“I recognize that I have chosen fear, and I choose again. I choose love.”
from The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
Fear and love? Opposing forces? I’d expect courage opposite fear, hate opposite love. But, here’s further confirmation, from John Lennon, that guru of peace who died in such violent fashion:
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.”
Despite the wondrous and lengthy summer days we’ve been enjoying, I’d forgive you for succumbing to the pull of fear these days, given the recent news cycle:
*Sea to Sky gondola in Squamish, BC collapses, sending more than half of the 30 cars crashing to the ground, luckily no injuries, RCMP suspect sabotage
*manhunt for two BC murderers of three ends with the discovery of their bodies, suicide suspected
*14 shootings in Toronto over the August long weekend
*accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein dies in New York jail, suicide suspected (President Trump retweets ridiculous conspiracy theory involving the Clintons and murder?!)
*back to back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio leave 31 dead, dozens injured – those after a mass shooting the weekend before in Gilroy, California (4 dead, 13 injured) and preceding a shooting standoff in Philadelphia in which six police officers were injured
It goes on and on. Some people refuse to read the news. Trump, who currently garners so much press, has supporters who insist, “Well, you can’t listen to what he says.” Huh?! But he’s the president of the United States of America, once (still?) considered the greatest country in the free world! A good leader should be guided by a moral compass that has him/her choosing words carefully, ones that soothe the wounded psyche of the masses, yes?
Unfortunately, Trump, consumed and guided by fear, lacks a moral compass and, if you follow him on Twitter or listen to his off-script speeches, you know he’s unable to choose words carefully. His fragile ego focused on crowd size while in El Paso consoling victims, and also name-calling of Democrats who accompanied him in Dayton because, although they reported he was well-received by patients and he “did the right things”, they “didn’t agree with his past rhetoric or policies”. Wow.
I follow the news because I like to know what’s going on, in the world and also in my community. And in my community the other night? An impaired driver crashed into a house in east London, Ontario while travelling the wrong way on a one-way street, causing a gas line explosion that injured seven, destroyed one house and severely damaged seven to nine others. As bad as it was, damage – to life and property – could have been so much worse.
But we can’t live in fear, right? Well, we can, but who wants to be on guard, scared and angry all the time? (I’d say fear motivates gun rights activists. How many times have you heard it said that a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun? Then please also note that in Dayton it took a good guy with a gun just 32 seconds – 32 seconds!!! – to stop a bad guy with a gun and still: 9 dead, 17 wounded.)
“I choose love.” It’s that simple. A choice. Despite the craziness out there, in here, in your heart of hearts? Choose love.
Do you think of emotions as a choice? Especially one as powerful as fear, reaching out icy hands in the dark, gripping you by the throat? Ahhh!!! Fear consumes, thereby trumping (pun intended) intelligence.
In a blog on screamfree.com called What’s more powerful than fear? the writer provides a great analogy to show how an emotion, like fear, overpowers our thoughts: “Our thoughts in an argument are like classically trained boxers, studying their opponent for the opportune time to punch. Our fear, though, is like a pro wrestler, stepping into the ring and whacking its opponents with a folding chair.” The writer goes on to say, “Fascists dictators, guerrilla revolutionaries, and talk radio hosts alike know this truth about fear, and that is why, for them, facts are secondary. Fear is primary.”
You can’t defeat fear with thought, nor can you defeat it with courage. You need a whole heaping helping of the most powerful emotion of all: L-O-V-E. Choose wisely, choose love.
Website photo: My son Jay studying the beauty of Howe Sound as we hiked up the Stawamus Chief under the Sea to Sky gondola.