Living in Love or Fear

by Renu Gulati January 3, 2022

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I asked someone the secret of his happiness. He said it was because he was God Loving and not God Fearing.

I then questioned myself and realised that there was a lot of fear and guilt attached to my relationship with GOD. Though I was not brought up in any religious tradition but for a little bit of Christianity at school, I acquired religion in my late teens in my search for “Truth”. There were so many rules attached to life along with consequences of not following the rules. These rules made my mind go down the road of discipline and compliance out of fear not out of choice; along with that I acquired guilt from the consequences one would suffer if the rules were not followed. This seems to be the case with many people I have met who are seekers of truth and with those who have been brought up in religious traditions. 

I was told today to let go of my fear and live in love instead. Easier said than done, I said in my defence. Then I started searching for the causes of fear as to me fear can be a protective feeling for self survival and staying away from danger. I started surfing the net and came up with the following quotes; not sure where they came from now.

‘To be healthy and functional, we need to be able to feel and connect to all of our emotions at different times, even to the less pleasant ones. If you’ve just crossed the street in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, for example, and see a group of large men down the block playing with switchblades, you may feel some trepidation, some fear at a visceral level. Good! You need that fear to help you make good choices-like, in this case, perhaps walking on a different street.’

‘Studies have shown that when animals are incapable of feeling fear, they don’t survive for very long, and the same is undoubtedly true for people. Of course, most people in modern life, as we’ll discuss later, have far too much fear in their lives rather than too little, and this excess fear can be extremely destructive and crippling.’

I would say a reasonable amount of fear is necessary for most of us to protect us from danger. However, when it is excessive we fall prey to a fight or flight situation. Not necessarily a healthy position to be facing regularly as it damages the human organism as mentioned above. Fear in excess can become an anxiety disorder, which a lot of the population suffers from in the modern world to some degree again.

Where there is love and trust shared between the individual and family/friends and to a wider extent fear lessens. Fear is somehow very responsive to love and can be healed through love and trust alone. That love and trust might even be with the cosmic powers, call it the higher intelligence or GOD. When one feels protected, fear comes down.

God alone may do the trick for some people but we are in the main social beings and desire and need love and trust with other humans so making a healthy social support circle will go a long way to releasing fear.

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