There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
- Saint John
We teach that hate is the opposite of love, but I’ve been thinking that it is actually fear that is the opposite.
As I was writing about the things I want to transcend, I realized that most of the things that we want to overcome can be reduced down to a fear. Let’s say, for example, that I want to overcome a concern about what others think of me. That’s reasonable. But where does that concern come from in the first place? Fear, right? Fear that if someone thinks something negative then I’ll be shunned, rejected, left. So isn’t it really from the fear that I would have to be liberated first?
Fear, though, gets forgotten as our attention and our “treatments” gets directed to what are really just the manifestations of the fear. We end up being held back from knowing the fullness of our Selves and the beauty of our dreams because the underlying fear isn’t addressed. Imagine if that fear was gone. What if the prospect of rejection, neglect, and abandonment just wasn’t scary in the first place? What if you weren’t scared of loss, of death, of pain? Sounds pretty liberating.
In my experience, the first step to getting free from fear is recognizing that it’s there. When you think you are upset by something, try being still and asking our mind and your body what they are really scared of. Accept the answer you get without judgement and with great compassion. Connect with your belief in a higher power that is interested only in your greatest good. Then you are ready to begin to let that fear go.
Some fears are easy to change simply by CHOOSING to believe in something different. For example, if I declare that I believe in all things working together for good, it is much easier for me to release the fear of failure, because even “failures” must be part of the good that is unfolding. They lose their power.
Other fears of course aren’t so easy to let go of. The process might be longer, but it is the same in principle. No matter what your belief system is, if you sit with compassion and listen to the pain that resides in you, asking it what it needs and offering YOUR love to it, I believe that it must dissipate. Because love does cast out fear.
Media credit: Leah Piken Kolidas
Besides your own liberation and accessibility to your dreams, there is another benefit to realizing that fear is the opposite of love: you begin to have more compassion for others.
I have someone in my life who must have been sent to teach me about loving others! I sometimes find this person to be condescending or dismissive toward me which then triggers sensitivities in me and make me feel hostile toward her. It’s a terrible, but common cycle. This morning, as I was thinking about my experiences with her, these realizations about fear entered my mind at the same time and I realized that the two are related. I realized that just as I have fears that lead me to operate in less than love, so too does everyone.
As I reconceptualize her condescension as a product of fear–hers and mine–I can feel compassion for the two of us. We become reduced to our essences…two souls traveling in this journey on Earth together and navigating our experiences with our own level of consciousness at this point in time and space. Separateness becomes comradery. We’re in this together! Why be cells that are battling against each other when we can come together and form something new??
Of course she may not have the same realization, but suddenly that doesn’t matter. I recognize and express gratitude for our connection and I embrace her in a protective, prayerful energy that genuinely desires her highest good. It feels good to be free. And to let her be free as well.
I have been receiving a lot of wonderful, simple insights during my times of prayer and meditation. I post these most frequently on our Facebook page so don’t forget to visit us there. You are all such joy to me. May you be free from fear today!