Between Love and Fear

Can you sacrifice yourself, your own insecurities, comfort, worries, feelings of worthlessness… in order to add to the happiness of someone you love? Which has more power: love or fear? You want to believe that love is stronger, that choosing love can always shut out fear, and that this pursuit of love and sacrifice allows God to enter and work through you in ways beyond your small self and those ever-floating fears. Well, then, you must act “as if” the love is stronger; you must reach out in love as though there are the everlasting arms beneath to catch you should you fall in stepping out of the comfortable for the sake of love, in that perfect love which casts out fear.

This cannot be done by love focused only on the person in question, but by loving the divine presence in the person and the way in which it is uniquely manifested in this image of beauty. No person is perfect, or fully worthy of love and sacrifice, just as your love and sacrifice are imperfect and still motivated by self-desire, even in striving for selflessness. But if this love is channeled through the flow of divine love and sacrifice, the movement of the spirit and its reflection of perfection have transformative power. As such, love is able to move, change and grow, while fear is capable of nothing save stagnation. Fear limits your movements, places false boundaries on your freedom and potential for love, joy and peace, and the deepest fulfillment of your selfhood.

Your first reaction is often that of fear. By instinct, the new, unfamiliar and unexpected cause you to lash out in fearfulness. You are paralyzed by your uncertainty, pertaining to the outcome of such an “unsafe” situation. It has been many years that you have established and reinforced this habit and so your mind is easily susceptible to fear. But it is never too late, never impossible to turn from this stifling fear, and desire to be motivated by love rather than your seemingly omnipresent anxiety. The quiet whisper of love in the depths of your being tells you things will be alright, that this too you can handle, and it only repeats this sturdy truth as you ask “how?” and as your cries become increasingly shrill and racked with desperation.

If you stop speaking, stop predicting, stop anticipating, stop fearing and just listen- absorb the silence and relax into it, the voice will become clearer. Here too you are not alone- never, never. With this conviction, you become capable of love far beyond your human capacity. You can love beyond the bounds of self, because in love you are inextricably (and inexplicably) linked with its perfect Source, which has the power to save and protect and sustain you. Choose love over fear, not just once but in every moment, and this also will become a habit, as you become stronger in this turning to love and rejecting of fear.

Do not allow your mind to wander or project future scenarios or craft apparently “perfect” responses to possible happenings. All this belies the working of the Holy Spirit in the moment, the presence that guides you and leads only in the “where-you-are.” Continue to step forward in truth, while your mind thinks only “love, love, love” and nothing else, and this devotion to love and contemplation of the divine sacrifice will become a part of your own being. Then fear will be exposed for the powerless foe that it is, rather than the safe hiding place for which you have formerly sought it out. This safe place, as the voice tells you, is found only in the arms of the Almighty, and this does not and cannot ever depend on circumstances but only on your unshakeable identity as a child of God.