Each and every decision we make throughout the day gives us an opportunity to choose love or fear. Take a minute to visualize each emotion. Imagine what it feels like to live with love. Bring that feeling in and let it live inside you for a moment. Breathe into it and notice how it feels. For me, this feels like snuggling into a big, puffy blanket. I imagine feeling comforted, insulated from negativity, soft, and willing to share the best version of myself. Now imagine what it feels like to live in fear. Let it permeate each cell and notice how it feels. I imagine a hard, sharp, immovable force, like a large sword, slicing through and shattering my peace. Suddenly fear is in control, and it is not comfortable. Which would you rather live with? We have the choice every minute of every day to live from a place of love or a place of fear. After visualizing both, which would you choose?
The first thing to understand is that you are in control. You get to decide how you interact with the world. You could choose to tackle each challenge throughout your day with love or you could choose to let fear control you. You will have several opportunities to choose today. Every decision we make–what we put in our mouth, how we move our bodies, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves–all give us an opportunity to choose love or fear. The second thing to understand is that whichever path you choose is going to alter your whole day. Choosing love will likely make you feel good, which will make others feel good, which will make your day good. Choosing fear will likely produce feelings of anger, resentment, possibly even blame. That doesn’t sound like a very good day. Third, you can change your path. If you choose poorly first thing in the morning, it can alter your whole day, but it doesn’t have to. Just choose again. Take a break to breathe and let love fill you up–think of reasons you are grateful, think of examples of beauty in your life, cultivate feelings of love in your whole body–then restart your day. This can happen during your morning shower, a potty break at work, or on your evening commute (it’s never too late to restart your day). How you can choose love over fear in your life?
For example, your kid can’t find her shoes and she is in real danger of being late for school. How do you react? Your first inclination may be to freak out. What will the school think of you if you let her be late? If you remember that you have a choice in how you react, maybe you will choose a different path. What is more important? The kid’s feeling of self-worth or your need to be on time? Granted, it may depend on the kid’s reaction. You would be much more likely to react with love if this was the first time and your child was genuinely sorry than if it were the third time and the kid didn’t seem to care. Parenting With Love and Logic would suggest letting the kid find her own shoes, allow her to be late, and let her deal with the consequences. This allows you to face the situation with love while teaching her a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. Plus, how much good does it do to react with anger anyway? Doesn’t it just make the situation worse and make you feel icky later? Take a deep breath and let love win.
In life, we have to co-exist with other people. Unless you consciously avoid socialization at any cost, which is very unhealthy sorry to say, you will have to interact with thousands of people in your life. For example, at work, you likely have to deal with people: clients, co-workers, the guy who sells your coffee, the people you see at your favorite lunch spot every day. Maybe a few of these people aren’t your favorite. Like a certain co-worker that really gets under your skin. This person can turn a bright, shiny day into a gray downpour in a matter of seconds. This is an example of unconsciously facing a situation with fear. How can you choose to face this person with love instead of fear? First off, it helps to understand that everyone we meet is a reflection of ourselves. The universe has this innate ability to put us in close proximity to the people we most need to meet in order to better ourselves. Also, what you dislike in another is likely what you most dislike about yourself. So, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this person?” Maybe the lesson is simply to not be like that person. If so, what about them don’t you like? Take a moment to do some soul searching and see what part of you attracted that person and be conscious of it from now on. Now that you understand that trait, you can face this person with more love and kindness than you did before. It might not change them, but your attitude toward this person has changed. Remember how we create our own reality? Now you don’t have to live in fear of them any longer. Bye bye, black cloud!
Choosing to love ourselves may be the hardest lesson we can learn. We know all of the bad things about ourselves! We know every real or perceived fault inside and out. It’s so easy to get caught up in “I should” or “if only” and “I can’t”, but if you come at challenges with love, you might be amazed at how quickly negativity evaporates. For example, imagine that you have a few pounds to lose, or just want to tone up. If you choose to love yourself, you will be sure the foods you eat are nourishing, choose sensible exercise, get plenty of sleep to rest and repair, and even meditate daily on loving kindness or gratitude. Maybe you will go the extra mile and hire a health coach or personal trainer to help you on your path. You won’t agonize over your weight every day because your choices will be lovingly made to nourish your body and soul. Tackling weight loss from a fear-based perspective may require punishing your body with hours of exercise, going long periods of time without nutrients, and diving deeper into fear when you can’t maintain this abusive cycle. Which method sounds like something you would want to do? Which do you think you would be able to commit to long term? Which seems the most aligned with body and mind? Love is always the answer!
The saying goes, we fear most what we don’t know. I think that is true for many things. We don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know much about cultures very different from our own. We don’t know what is going on inside our bodies right at this very minute. The take-home message is that we always have a choice. We decide whether we will view the world with love or fear. We have the ability to learn if we open up our hearts to it. We have the ability to heal. If we mistakenly act out of fear, we can turn it around and chose again, and again if necessary. I heard a quote today that I think really pulls this whole topic together and provides an action step. On The Melissa Ambrosini Show, episode 32, Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations With God said, “Whenever you walk into a room, say to yourself very quietly…’I have come to the room to heal this room.'” I actually remembered it as, how can I help the people in this room? When you’re looking for ways to help people, it is very difficult to walk into the room in a state of fear or judgment. Another quote from the same podcast is, “What would love do now?” So, before you make your next decision, ask yourself, “What would love do now?”
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Parenting With Love and Logic. Foster Cline, M.D., and Jim Fay. Find it here.
The Melissa Ambrosini Show, episode 32, “Conversations With God and Neale Donald Walsch.” https://melissaambrosini.com/podcast/conversations-with-god-and-neale-donald-walsch/