Greetings fellow mindful travelers,
This month’s topic is my answer to the question: What is the opposite of fear and anxiety?
In a simple one word answer: Love
I could end the newsletter here 😉
When we are feeling anxious or afraid, when our mind is racing or we feel unsafe, often, what we really need is Love.
So I want to explain what Love is, and how we can cultivate it to help us with anxiety and fear.
First, take a moment to feel into your body what it feels like to Love or be Loved.
You can imagine someone or something that you Love or Loves you.
What does that feel like? …
Now, take a moment to feel into your body what fear and anxiety is like…
Notice the difference?
Two different energies for sure.
So what is Love? (the classic question)
I will explore 5 qualities of Love and how it differs from fear.
These qualities are based on my experience, wisdom from mentors, and intuitive sense.
No one is 100% Loving all the time and it is a journey of slowly choosing Love over fear in your life.
I am definitely still on this journey with you all 🙂
1. Love is Unconditional
When we truly Love something, it is not dependent on that thing being in a certain condition.
Unfortunately, we are usually brought up in a household or a society that says “you are worthy of love if…”
We hold standards to other people that they must meet for us to care for them.
This is very human, but it is not Love.
When we step into Love it is an ever expanding acceptance of what is.
It might be easier to understand this by looking at how we Love a pet or a small child.
When your pet is upset, angry, sad, or tired, do you still Love it?
Why do we tend to treat yourselves, and others so differently?
One trick is to see everyone (including yourself) as a small child or beloved pet and to have compassion for them accordingly.
2. Love is Always Here and Cannot be Lost
There is no “getting” or “losing” Love because it is always present and always abundant.
It is like the sun in the sky. It shines on everyone equally and there is more than enough.
Anxiety and fear are like the clouds in the sky.
They block our perception of the light, but the sun is still there.
Once anxiety passes, we can open ourselves up to Love easily.
If we take deep breaths, ground ourselves in meditation, take a relaxing bath, or whatever self-care helps with anxiety, we can return to our natural state of Love.
3. Love is “Effortless”
Think about someone or something you really Love.
Notice how much effort is takes to Love them…
Now think of something you are afraid of or feel anxious about…
Notice how much energy that uses.
You might notice that when we truly Love something, it takes minimal effort.
It feels easy. It is organic.
We do not have to force Love, in fact, force comes from fear.
Love is a letting go of that fear and returning to “effortless” Love.
If you notice yourself forcing something, again stop, take some breaths, and come back to ease with Love.
4. Love is Spacious
Love allows for many different possibilities. Fear is narrow, constricted, and rigid.
When we really Love something or someone we give it freedom, space, and allow it to be.
We provide a safe container for it to grow into its full potential.
With this, Love is ever expanding. As Love grows, so does the container.
The more we can grow our Love, the more of anything and everything we can be with.
With time, we can even grow a safe Loving container for fear to be in.
5. Love Includes Everything
Love does not push away anything.
Think about when you hug someone. The act is one of creating a loving container and including someone else within you.
Love says “Me too” to everything, even the unpleasant things.
It sees everyone else as a part of themselves. It is the “and” attitude.
It is all encompassing of “good” and “bad” within ourselves and others.
Fear, on the other hand, excludes and says “Not me.”
Love integrates it all and steps into wholeness.
When we step into Love, we see all the aspects of ourselves, of others, and the world as worthy of Love.
So there you have it – Love and it’s opposite, fear and anxiety.
Both are part of this human journey so notice them both in your life and how they show up.
Love does not destroy fear, but embraces fear and gives it a big hug 🙂
With time, perhaps you can more often choose Love as a way of relating to all things that come your way.
Until next time,
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with anxiety and could use the support of a professional, it would be an honor to be of service. I offer Therapy for Anxiety and Mindfulness Groups in Oakland, California.