Every action and thought stems from either fear or love.
Let that statement really soak in for a few moments: Every action and thought stems from either fear or love.
What is your initial reaction? Do you immediately doubt that message? Or do you take a moment to consider the implications? Are you curious?
Regardless, how that statement makes you feel is telling. So now take a moment to observe what your reaction is telling you.
Fear is the choice that stops you.
Love is the trust-based choice that propels you.
Here’s an example: Sally really enjoys her job as a counselor to the impoverished, but she hasn’t had a raise in over three years. She rationalizes this because all over the world there are people worse off, there are furloughs and layoffs and wage freezes.
“Who am I to want more,” she chastises herself, “when all these clients have so little and I have so much?”
Sally’s reasoning discounts her value, and confuses the waters by comparison to others. She has effectively helped several hundred women reclaim their personal power and move off of welfare rolls and into the role of tax-payer. Not only has her continuous involvement and dedication to the social issues helped these women, and saved taxpayer dollars, as parents, these women become better role models for their offspring and the generational welfare cycle is broken. Additionally, these women are now paying taxes into the system that once provided the hand up.
Sally weighed the fear she felt about asking for a raise against the good she had accomplished. Ultimately, she mustered the courage to approach the supervisor, and was told that she would not be getting a raise anytime soon, but that they really appreciated how hard she worked and how she was so often available during the middle of the night when clients had emergencies.
Sally was mad. Still, she showed up for work each day. Increasingly, however, she felt the weight of the anger. She was afraid to make a change. She feared that if she left, the clients would fall through the proverbial cracks in a system that paid little attention to the needs of others beyond ensuring they moved towards self-sufficiency.
Because there is limited space available here to continue to saga, here’s what happened after several months of fearing the change: As we know, the mind and body are connected so it is no surprise that Sally began to have heart palpitations. She was also suffering from insomnia, and even her favorite clients noticed her shortened fuse and scattered thought processes. Once a testament to balance and serenity, Sally was now a vision of chaos.
Seeking medical attention, Sally was prescribed blood thinners that would kill rats, and blood pressure medication that would slow her down. She was told to “take it easy.”
At that moment of reason, Sally tore up the prescriptions for medication, wrote out her resignation, and sent a mass mailing to all of her clients. Using her fear for fuel, Sally then rented a small room in the community center and invited the clients to come to the Self-Sufficiency Groups that she would facilitate there. She applied for, and was awarded grants for her work, and she went on to form alliances with other like-minded folks and eventually began training trainers and conducting groups around the country.
Had Sally allowed the fear to swallow her dreams, there would be approximately 20,000 women who would have been deprived of the incredibly empowering groups which Sally facilitated. And when you begin to think of the children who were also affected by Sally’s courage, the numbers of positive ripples are impossible to count.
Sally’s actions came from a place of love: First, of self-love. We all know how important it is to take care of our individual needs first, and then share our love of others. Sure she felt fear. And she faced that fear, even transforming it into the catalyst for progressive change. Ultimately, Sally’s self-trust, a belief in her own innate wisdom to move forward into the fearful unknown, to follow her passionate calling, gave her more rewards than ever would have come in a restricted setting. Second, Sally’s genuine caring for the women she served was not something that she would allow to die when she made the courageous decision to leave the job. Rather than walking away defeated, she owned her choice to continue her work in a much more expansive manner.
Now contemplate again, your actions. Knowing that each comes from a place of either fear or love, which will you choose?
“I choose love.” Practice saying this. Write it as an affirmation on your bathroom mirror. Repeat it every time you feel the fear. “I choose love.”
Trust yourself to do what is in your best interest. Be brave and celebrate even your smallest achievements, as they lead the way to your greatest success. Your ripples too, are endless.
~As always, with love, light, and gratitude.