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Love or Fear?

For some of us on the Seven-Day Mental Diet (the topic of May’s blog), a whole slew of feelings, positive and negative, have been popping up. These feelings all fall into two separate categories: Love or Fear.

Love encompasses peace, joy, contentment, excitement, passion and compassion. We know Love when we feel it, because Love simply feels good.

Fear, on the other hand, is far trickier. Fear cloaks itself in anxiety, sadness, guilt, blame, depression and fatigue.

Fear also masquerades as hatred. Hatred is easier to deal with, as it can make us feel righteous, superior or even empowered. But lift the rock of hatred and what we generally find is that old bugaboo Fear. Fear that we won’t get what we want, or fear that we’ll lose what we already have.

Feeling fearful feels lousy. Fear can make us crazy reactive or frozen in indecision. Fear can be so debilitating, it can suck the very life out of us.

But if every problem comes with a solution, then what’s the solution to fear?

First, breathe. Inhale, exhale. Then take contrary action. When fearful, choose faith—in God, in humanity, in the power of love. Then act on that faith.

In his Seven-Day Mental Diet, the late spiritual leader Emmet Fox urges us to deliberately choose our thoughts. Countless thoughts enter our minds all day. We can’t control which thoughts enter our consciousness, but we can control which thoughts to entertain. Which makes better company: Love or Fear?

Because here’s the thing about love and fear: You can’t experience both at the same time. One always cancels the other.

The next time you feel fearful, notice how love gets blotted out. But when you feel warmly immersed in love, notice how quickly fear is banished.

That’s because when we love, we open ourselves to life and each other. But when we’re afraid, we recoil from life and each other. We all know which state feels infinitely better.

With big thanks to tinybuddha.com, here’s a handy checklist to ensure we stay on the Love side of the street.

LOVE IS STRONG … fear is weak
LOVE IS HONEST … fear deceives
LOVE IS KIND … fear is cruel
LOVE TRUSTS … fear suspects
LOVE RELEASES … fear binds
LOVE ALLOWS … fear dictates
LOVE GIVES … fear resists
LOVE IS COMPASSIONATE … fear pities
LOVE EMBRACES … fear rejects
LOVE FORGIVES … fear blames
LOVE CREATES ….fear negates
LOVE HEALS … fear hurts
LOVE ENERGIZES … fear saps
LOVE IS RELAXED … fear is tense
LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL … fear is judgmental
LOVE RESPECTS … fear scorns
LOVE DREAMS … fear schemes
LOVE LIBERATES … fear imprisons
LOVE WANTS TO PLAY …fear needs to control
LOVE SAYS YES … fear says no

As the Bible reminds us: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (John 4:18)

As children of God, we do have the choice. Let’s choose love!

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