Editor’s note: Liberty Forrest, author of several self-help books and a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach, explains that all your choices come from fear or love, although sometimes you need to look beneath the surface of your thoughts to see it. Read more about Liberty.
By Liberty Forrest
It is said that everything we think and do comes from one of two places: Love or Fear. I used to dispute this. I figured it was rubbish. But in the 30 years or so since first hearing it, I’ve been putting this theory to the test and I have to admit, it is the truth. When I take an honest look at my words, my reactions, and my choices, everything is rooted in one of these two emotions.
It’s true that at times, this can get a bit tricky. Sometimes I’ve thought I was doing something out of love. I love this person, therefore I am doing this loving thing, both of which may be quite true. But then how could it turn out to be something harmful to me or destructive in some way? Can anything motivated by love actually be hurtful?
Well…yes and no. The “No” is the easiest bit. Love, in and of itself, is not harmful or destructive. But “Yes” if there is fear connected to it in some way — because the bottom line is, a choice that is ultimately destructive will still have been rooted in fear that lies beneath the love.
When Need Looks Like Love
For example, there is a big difference between, “I need you because I love you,” and “I love you because I need you.” In a relationship, it should be the former, but unfortunately, it is very often the latter, which is quite destructive. And this, of course, is prime sociopath territory. They need you, and they make you think you need them, too. And in the early days of sweeping you off your feet, that “need” begins to feel like “love.” But it’s really more about the need and attachment than anything. The need is filling holes in souls, the ones that come from emotional wounds of abandonment, fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, or heaven knows what else.
So when we are living in, “I love you because I need you,” the love is driven by need. And the need is driven by fear, those “holes in souls” I mentioned above.
Therefore, although our actions may have a loving intent on the surface, they have really come from fear on an even deeper level. “I’ll do this for you because I love you and I’m terrified that you’re going to leave me, or stop loving me” (or whatever).
You may genuinely love someone, for all he or she is — or isn’t — and how wonderful that is, unless that person is disrespectful to you, abusing you, or taking advantage of you. Love, in that case, is certainly not doing you much good on a personal level. And chances are, if you look beneath the surface, you will still find fear lurking there, fear that allows you to tolerate such behaviour. Especially when sociopaths are involved and delighting in your fear because it gives them control over you until you recognise it and stop giving it to them.
Figuring Out the Roots of Fear
When you allow yourself to examine your fears and perhaps discover what may have caused them, you can also allow yourself to heal them. And sometimes, even if you still carry the fear with you, you don’t have to let it make your choices. You can acknowledge it; you can even embrace it. “That’s just part of who I am!” you might say, while not letting the fear stop you or be the reason for a decision that will ultimately hurt you.
You might be saying, “But wait a minute! Sometimes people do things out of anger or hurt or jealousy!” Yes, that’s true. But if you peel back where those emotions come from, they will all be rooted in fear. For example, if you are jealous about a woman at your husband’s office who keeps flirting with him, it is because you fear losing him to her. Greed may stem from a fear of poverty, or of being seen as inadequate or unsuccessful.
And how many parents do you know who are furious with their children for having gone missing or for doing something that could have hurt them? Their anger is borne out of a fear of losing them or seeing them suffer.
How to Stop Fear in Its Tracks
I’d love to say that I’m spiritually evolved enough that I’m no longer capable of feeling fear. I’d love to tell you that I live in a constant state of peace and joy, never having a scary thought or a worry enter my head, let alone allowing it to settle in my soul for any length of time.
But as much as I’ve learned, and as diligent as I am about practicing what I preach, I am still human and I have my off moments. It’s in those moments when I can still manage to let Fear creep back into my thought processes.
Thankfully, I recognise its hateful and ugly little spirit. Sometimes it disguises itself and pretends to be a genuine concern for someone, or worry about a situation. Occasionally, it masquerades as a supposedly legitimate consideration of a potentially unpleasant outcome if a particular course of action is taken.
But as intelligent and rational as these seem to be, as much sense as they seem to make, they are still based in fear and if I were to make a decision in that frame of mind, it would always lead to a poor outcome. Or at least, it would certainly not lead to a good one. It’s taken many years of consistent effort, and decades of battering upside the head, so to speak, but finally I can see through every brilliant facade that is manufactured by Fear, and I’m well acquainted with the damage it can do. I respect how nasty it can be if I let it infiltrate my life and my choices. I’m not about to give it any such power or pleasure again. I’ve spent decades mastering mindset and mindfulness, learning the art of discipline for my thoughts so I don’t allow fear to derail me anymore.
Seeing that All Your Choices Come from Fear or Love
When you can do this, then you can see quite clearly if your choices are merely Fear disguised as Love, or whether they’re the real thing. In all difficult moments, difficult interactions, frustrating and painful situations or stressful times, if you repeatedly — and honestly — check your motivation, your thoughts and your feelings as you move through them, the best result will always — and only — come from Love.
Check it out and see for yourself. You’ll see that all your choices come from Fear or Love. Which one have you been choosing?
This article was originally published at LibertyForrest.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.