day?
Fear Based Emotions And Behaviours Keep Us Small
All the emotions and behaviours that come from fear lower our energy, take our focus away from things that matter and separate us from others. Throughout much of 2021 and 2021 our world lived in fear. We lived frightened of close contact with others. We were frightened about what might happen to us, worried about what might be sold out in the supermarket and feeling isolated and trapped inside our homes. In that environment we survived, but only a lucky few of us thrived. If ever there was a lesson about choosing love over fear, those two years were it for me.
Choosing Love Instead Should Be Easy, Right?
So choosing love instead should be easy? Right? Well not as easy as I thought. It appears we have a tendency to look for the negative as a survival and safety mechanism. I would go so far as to suggest we don’t just do it to survive any more. We do it because it has become a habit we are addicted to. We have stopped questioning whether it is healthy for us and just accepted it is part of life. How often do you overhear conversations where people are talking about happy things? How often do organisations market to our joy rather than our fear? How often does our news feed have feel good stories?
Swimming Against The Flow
So when I decided to choose love instead of fear, it really felt like I was trying to swim against the flow. And it wasn’t just against the flow of a tiny little creek, it felt like it was against the flow of a whole society. Instead of feeling justifiable anger and rage at someone, I was having to find forgiveness and understanding. Instead of feeling frustrated, I was having to find empathy and kindness. If you want to choose love over fear, you will have to be the bigger person over and over again. But if we can change one person at a time, just imagine the world we will end up living in.
You Can Always Justify Fear And Anger
There will always be reasons why you want to be angry at others. It feels good. It is energizing. It makes you feel right. It puts you in a position of superiority. It lets you be a victim to someone else’s poor behaviour. It can always be justified. But it is never helpful.
I would like to tell you that I now live every moment of every day choosing love over fear, but that would be a lie. What I can say is that I now choose love over fear more often than not. I would describe myself as a ‘work in progress’. It is isn’t always easy, but I feel much better within myself.
The Thing That Made The Biggest Difference
The thing that made the biggest difference for me was learning not to judge myself and others. Instead of looking at myself and others and finding one of us wanting, one of us has done the wrong thing or one of us has hurt the other, what I do now is think two things:
- People are just people and situations are just situations. It is only my reaction to them that gives them meaning (either positive or negative).
- Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know. I do not know the backstory that led this person to do this thing at this time and place. And if I did, my heart would be filled with empathy for them and not fear.