The Opposite of Fear is Love
When Fear is too Big
I know what it’s like when fear feels bigger than who you are. Fear has sabotaged my life too many times, and it is still a struggle. I have shared a previous blog post about my journey ‘unfollowing’ fear. Read about it here: https://christinepaddock.com/unfollow-fear/ Finding freedom from fear is more than just ‘unfollowing’ it. It would have been impossible for me to unfollow fear in any way without experiencing the opposite of fear.
The Opposite of Fear
There is a great line in the song, “Stubborn Love” (The Lumineers), that says “the opposite of love is indifference”. I love that – but I wonder if indifference is really just a state of numbness, and underneath is fear. There is a verse in the Bible that I have pondered a lot over my life, and one that helps keep me centred: “There is no fear in love” (1John 4:18). Think about that for a minute…or a lifetime! Imagine if we didn’t fear what others think of us? Imagine if we didn’t fear rejection? How would we reach out to people differently? Who would you be if you knew you were fully known and loved?
The Cure for Fear
It was the love of God that ultimately rattled my cage. Fear is a spiritual condition in many ways – it disconnects me from myself, from God and from other people. It causes me to only go so far in relationships because I need to stay safe and protect myself. Love, though, is about connection. It’s about reaching out instead of staying safe. Love is about risking my heart for another.
Earlier in the same chapter of the Bible, the writer says “God is love“(1 John 4: 16). In my late teens and early twenties, I experienced a spiritual awakening. I went from knowing the concept of God as love, to actually experiencing and believing it personally. It was the love of God that awakened me to the possibility that maybe life was more than what I had been experiencing. That maybe I didn’t have to accept that my shy personality was an immovable, unchangeable part of my DNA. I began to feel more, slowly emerging from my perpetual ‘numbness’. I began to dream. The more I believe and receive and connect to Love, the more I become aware of fear. Love is the light that exposes the shadows of fear. My mission to ‘unfollow’ fear is fuelled by my passion to be filled continually by Love. Without love, I don’t have the courage or strength to unfollow fear.
Fight or Flight…or Love?
I see so much fear in our society right now, and I recognize how easily fear can impact my relationships, my choices and my mental health. We all know what fight or flight is. The whole world is in fight or flight right now from the trauma of the last year and a half. We have all noticed the increase of judgmental and cruel comments on social media. And fear can also cause us to retreat inside ourselves, put up our defences and protect ourselves. If there is no fear in love, then the opposite is also true. We can’t truly love each other while we are filled with fear.
So what about you? How do you respond when you are afraid? Do you fight? Or do you shut down and run? If fear is bigger than us, Love is even greater than fear. I don’t know about you, but I want to connect to the Source of Love and live from the overflow.