Choosing Love over Fear
As I sit home in isolation watching the news, I'm in absolute awe of the health care workers who are out on the frontlines battling coronavirus.
Talk about the absolute personification of choosing love over fear.
Their courage is inspiring -- but, for those of us whose contribution is to stay home -- there doesn't seem to be much call for courage there, and I'm wishing I could contribute more.
But I'm trying to think of ways in which I can still show courage in other areas of my life. What can I do with this time, to show honor and respect for the ways in which others are so bravely and selflessly contributing and serving others?
How can I choose expansion over contraction, love over fear, even now?
Here are a few things I've thought of.
First, moment by moment, we can choose our thoughts. Not focus on our fear or anxiety, but on gratitude and contribution.
We can choose to reach out to others and offer friendship and support, rather than sinking into a valley of our own loneliness and despair.
We can choose to feel empowered, even when there is so little about this that we can control.
And, in that spirit, we can take this time as a chance to re-evaluate what's really important to us. Set some new goals. Decide who we're going to be and what we're going to contribute when the smoke clears and we can come outside again.
Think about what it is you've always wanted to do -- but were too afraid to. Maybe you've always dreamed of having your own business, but some old story you have about yourself said you "shouldn't." It "wasn't you." It was too risky.
Or consider if you've been holding yourself back from having full-out love in your life. Think of the excuses you've made, the stories you've told yourself: "There aren't any quality men around here." "Love is for other people." "I always blow it, anyway - why bother trying?"
But, listen to the inner voice that comes up in the quiet times: these desires continue to stir. They're all but shouting on the other side of that door you've locked them behind.
As we face the mortality of ourselves and of everyone we love, and the collapse of many structures, systems, companies, that were maintaining the status quo in more ways than we even knew, we're all being called -- in ways large and small -- to change.
And, if this seems like too big a task in these uncertain times, we can remind ourselves of instances when we've shown courage in the face of adversity in the past. Of moments when we've already chosen love over fear.
And then we can take action.
We can say the thing we've been too afraid to say. Whether it's to apologize for an old wrong or declare a new love, ask a big question or plant the flag of a huge new intention -- we can say it now to the person to whom it will matter most. Because, really, what are we waiting for?
Or, we can set a goal for the month and then meet it - no kidding! Is there something you've always longed to do but never had the time (or maybe the courage) for? Here's your chance! Start that blog, write that song or story, sign up for that master class or that online dating service. Begin making your life new and expansive right now from the comfort of your own home. (In addition to working with my coaching clients, I'm going to go back to a book manuscript I'd written years ago and polish it up!)
And, in moments when this all feels like a little too much, we can have compassion for ourselves, too, and not judge our emotions or our need to eat ice cream or watch silly videos for an hour or a day. And then we can get back to doing what we're meant to do, creating what we're meant to create.
If those of us at home and fortunate enough to stay well can choose love over fear in the coming weeks, imagine how much will be created, born, let loose into the world -- in spite of this disaster.
I found this quote this morning when I turned my calendar over to April, and I thought it was so incredibly fitting for our present moment:
"Open the door to Pandora's closet,
and unexpected miracles tumble out:
angels, sharks, friends and lovers;
strangers offering hope and healing.
And at the bottom of the heap,
love enough to transform the whole world."
- Mimi Foyle