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“All fear is nothing more than thoughts. If there is only one, there cannot be a second to be afraid of. If we look to our Self, as it is one, there is nothing else to be afraid of. To think that there is something outside ourselves is the cause of fear, but if we are firmly rooted in our own reality, then there will be no fear, no doubt and no undesirable qualities, as all these are centered around the ego. The state of equanimity is the state of bliss.” -Ramana Maharshi
Will You Choose Love Or Fear?
Here’s a hypothetical situation. Suppose a terrorist has taken you and your family hostage, and this terrorist says:
“You have two choices. Choice #1: Walk away from your family and I’ll spare all your lives. The only catch is, you can never talk to them again.
Or you can take Choice #2: Go through a series of extensive challenges and tests. They’re some of the hardest in the world. The tests change as you take them. And they could take you months or even years to complete.
During your testing period, you won’t see your family at all. If you pass all of the tests, I will set you and your family free. If you don’t pass, I will kill you and torture your family for several years.”
Sure it’s a very extreme example. But it serves to answer one simple question: When faced with extreme adversity, will you choose love or fear?
It’s easy to choose love when life is good. And even during times of normal adversity, choosing love doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it’s when life gets the most difficult that we have to decide if we’ll continue on the path of love or if we will identify with fear. That’s not an easy decision to make. It seems like it should be. Choose love, right? Always choose love?
Except for two things. First, we have a lot of historical programming that directs our attention towards fear. Secondly, the example above challenges the notion that we always know the best way to express love. One of those choices guarantees that everybody lives... but doesn’t guarantee they live happily. Maybe they do after healing from the trauma and separation. Maybe the trauma and separation destroy their lives. You can’t be certain. That choice expresses love through a guarantee of protection. The outcome is certain. Unfortunately, the rewards are limited.
The other choice expresses love through courage. The path is uncertain. The outcome is uncertain. And the rewards are limitless. Another way of asking the “love or fear” question is this: Is the greatest risk worth the greatest reward?
Like I said, it’s an extreme example. The thing is though, it’s not so far off from reality. We are making these kinds of smaller decisions every single day.
Will you be totally authentic with your partner?
- Risk: Rejection, conflict, and pain.
- Reward: Profound intimacy and unbridled happiness.
Will you give your employer (or business) 100%?
- Risk: Going unnoticed, failure, being overworked, and more
- Reward: Increased pay, promotions, flourishing business
Will you dedicate your life to personal transformation?
- Risk: Wasted time, ineffective results, wasted money, disillusionment
- Reward: A life of peace, joy, happiness, and love
In each example, the choice is between love and fear. Most people give “just enough” to their relationships, their work, and their personal transformation efforts. It’s almost like the example above: They are identifying with just enough fear so that they protect themselves with limited rewards. They aren’t choosing to giving themselves fully to the world and thereby reaping the greatest rewards possible.
We can’t always know the risks and rewards in advance. Life is too uncertain, too fluid, to mysterious for that. What we can know are our values. We can practice risk versus reward and love versus fear in smaller safe situations. Then we can work up to bigger situations.
Practice being authentic with a llfe coach or best friend. Practice giving 100% to a new business adventure in your spare time. Practice devoting 6 months to a single personal transformation program without distraction. For just a brief period in your life, in a safe context, simply choose love.
See if the risks are worth the rewards. See if love conquers fear. Find out what’s true for you.
Your Partner In Transformation,
If you are experiencing more fear in your life than you’d like, then check out Chris’ free “Overcome Subconscious Fear, Anxiety, and Doubt” 10-part ecourse. In it, you’ll learn the cause of these troublesome emotions so that you can overcome them more quickly. Read Your First Right Lesson
This article is generously contributed by Chris Cade from chriscade.com
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© Thea Westra publishes a wealth of material for increased life power, self improvement, inspiration and personal success. Adding wings to our unique journey of life. See her many personal development resources at www.forwardstepsblog.com
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