How Coming From Love Rather Than Fear Changes Your Relationships
Recently, Phil had an experience in a group that he runs that showed us how critical it is to know what our most basic feelings are. An event happened in the group that was presented in a strongly emotional way, causing very intense responses and polarizing the group. Without going into any of the details, which are not pertinent here, Phil spent a lot of time assessing his feelings and responses to the crisis in the group that this caused. After days of indecision, he came to see that the event and its responses came from an underlying energy of fear, and this clarifying insight told him that he did not want to represent the group as administrator if the changes motivated by this intense emotional wave were carried out. His truth was that the group has always functioned so well because it has come from a warm embracing energy of loving acceptance and support. The style and actions associated with this event were handled from the energy of fear, and they created the outcome which inevitably followed.
When love is the underlying principle from which decisions and actions are taken, it follows a course that leads to peace, acceptance, support, and growth. In contrast, when fear is the motivator of behavior it causes divisiveness and separation, and the disruptive energy that is set loose will spread widely like a stampeding elephant.
What do our emotions do? They have two grand purposes. Imagine you’re a microscopic organism back in the depths of time. There are things you need and gravitate toward like food and sunlight, and dangerous things you move away from like predators, acidity and extreme temperatures. These two aspects of survival – attraction & avoidance – are the two great reasons behind all individual behavior. These forces are still active today, working at the emotional level. There are many other emotions controlling the complex species that we have become, but these are the two great emotional drivers of behavior. We call them love and fear. We are drawn to that which we love, and avoid that which we fear. In society, they manifest as trust and distrust of others.
You always have a choice. Be your better self and spread love in the world #quote #relationships Click To TweetHumans are by nature a cooperative species because it increases efficiency. We each do different things: mining iron ore, smelting it and machining it; growing wheat, milling it and baking it; constructing bridges, computers and 747s. No one person could do all of these, but by sharing our work, we create our modern society. Cooperation is our superpower, and it is built on trust.
Fear leads to conservative decisions that served us well in the past. Seeing something lying across the path, it was a better choice to be scared by a stick than bitten by a snake. But it has much less use in the present day. Most people are trustworthy; it’s the only way a cooperative society works. Sure, some people are to be distrusted and even feared, but they are very much a minority. Think of 100 people you know; I bet you could trust most of them enough to lend them $20, and the closer you are, the more trust you have in them.
Always come from love because everyone has fear within them, and when approached with hostility, the fear is triggered and the response is to defend and counter-attack. So start with a position of trust, because distrust, or fear, is a dividing emotion; love is how we cooperate, come together, and in the ultimate, unite. This is so for all relationships, whether personal, family, friends or business.
To approach people with love is easy when they are lovable, but when not, it requires the effort of caring, of insight, of seeing where they are coming from, what their needs are. If you respond from fear, ask yourself why you are doing that? Are you projecting past experiences into the present or is there a real threat there? Does your reaction stem from old injuries or pain? Is it that you feel something threatens your identity; that you will lose face or be controlled or your self-image will be shattered? Who you are is deeper than all those things. You always have a choice. Be your better self and spread love in the world.
Photo credit: Maude Mayes
The same two poles apply in politics. Phil wrote an article and made a video about this.