The world is beautifully complex. It is filled with far greater love than it is fear and yet fear does exist and can take hold of your wellbeing. When life is offering you examples of sunshine, rainbows and roses, love says ‘LOOK AROUND, I AM HERE, ALL IS WELL, YOU ARE LOVED.’ When life is offering you experiences of sadness, anger or tragedy, fear says ‘LOOK AT ME, I AM HERE, YOU ARE NOT SAFE AND THE WORLD IS SCARY.’
Most of us are somewhere between living life in deep love or living it in deep fear. In my work, I often tell people that fear is like a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum…SEE ME…SEE ME, while love patiently waits to be seen. I was just conversing with a woman that I hold dear to my heart. She is an FBI agent and in her line of work, she sees fear, hears fear, feels fear and deals with fear based people all the time. It made me realize that it truly is time for love to be more active and reminded me of an old Cherokee teaching – which wolf are you feeding.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
With every fiber of my core I know love is the answer for all questions. However, often when faced with fear we step out of love, most often not consciously, but it happens. We hear of the police killing an unarmed black man and we ache for the injustice that occurred. We get righteous and lump all law enforcement people into the same category of ‘bad cops.’ We forget that daily they are faced with fear, feel fear, and live in fear. Sadly, just like the very small minority of ‘bad’ cops, there is a small minority of citizens who target all cops. My friend told me of what is going on in Denver, Colorado right now where the police department is receiving death threats, cops nationwide have been killed, and protests are vile.
This is just one example where fear seems to be taking the lead on ‘fixing’ a situation that needs fixed. The fear around the LGBT community being able to marry. Terrorism around the world and people fleeing a country they loved in order to live. I could go on and on. Fear wins in moments when we give in to it. Fear may win for hours, days, weeks, months and even years if we continue to feed it, yet it only survives when being fueled by more fear. We stoke the fire when we categorize a whole community as bad, evil etc. We give it room to grow when we continually circulate the unjust stories with commentary of hatred, bigotry, racism.
How do we begin to feed love and create more peace? By…
- Remembering the vast majority of people, there are 7 billion of us after all, are living in peace.
- Living our personal life peacefully with kindness and compassion as our top values.
- Stepping in peacefully and safely when personally witnessing unkindness
- Looking for positive solutions to challenges rather than joining the blame game.
- Seeing those you disagree with from a space of empathy and compassion knowing in that moment they are doing their best.
- Being grateful. Say thank you, I appreciate you to any and all who have made you smile
- Forgiving yourself for fear based thoughts, words and actions.
- Volunteering, serving, helping others in need
- Getting involved with peace promoting organizations
- Meditating to calm your mind
- Laughing and having fun
- Learning about different cultures, lifestyles and religions rather than condemning them. You can say it’s not for you without saying it’s not okay for others.
- Taking personal responsibility for the role you play – truly ask yourself are your thoughts, words and actions spreading love or fear?
My heart aches when I see unjust anything occur in the world. I too get angry, disappointed or sad about what is going on. However I know if I stay in that space, I feed it. Love doesn’t turn away from fear, but it doesn’t turn into it either. I am so grateful in knowing that out of 7 billion people who walk the earth, the VAST majority walk it in peace. I relish in hearing of the kind stories that come out of tragedy. I tear up when seeing a video of police officers give out free hugs (you know I’m all about the hugs).
So my dear friends, I ask you to please join me in feeding good, feeding love, feeding kindness, feeding compassion and while doing so you are creating more of it. Send love to areas in need, help however you can from a place of love rather than joining them in fear.
Big hugs and mucho love,
PS – I am always looking for kindness stories, so please share them here in comments. Or share kindness events you know of, or ideas on spreading kindness ideas.