Love and Fear, if not carefully understood can either stunt or completely prevent any forward momentum in growth. What was revealed to me is a healthy balance, and a clear understanding of both forces. By acknowledging, understanding, and embracing our fears we can more easily step through them to the other side. As a way to love more deeply and freely.
You see, my faith and desire to better understand love is the basis for this personal belief. The feeling of fear actually compliments the feeling of Love. Fear is nothing more than a signpost alerting us to caution. Let me break it down. Here goes.
Fear, my personal experience with this peculiar feeling was forever transformed during an event that required me to trust and simply let go. Several years ago I attended an event called Vía Ferrata in VA where you can climb the side of a peak, traverse across a rock face, and cross cable bridge all while harnessed in and clipped to safety cables with double lanyards throughout the course. The rules were simple, only remove one clip at a time when transitioning between elements. Easy enough. “Nothing to it,” I thought. This event was as basic as climbing a ladder. There were stainless steel rungs were cemented into the rock face. “Pretty neat,” I thought.
The view was spectacular when I would actually stop to take it all in. You see, I have a fear of falling, not heights. Though I logically understood safety was on my side barring any potential equipment failure. Nonetheless, my adrenaline spiked, sweat completely soaked my clothes, and the look of panic was nearly etched permanently onto my face. That’s when I understood the meaning of fear.
Back in high school biology class, I recall learning about our natural fight or flight response, and innate design to protect against or flee from immediate danger. It never really occurred to me that fear itself was not dangerous. Until we choose to ignore it or hesitate because of it. Granted this example may not be the best illustration but the message was clear. Even when there is no actual danger, fear can have a paralyzing effect. Fear is designed to warn us, not harm us; it’s simply a feeling.
Now onto our favorite, love. The basis for all that is good and not so good in our lives. Our journey in life flows down many paths leading to love. My respect and understanding of fear have forever changed my paradigm and approach to life. Loving another as I would love myself has a very profound implication. It means that whatever sacrifices and actions I am to take in demonstrating love for another I am called to demonstrate for self. Think about that for a moment. No really, think about it.
How many times have we allowed opportunities to pass us by because of fear? Only to sacrifice and give without question or regard simply because we love them. What kind of whacked mindset is that? It is an all too common truth and misunderstanding of the real meaning of sacrifice. Sprinkled with guilt for loving ourselves. Please do not misunderstand the message. Loving is to give, always. Just do it in a way that is fair and just for all involved. This also includes ourselves. “How in the world would I do that,” you ask? Easy peasy, by authentically and honestly loving ourselves. Try it. I dare you.
There is nothing at all wrong with voicing, in a loving way, what you are willing to give and what is important to you. Through vulnerable sharing and communicating, an agreement more often than not can be reached. A middle ground attained. Of course, this ideal may not always be the case. However, sharing and communicating should always be the motive. Because there are times when we will be asked to sacrifice for the ones we love. Again, this goes back to boundaries and maintaining them.
Are Love and Fear really opposing forces or are they more complimentary than we’ve allowed ourselves to realize? Can the two forces support us in leading truly rich lives? That is completely up to perspective. Be well in Love and Light.