Love and Fear, part 1

Don Wyeth

Love and Fear, part 1

3 mins
November 17, 2021

I have a favorite website that I go to periodically to keep up on trends in psychological topics, <lifehack.org>. I found an article by a Brad Johnson on the site this morning that made a comparison between the dynamics of love and fear. 12 Reasons Why You Should Always Choose Love Over Fear. It is commonly believed that the opposite of love is hate. However, Johnson makes the argument that love’s opposite is actually fear. Hate is a product of fear, not the absence of love. The author offers a number of reasons that support why we should consider choosing love over fear. I would like to share some of these arguments with you.

 “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” Vince Lombardi

The first point establishes the idea that “…[y]ou are more often motivated by what you can gain and take part in. Love is a natural pathway to travel towards something you can gain.At first blush, the idea of gain can be interpreted as a selfish posture. But after reflecting on Johnson's statement, I am inclined to agree that pursuing gain with love as the foundation, creates a positive atmosphere that generates right action and compassion, no matter whether it is regarding a new job, new home, or romantic relationship. 

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This second argument revolves around the idea that life in general is not easy. Success in our lives is predicated on the fact that it takes unrelenting effort. As Johnson says, “…[n]othing that lasts comes easily, and nothing that’s easy will last.” The point that I think he's trying to make is that your passion for your pursuit keeps you on point and inspires your effort to sustain the path that you are on, regardless of the trials and tribulations you experience.

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” Henry Ford

The third point is that of willingness to sacrifice. “Love requires sacrifice, and if you are willing to sacrifice for what you love, you will grow exponentially.” The rule here states that for you to be able to receive something greater, you must sacrifice something. What you are willing to do to sustain this love creates a situation where your ability to succeed is reinforced and inspired.

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” Jack Canfield, author.

The fourth point underlines the fact that the most common reason for initiating something great and good is that we ‘fell in love’ with that something. From this commitment of love, the task becomes much more enjoyable and simpler. Commitment literally fuels your quest.

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius

The sage advice found in this fifth axiom is based on the idea that our brains will respond more willingly to a positive thing than a negative. “This is why it’s a fundamental human inclination to listen to people who agree with us, rather than people who speak from a starkly contrasted point of view.” Love is what keeps us focused positively. Consequently, our brains are kept on a positive path. Instead of abandoning a project that we love, we are instead advised to be encouraged to re-examine our action plan for getting there.

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

The sixth and last point of today's article is this: “Fear will darken and cloud your path, but love will broaden and enlighten it.” In the 1991 comedy fantasy film Defending Your Life, finds himself on trial in the afterlife where he is presented with his fears that he harbored during his life. His task in the movie is to face his fears so that he can spiritually evolved to the next step of his journey. This is the light path, the right path.

For next time I will be addressing the last six points of Johnson's model. Remember, if you are in love, stay the course. If you're not, fall in love. The path is there if you elect to take it.

This article was orginally reported by
Don Wyeth

Passionate and intelligent columnist from Madison, WI.