Am I Living in Love or Fear?
Over the past few months, I’ve observed that at any given time, I’m living in one of two mindsets: Love or Fear.
Love is a mindset of trust, joy, gratitude, patience, passion, and caring.
Fear is a mindset of worry, want, insecurity, judgement, impatience, and obligation.
Where would you rather be?
I think this is true for everyone.
When we’re living from a place of love, we are happy, our creativity flows, we appreciate what we have, we live in the moment, and good things seem to happen to us.
I know when I’m living in love, because I spend a lot of time writing and painting, I have to scribble down ideas in the checkout line or at red lights, I only think about food when I’m hungry and I even put off eating because I don’t want to stop what I’m doing, I’m patient with myself and others, and I feel adventurous. I trust that everything is and will be ok, and that I have everything I need. I feel grateful.
When we’re living from a place of fear, we worry a lot, spend a lot of time planning, think in terms of “should” and “have to”. We get frustrated with other people and ourselves, and we live in the past and future-anywhere to avoid the present.
Sometimes it takes me a while to accept that I’m living in fear, but it’s not hard to identify. I can usually tell because I don’t feel like making art and I spend a lot of time planning, budgeting, making lists, crunching numbers, and thinking about food when I’m not hungry. I munch a lot and feel like I need to sleep more. I feel insecure on many levels, whether it’s with money, career, or something in my body feels off and I panic.
I lose my trust in life and feel that I have to force things, because what if it won’t be ok?
Fear isn’t a fun place to live.
So if we’re living in a mindset of fear, how to we switch gears?
- Gratitude: Look around you and notice the beauty, the abundance, and the joy. Look back on your life and remember the time that seemingly bad things worked out for the better (they might still be working out)
- Have faith: Whether you believe in a higher power or not, know that God, life, the universe or whatever has a way of guiding you to what you need. Knowing this is the key to trust, trusting is the key to letting go, and letting go is the key to being open.
- Be gentle with yourself and others: To borrow a quote from the amazing Tara Wagner aka The Organic Sister, “Everyone does the best they can with the tools they have.” This also applies to you. You aren’t lazy, stupid, or weak, and neither is anyone else. While this doesn’t justify things that are wrong, just realize that mistakes are a matter of not having the correct tools, not that something is inherently wrong with you or another person.
- Know what makes you happy, and what doesn’t: I love art and writing because they open up a part of myself that I can’t access otherwise. I love walking and yoga because they connect me to my body and free my mind. I love good food, animals, spending time with people I love, and reading. Worrying, planning, and making endless lists doesn’t free me. It just works me into a mess of obsession that takes me away from things that truly bring me joy. While life does require some planning and organization sometimes, those things will never fill me.
- Love someone else: We’re all in this “life” think together. We all move back and forth between these two places of love and fear. Help make someone else’s day better, and you’ll feel good too.
Learn your own signs that you’re living in love or fear. Learn to make the shift if necessary, and life will be amazing.