IMG_1722I believe that we each have a really important choice to make, in fact I would go as far as to say it is the single most important choice you will ever make. It’s a choice that determines how the rest of your life will pan out, how happy it will be, how content you will feel and how much love you will receive. The bad news is it’s a choice you have already made and the good news is that it’s a choice you can make again.

Thankfully, we get to make this choice everyday. In fact we get to make this choice not only every day, but hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day. The choice is this:

With every thought we think, word we speak and action we take, we get to choose whether it comes from a place of love or a place of fear.

Just under a year ago I had this realisation. It came as a result of feeling vulnerable because of romantic feelings I had for a man I had recently met. We had become friends but I was attracted to him and my feelings had started to make me feel uncomfortable in his company. I felt both vulnerable and incapacitated by fear and I started to avoid spending time with him because of it. What I realised was that my discomfort came from a place of fear, a fear of being rejected, a fear of being unlovable. I chose to free write on the subject to help work through my thoughts. This is what I wrote:

I feel as though fear and I are getting to know each other a little better, taking our relationship to the next level. I love you fear. I accept you, I embrace you and I release you. Thank you for being my teacher, thank you for the endless lessons in how to live a happier and more fulfilled life and for teaching me about courage and love. For when we embrace fear, we get to see love even more clearly. As we hold fear in our arms and look over its shoulder, there stands love, in all her beautiful glory. She was waiting there all along and yet I couldn’t see her because rather than embrace fear I tried to run from him, tried to attack or side step him but only when I wrap my arms around him in loving embrace do I see love, beautiful, smiling, shiny love. Thank you fear, whilst you were obscuring my view of love all along, I see now that you did so to teach me a valuable lesson. That which obscures love can be the doorway to love. You, fear, are my doorway to love. Who knew?

It was through my writing that it dawned on me that everything we ever do comes from a place of love or a place of fear and not just that but that we get to choose which it will be. What liberation?

Choosing Fear

Knowing about the choice we have between love and fear doesn’t mean that we then always choose love. Choosing fear is habitual, it is learned, think about the society we live in, fear is big business, fear makes us buy stuff, fear keeps us in check and we feel more comfortable with fear because it’s what we know. In a misguided attempt to protect ourselves and feel secure, more often than not we will choose fear.

When we hold back from saying “I love you” because we don’t know if the other person will say it back, we are choosing fear.

When we fail to pick up the phone to a good friend because they haven’t called us recently, we are choosing fear.

When we retaliate to criticism by immediately criticising back, we are choosing fear.

When we hold on to resentment, refuse to forgive, fail to listen or acknowledge the feelings of others we are choosing fear.IMG_1730

When we feel envy, jealousy or bitterness, we are choosing fear.

When we compare, judge or gossip we are choosing fear.

“Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends. “ ~ God (‘Conversations with God’ by Neale Donald Walsch)

The Big Fear

So what is all this fear about? What exactly are we so afraid of? I’ve read some incredible books* lately and they all seem to come to the same conclusion, which is that our greatest fear is that of being unloved and even worse being unlovable. John Welwood, in his book “Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships” says this:

“All hatred of ourselves and others; all our fear, egoism, communication problems, and sexual insecurities; all the pathology, neurosis, and destructiveness in the world: and the whole nightmare of history, with all its bloodshed and cruelty, boil down to one simple fact: not knowing we are loved and lovable makes the heart grow cold. And all the tragedy of human life follows from there.”

Think about it. When you feel loved and loveable, doesn’t it feel amazing? Don’t you feel capable of anything? Don’t you feel able to give love freely and be generous not only with your time but with your thoughts and your heart. When you truly believe that you are loved, don’t resentments dissolve and jealousies simply melt away? When we know that we are loved we also know that how others behave isn’t indicative of our worth, isn’t a measure of how loveable we are, because we know in our heart that we are loved, we are loveable and we are love.

When we care without condition, we are choosing love.

When we forgive ourselves and others for mistakes made, we are choosing love.

When we dance like a maniac and sing from the top of our lungs with no thought of what others might think, we are choosing love.

When we realise that everyone is doing the best they can with the resources that they have available to them, we are choosing love.

“Love is what you experience when you empty your mind of attachments to judgement, self-criticism, unworthiness, resentment, cynicism and fear.” ~ Robert Holden

I choose love

Where is the love?

This is where many of us, myself included, take a wrong turn regarding love. We spend all of our time and energy searching for love outside of ourselves. Looking for somebody to love us, fill in the gaps, complete us, make us happy, all the while not loving ourselves. The simple truth is that love actually exists within us and to take that a step further, many people including myself, believe that we actually are love but we allow this truth about ourselves to become covered up by fear. So this business of choosing love, really means choosing to embrace and harness the love within you, believing that you are worthy of love, that you are loveable, that you are loving and that you are love.

“The decision to be the presence of love is the most powerful influence you can have in any situation in your life and in this world.” ~ Robert Holden

What will you choose?

*Further reading:

The Key to Happiness ~ Caroline Leon

Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved‘ ~ Robert Holden

Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart‘ ~ John Welwood

Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing‘ ~ Anita Moorjani

You Can Heal Your Life‘ ~ Louise L. Hay