Are they even possible to define with words?
“Love is not about concepts; love is about action. Love in action produces happiness. Fear in action can only produce suffering” Don Miguel Ruiz
Love is a difficult thing to describe because it is like describing God or Truth. How do you find the words? Do they even exist? Some words reflect the qualities of love. Words like comfort, peace, safety, and joy. Those words get close to describing what love might be like. But Love is bigger than our language. It is a knowing, an experience. Love allows us to be just who we are without approval, scorn, or fear. Love is like coming home.
Fear on the other hand is the opposite of love. It is the ever present voice in our minds that reminds us of limitation and resentment. It is in our beliefs that try to convince us we are powerless, how much our past is real, and how much evidence there is of our own frailty. Fear is the precursor for every negative emotion we have.
I can feel the difference in my body when I am aware. I know when I am in alignment with fear or love. When I am believing my own story, trying to control things, when I am trying to be “right”, I feel anxious, frustrated, angry and scared. I am in fear. When I am in a place of allowing and being curious as to what unfolds, when I am present and react with intuition, strength, and surety, I am in love. When I am in fear I feel like I need to "do something" to relax, to distract me, or to “fill” me. When I am in love there is a knowing that I "need" nothing other than what I have.
So, there is love and there is fear. That's it. And what we are doing in our life, every choice, every action, and every thought we have, arises from one of those two places. Love or Fear.
Where are you spending most of your time?
"Love is the ability and the willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you" ~ Wayne Dyer
Here are some differences...at least in my opinion...
- Love is unconditional. Love just loves and is not dependent on outside conditions. It knows it is empowered by an endless supply of divine energy so has no need for outside approval. Love is freedom so it doesn’t need rules. Love asserts itself and doesn’t put up with disrespect because love knows what it deserves. Fear puts conditions on love. For example, “If you do what I want or think is acceptable then I’ll love you back.” Fear decides who fits into its story and who doesn’t using its own criteria. It uses rules as ways to control and defend its position in the hope it will feel “safe” from a (falsely believed) unsafe world.
- Love does not arise from feeling obligated. When we are aligned with love we “want” to freely give. Fear is about doing what we feel we have to with a sense of obligation. Then, typically, we resent having to do what we don’t want so we rebel, and in the process we suffer.
- Love doesn’t intend to cause pain. It doesn’t want to hurt. Its intent is truth. That doesn't mean that the truth doesn't hurt sometimes, but to love is to be honest. The intention of fear is to cause suffering.
- Love doesn’t have expectations because love relies on itself to reflect peace. It comes from within and doesn’t need outside confirmation. Love doesn’t take things personally. Fear places it’s expectations on everything. It is “if …then” thinking. As in “if he tells me I’m beautiful , good enough, amazing" then I’ll feel loved. Or, “If this situations turns out the way I want, then I’ll be happy.” Of course, this example of impermanence is an example of the dualistic nature of fear. What happens when he doesn’t affirm your worthiness or if the situation doesn’t turn out the way you expect? Yep. Suffering.
- Love has compassion but doesn’t feel sorry for anyone. It knows its own resiliency and strength and is confident in its choices. Love respects itself and the opinions of others. Fear on the other hand, feels sorry for itself and others thereby asserting it’s own “special-ness’ and “better than attitude”. It has the need to control others, because it doesn’t trust others or themselves to make the “right” choices. Fear tells other people what to do because fear always believes it is “right”.
- Love is accountable for its actions. Fear avoids responsibility, and is always looking to blame, excuse, or explain away its accountability.
- Love is kind and compassionate. Fear is not. Fear is selfish. It puts its own needs before others. How can we be kind when we are suffering?
- Love is who we are when we undo all our resentments. It is our truest from, our deep soul expression, and our birthright. It is our radiant core brilliant like the sun. It is always there. Fear is what we learn. It is in our stories, histories, excuses, and justifications of our ego selves.
What about when love doesn’t look like love?
See, for me I thought love looked like always being nice, encouraging, sweet, and kind. I thought love meant I never yelled (even when I was screaming inside), never told someone “no”, never rejected anyone. That I should always be polite. That I shouldn’t get angry. That I should stay in control. That I should always speak intelligently. That I was to look a certain way to be accepted. We are programmed to fit into what ever mold we are give ourselves.
Then I learned a word called “enabling”. Basically, enabling means doing for someone else what they should be doing for themselves. For example, if you live with an addict and you allow them to continue their behavior you are enabling. If that person does that for you, they are enabling you. If you allow another to be right because it is "easier" you are enabling their behavior. If you say “yes” when you really mean “no”. That is enabling.
Main point here- Enabling is not love. It is not loving.
It’s true. Real love is honest. It is connected to something bigger than our logical minds. Our intent is what is most important here. Is our intent love or fear. How might this look?
"When you abuse yourself, in a sense you abuse the world. If you learn to love yourself, you become an expert in self-preservation and your own healing. You begin to bloom and the world blooms around you."
With love we say no because we are worth it and so are they.
We all have a price which is measured in self love. When we are connected to that divine love within ourselves we have a high price, a high value, and a low tolerance for abuse. We no longer accept abuse from ourselves or others. A lower value, a weaker connected with our divine self, and we have a lesser price.
We say no because we have both the right and the power to choose what we want in our lives and the right to change our mind. We also trust that we know what is best for us. Life is not an obligation but an opportunity.
Where is your intent with yourselves and others? If you are anything like most of us you may fear saying no to another for fear of them feeling rejected, or of them rejecting you, or of looking impolite, or because you just don’t trust your own value. It could be a thousand reasons. What is true is this…If we have rejected our truth we are willing to accept anything.
We each have the choice in every moment to create a life based on love or fear, truth or everything else.
What do you choose?
Love is reckless, not reason;
reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Without cause God gave us Being.
Without cause, give it back again.