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Choosing Love Over Fear
By Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D.
What prevails in your life? Is it love? Or is it fear? If love is stronger you will know it immediately because in general, your life holds a measure of inner well-being, self-assurance, confidence, and peace that - should your life be ruled by fear – are all feelings or inner ways of being with which you will not be tremendously well acquainted.
Being ruled by fear necessitates a negative charge to daily life. It means - in simple terms - that you are not confident that you will be fine no matter what occurs. In other words, you are fearful of some things happening, essentially because you believe - or we could say that you fear - that if those things happen, you will suffer. Exactly what those events are that you fear may vary from person to person to such a degree that what John fears most is something that Simon does not fear at all, and yet what Michelle fears, is something that Beatrice considers a simple challenge that can easily be surmounted. Living a life where at some point - most likely some subconscious point (which probably occurred in or is closely connected to your childhood) - you chose fear over love does not mean that you are a coward or a wimp. This whole concept is most definitively not about courage. It is about understanding some elementary aspects about the goodness of life and about believing in the self the way one does when one has established a relationship with the self. And you only ever really do that if you have begun the process of loving the self.
The fact of the matter is that those things that we fear - as long as we continue to fear - can never be fully enumerated, because we have no way of knowing what we may have to face at the next turn of the road. Fear - in this sense - implies wishing to control that which we may encounter, and as said, it is never possible to control everything that we might encounter, because we simply don't know what we will encounter at any given time.
At this point the choice for love and trust in the self may - if we are conscious enough - enter the equation.
Love and especially loving the self has to do with confidence, with caring for the self and with knowing that because you care for the self, you are able to handle things as they arise in your life - even when those things are difficult or painful. More than anything, above all, and in the very first instance, choosing love literally has to do with loving the self and because of this love having developed the firm inner conviction that you can deal with any of the cards that life throws you. That does not mean, by the way, that you will always win or always be successful, or always get what you want. It simply means that no matter what happens, you will be able to deal with it in such a way that your inner well being remains on an even keel. It remains on such an even keel even if you are Nelson Mandela and spending 27 years locked up in Robben Island, and even if you are Victor Frankl imprisoned in Auschwitz, or even if you are Aimée Mullins and had both legs amputated when you were five.
This inner conviction does not come about just in an instance. Let's say you have lived your life driven by fear to this point. You've attempted - often unsuccessfully - to exert a measure of control over those outer circumstances that threaten to throw your well-being off center. You are ruled - to a degree - by the subliminal fear or knowledge that you are not able to control your life, and hence you don't know how you will be if something bad happens. You don't know if you will be able to deal with, or even bear the circumstances - whatever they may be. This creates - if not outright fear, since fear is such a strong emotion - at least a continual sensation of discomfort in your skin, so to speak. Something about you, concerning your life and the way you live does not feel at ease.
The process of moving from a fear-ruled life in the sense described above to a love-ruled life always begins with the recognition of the need to learn how to love the self. By loving the self, fear gradually begins to dissipate because the individual whose life is ruled by love and who has chosen love as the primary benchmark for how he lives his life, is an individual for whom fear - of dis-ease - no longer looms large as it does for the person who has not yet made such choices.
I imagine you are inundated with advice for this new year that began only a few hours ago and so I merely wish to leave you with several thoughts:
- Choosing love over fear signifies that you view your life from the vantage point of goodness, love, strength and hope, as well as peace, love and harmony, as opposed to fear, competition, one-up-man-ship, and the need to prove that something about you, your life or what you do is more right than that of another individual.
- Choosing love over fear means every situation always brings you to a win-win end result.
- Choosing love over fear as a modus operandi for your life; a way to live your life that will literally change everything for you.
- Choosing love over fear will also change the effect you have on all those whose lives you touch and so YOU will actively - and most literally - contribute to change our world.
Choose love. Choose it for you, your loved ones, your neighbourhood, your community, your nation and your world. We are all in this together and we can all contribute to making this change. All it takes is all of us choosing love over fear. Remember that we are all one and that what affects one of us, affects us all.