Living A Love-Based Life Without Fear
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
My life became easier and more loving when I learned how to overcome fear.
As a very young child, an only child, I was very observant. I would watch all the people around me. My family, my loved ones were very important to my happiness. I noticed early on that my young parents were very passionate. As I look back now, I see their conflicts stemmed from various insecurities. Me? I wanted to find a solution so that they would be “happy.” I wanted to live in a peaceful home.
I became not only very observant, but I also learned fear. I had various things that instilled fear in me. One of the main things that taught me fear was that my parents were often fighting, sometimes with words sometimes it got physical.
My Mother used to have a Sacred-Heart of Jesus Statue in a corner of our living room. I can remember her repainting it. Did she buy it used and faded with age? I’m not sure. I can't remember, but I remember it was a strong symbol of my Mother's faith.
But one of my very first memories was of seeing blood on my Mother’s hand and the statue was broken. This happened during one of their physical conflicts. Mother loved to throw things at Dad when she was angry (her Father was all German and a hot-headed redhead as well). Mother glued Jesus back together and repainted him again. I’m not sharing this here to judge my parents, I’m just sharing experiences. My parents did the very best they could with the emotional tools they had at the time.
I truly believe that when we come here, we are fresh and new, straight from divine realms with a magnificent glorious spirit. We remember the peace and beauty we just came from. We have faith in the journey. We feel excited about what lies ahead, we have a mission. We are loved. We are Love.
As we grow, we forget just who we are. We are children of the Infinite Creator. In His eyes, we are perfect, just as we are. We are of great worth. Some of us clearly remember who we are and why we’re here. Most of us have to rediscover the who and why. Some, because of what they have learned on their journey, are too afraid to do the work and rediscover the truth.
I recently read a comment on an article about living a Love or Fear-based life that said, “…it’s irresponsible to lump everything into two mutually exclusive categories. (meaning Love and Fear).” I strongly disagree with this opinion. I think it’s a matter of spiritual maturity and life experience. I’m sure it’s a matter of perspective as well. This comment inspired this blog post.
You see, seeking truth takes courage. The answers aren’t always comfortable or easy to accept. The Truth may not conform to what the majority of the people you care most about believe. To honestly seek out The Truth will take you places that just might bring about moments of fear.
Time moves quickly here on earth. Before we know it, we are adults. We have insecurities, we have needs that are not being met. We have many duties, responsibilities, relationships that are very complex. Along the way, we lose the faith and surety that we were born with. We can’t remember why we are here or what our mission is. We learn that life can be filled with pain, fear, hatred, and judgment.
It’s not all bad. We also discover many wonderful relationships. We learn that there are many types of love and beauty in the world as well. If you have been fortunate enough to travel a bit, you will find the beauty and dignity in diversity. That “different” people bring their own flavor, culture, and tradition into your journey. So, how do we balance the things which bring us joy with the things which bring us pain?
The best place to figure this out is to revisit your childhood. Your childhood is entirely unique. But, this is where we all learn what is expected of us. How we fit in. We learn how to “behave,” how to share, and be social. We learn about the basic rules of life, love, and survival. Depending on what we are taught and how we are taught, we also learn various types of fear. The key is to acquire the tools and the understanding to deal with fear through applying love.
We may learn the fear of abandonment, fear of disapproval, fear of not measuring up or being accepted, fear that we are unlovable, fear that we might lose our loved ones in death, and many other types of fear. We weren’t born with fear. We learn to fear. We fear pain. When we try to avoid pain, we subdue joy and love.
So go back in time and figure out how you learned to fear. Review all of the relationships you have built over time. Take a good hard look at your part in these relationships. Identify what your stumbling blocks have been. If various relationships ended in pain and you walking away, what went wrong? What made certain relationships work or not work? Are there patterns of thought, behavior, and actions that lead you to heartache and relationship failure? Are you pushing away love? When you have conflicts, how do you behave? When you reject someone or treat them badly, what were your thoughts at the time?
Subconsciously all of the attitudes and behaviors we experienced and witnessed when we were children shape what we become as adults. They create patterns. As an adult, you can shift or cease these patterns. You do have a choice. But first, you have to be aware of these patterns so you can take control and do something about them.
One of the greatest lessons I was taught as a young adult is just how important it is to know yourself. Knowing yourself, respecting yourself, and always being honest with yourself is the foundation for building a truly happy fulfilling love-filled life.
You are an important factor in all the relationships in your life. We cannot control others, but we can control ourselves. We have to learn to take responsibility for our own self-love and self-care. Our happiness is in our own hands. Always be honest, do not play games, do not manipulate others.
I vividly remember a time when I learned something about myself that totally amazed me. I was attending one of the many continuing education sessions in my life. This one was about how to sell discounted paper (contracts, annuities, etc.).
One of the session founders was giving a long training segment. I was one participant of about 210 people. I was in Anaheim California. It was 1996. I was learning about a business opportunity that I didn’t know even existed. I was fired up and determined to make it a go. It was about a six-day event.
During the middle of this particular training, he asked us to close our eyes. He wanted us to think about what our family and trusted friends would say about our training and our decision to start this new discounted-paper business. To my surprise, I could hear thoughts such as, “What makes you think you can do this? I’ve never heard of it.” Or, “Why don’t you just go get a job with a paycheck?” Well, I was stunned. I could hear thoughts like this in various people’s voices. (I later learned that I am a very visual person and I’m very intuitive).
So at this point, I remember how I felt as I heard these voices in my head. They brought discouragement, self-doubt, a feeling that I might let my family down. Was I wasting time and money by attending this event? Not good feelings. Words truly have power!
The next part of the training was to consider if these voices mattered. He asked if these words and voices were going to keep us from moving forward with our decision to start our business. Were these words truly insightful, worth considering? Did they have value? I then realized the individual voices I was hearing were from people that never ever went outside their comfort zone. They always played it safe. They never took chances. (In other words, were we going to allow other people’s opinions to determine our destiny?).
I decided that I did not agree with these voices. I knew from the few days I had been attending these sessions that I took to it quickly and I found it exciting. I was tired of being a substitute school-bus driver and not being given my own bus and route. I wanted to work from home to better care for my family.
What the session leader said next was a life-changing moment for me.
He said, “Now, pretend these voices and words you are hearing in your mind are recorded voices. Since these people aren’t here, their words are recorded in your memory. You have a choice to listen to and keep these words in your mind, or erase them.”
It was like a huge “ah-hah!” moment for me! I had a choice to keep or erase! Right then and there, I erased their words and opinions and never looked back. I took control of what I keep and what I remove.
“The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors.” ~ Napoleon Hill.
“I believe that every single event in life that happens is an opportunity to choose love over fear.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
We all have chatter going on in our brains on a daily basis. I swear, mine never sleep! What I did is pray for discernment. Are the words and voices in my head mine? Are they ghosts from the past? Or are they the still small voice from Spirit?
This is very important to figure out. If we are so busy listening to mindless chatter, it will drown out the still small voice that is imperative to our spiritual journey!
I think God planned it this way. We have to choose and desire to be close to Him, to Love Him, to Trust Him. We have to make the effort to reach out to Him. It’s a relationship with Him that we desire. It cannot be one-sided. It’s a lifestyle. Don’t just call out for Him when you are experiencing adversity. Speak to Him from your heart daily, in all things.
This is why spending quiet time in prayer and meditation is so important. The chatter in our mind will not quiet unless we make it quiet. Then, God’s soft loving voice can get through to our minds and our hearts. I have learned that to know if you are living a Love-based life or a Fear-based life, note that Love-based people are motivated by what is best and healthiest for themselves rather than what pleases others. This is not selfish, it is healthy.
I know your next question will be, “How can I tell which thoughts are which?” It’s really quite simple. All emotions humans can experience come from one of two places. A place of Love or a place of Fear. Pay attention, track your experiences. Write them down. How did you feel when you had certain thoughts enter your mind?
Did the thoughts make you feel good about yourself? Did the thoughts encourage and support you? Did the thoughts feel like a gentle but firm and loving redirection? Did the thoughts inspire you to do good things for yourself or others?
Or, did the thoughts feel heavy, dark, demanding, or make you feel worthless? Were the thoughts like an inner critic? Did the thoughts make you feel unworthy or undeserving? Were the thoughts put-downs? Did they make you feel small and unimportant?
If the thoughts are Fear-based, they will lead you to avoid your mission here. They will lead you away from self-love and loving relationships. They will lead you to self-doubt, self-hatred, insecurity, and being miserable. They will lead you to give away your power to someone or something else (like addictions).
If the source of the thoughts is based on Love, you will feel that warm glowing “Love” feeling while you are thinking the thoughts. Often, if it’s powerful enough, just thinking back on the thoughts could bring about this loving feeling again.
The exercise of tracking these thoughts and the feelings they bring about will be a help to you to uncover the root of the thoughts, the source. You will find that the source is either Love or Fear. Pray for discernment so that as soon as the thoughts begin, you can recognize Love or Fear is entering your mind. If it is from Fear, you have the ability to put the thoughts on pause and hit erase.
If you are living a life that is based on Fear, be prepared to apply LOVE, lots of self-love. If you do not Love yourself, you cannot possibly love someone else. Unless you have love for yourself, you cannot give what you do not have. You may experience a small taste of Love, but not the LOVE the Infinite Creator meant for you to have. Remember, God IS Love. He can help you overcome fear easily.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ~ 1 John 4:8
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. ~ 1 John 4:18
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10.
God clearly shows us that fear is not from Him. He is literally Love not Fear. With His help, we can overcome fear. So for those that think fear is more powerful than love, that is just a fear-based statement and belief from someone who has not experienced God’s Love in their life.
“By reacting from fear instead of responding from love, you inject poison directly into the veins of your relationship.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
I spoke with my counselor yesterday about the challenging times we are living in. As a full-time Caregiver for my terminally ill spouse and then adding the Coronavirus Pandemic on top of that, life can be extremely overwhelming.
What I have learned is that all opportunities teach me something. We are here to truly live, feel emotions, be vulnerable, learn all the ways and types of love that there are. Be filled to capacity with emotions. Humans are supposed to feel, not numb themselves with drugs or addictions. Emotions are opportunities to learn to love under all circumstances. Learn to live a life of love, agape-type Love, at every moment. We are all one, we are all family, God's family.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain.
I see and believe now more than ever that our faith is like a protective umbrella over our life. It is God’s protection with us through every step and every breath keeping us warm, dry, and safe. You were meant to live life to the fullest and be blessed by the journey. So don’t forget your umbrella!
Be well, be blessed,