I look around me and it’s all I see. It’s everywhere. It’s in the smile of a stranger, the laughter of a child, the embrace of an old friend. It’s in the gift of friendship, a late night text from your favourite person, the way your loved ones look into your eyes when they are speaking with you. It’s in the sweet snuggles of your children, their kisses, buried in your neck. It’s in their wondrous stories, the ones they make up just for you. And it’s in your heart, bursting at the seams when you steal a glance at them, Being exactly who they were meant to Be.
It’s not complicated. It’s the only thing that isn’t. When we break it down, Love just Is. It’s our natural state of Being.
Now fear, that’s complicated. It’s bitter and ugly and hostile and violent and angry and scary and mistrustful and sends us running from the only thing that really matters. Love.
When we attempt to dissect fear, we will find that there is a lot more going on under the surface. There is insecurity, uncertainty, paranoia, outdated beliefs, perhaps influences from others that tarnish our own inner knowing. There is misinformation, a closed mind, a lack of knowledge. All these things, and more, will without doubt lead to fear. Fear makes us small.
So how do we stand in Love, instead of running from fear? That’s not complicated either – we just choose Love. Stand in it. Be it. Spread it. Live it. Feel it with everything in you. Turn off your TVs and radios leaving the fear-based media frenzy behind. Instead, grab your kids, loved one(s) and head outside to nature. Say hi to a stranger you encounter on your walk. They might give you a strange look at first (if this isn’t common in your neck of the woods), but wishing them a good day will most certainly warm their hearts. Take a handful of nuts to the park to feed the squirrels – such a wonderful way for children to see love in action. Pay for a stranger’s coffee, leave a note on someone’s windshield, pick up garbage, make eye contact, donate gently used books to your local library, make cookies for a neighbour, visit an retirement home, play with your kids (something they love, and allow yourself to get REALLY involved).
There are a million ways you can spread love. Each one ripples out into your community and beyond, and has such a positive effect. Being Love is easy. Give people the benefit of the doubt. It is our innate nature as humans to be Good. Yep, you are going to be let down, it happens, but don’t let that fear be your compass. Focus on the good and don’t let anyone run the Love out of you.
A bunch of years ago, we were struggling with a neighbour of ours. They had an outbuilding that was falling apart and it sat on the property line and posed a great risk to, my then, tiny boy. We had talked about it on and off but they didn’t really see it as an issue. I should have been more persistent. I wasn’t. I called the city and filed a complaint. While complaints such as these are anonymous, our neighbours knew perfectly well it was us. And so, they stopped talking to us. No more good mornings, no more friendly smiles. They were indeed angry. Looking back, I don’t blame them. I handled it poorly.
I became uncomfortable, didn’t like being outside when they were there. it was awkward. Fred, my deeply loving husband, refused to let it get him down. He continued to greet them every morning. “Good morning,” he’d say, in an almost sing-songy voice. Every. Single. Day. In the beginning, he got nothing back. Eventually, he got grunts. Then, muttered salutations. And finally, they were smiling and wishing us good morning before we could open our mouths.
When you stand in Love, people will not be able to reject it. They might try, in the beginning, as being shown love can make us uncomfortable for many reasons. But if we genuinely Love, and share that with people, day after day, it breaks down the hard exteriors and eventually, the Love reaches their heart and transformation occurs.
I have no room for fear in my heart. I truly believe we all want to feel connected to one another. Fear creates division and an “us against them” mentality, which makes it easier to look the other way when people are suffering. Love is inclusive. It is a “we are all One” mentality and makes us long to help those less fortunate than us, to make a difference in our community, to stand in Love.
Martin Luther King Jr said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” I’ve seen first hand how this is true and I think about how if each of us can stand in Love instead of running in fear, our world will be transformed. I refuse to run from fear, but will always stand in Love.