It has long been my belief that the greatest act of strength of any human being is to absorb negative energy and then return it with positive energy…
When we look at the spectacle of chaos and unraveling happening in the Middle East and all corners of the world today it is very easy to go into reactionary mode and allow the power of fear to dictate our choices. Fear is a powerful driving force that stems from disconnecting behavior, it is also a blunt tool used by the political elite to divide the masses into ‘us’ and ‘them’. Behind anger, hate, anxiety and frustration lies fear, leveraging all disconnecting behavior in an attempt to maintain relevance and power.
We can’t talk about fear without talking about the perceived threat that is always juxtaposed with the unmet needs of safety and security. Whether it is the fear of loss or pain, fear of death, or fear of the ‘other’, it is a powerful emotion whose roots go back to fear of the unknown. We so often fear change because we fear the discomfort of what may happen, we become so attached to the hopes and expectations of our own perspective that we easily lose sight when things do not align.
It is ingrained into our very being to react to the emotion of fear and to lash out at the threats that cause discomfort. It manifests itself in our primal instinct of fight-or-flight to survive, yet we’ve come a long way, and it’s time to realize that we have a responsibility as an evolved society to apply logic to this survival instinct. When we allow fear in our lives to go unchecked, it becomes a damaging force to our environment. This behavior is self-serving to those who would seek to divide, it inflames and stirs hatred, it allows for an escalation of disconnection and a perpetual cycle of disharmony. It exploits brokenness and mistrust, it breeds abuse and oppression as it succeeds in eroding the ideals that the vast majority of folks living today try to live up to. When our lives are ruled by fear there is no peace, by choosing fearful reactions we choose greater suffering…and yet it dominates so much of our world today.
Be Not Afraid
If we give in to the power of fear it becomes very powerful indeed, informing every choice, isolating and devolving our existence. So how do we avoid falling into this trap? First, we must understand that fear only has the power we give it. By choosing to ‘be not afraid’ we strip fear of its power. It is important to recognize that for all the power that fear appears to wield, this power is an illusion… it is the primary catalyst of the illusion of separateness. Overcoming fear is having the courage to see through this illusion to the deeper understanding and embracing of the idea that everything is connected. By seeing through the illusion of separateness we are able to more clearly make choices grounded in deeper connection. We are empowered to make choices with an energy much greater than the negative energy of fear, the positive energy of love. By examining the origins of our fear we are able to gain wisdom enough to respond to situations with love rather than react to them out of fear.
Truthfully, there are times in life where just choosing to ‘be not afraid’ does not feel like a realistic option, the anxiety is too great and the illusion is too vivid. These are the easiest times to be overcome by fear, which is why they are also the most important times to choose love.
Love > Fear
Love is the anchor of wise choices and the antidote to fear. The greatest examples of humanity throughout history are the ones who, when confronted with extreme hostility, made a conscious choice to respond from a place of love rather than react out of fear. When love becomes the baseline for our choices we are able to overcome the power of fear by trusting that whatever happens, the connecting power of love, compassion, and the spirit of ahimsa will ultimately prevail. Now is our time to contribute to the evolution of human consciousness, now is our moment to choose love instead of fear.
As conduits of love we come to see that true strength does not come by force or a ‘power over’ mentality, but through mutuality and collaboration… by valuing each other and contributing to our collective well being we become the living examples of what it takes to achieve greater peace and harmony in our communities. When we choose love we cultivate trust, by cultivating trust we allow for the possibility of creating safety and security. With safety and security we can then feel peace, harmony, and a shared sense of mutuality in an environment free of fear.