Tuesday, November 06, 2007

love and fear

it seems to me that underneath every emotion and every practice, we have one of two states of being, and all that we experience stems from one or the other. those two states are love and fear. some may suggest love and hate but it doesn't seem to be so. we experience love or fear.

in my beginning efforts to understand my own emotions, i began to practice observing them and uncovering them at deeper and deeper levels. in considering anger, i looked more deeply and found hurt, but beneath the hurt i then discovered fear. can we have any emotional pain without fear being underneath it?

looking at my own tendencies toward procrastination, i found fear as its roots. studying arrogance, or depression, or the need to please, the need to be perfect, the need to be right, or the need to be in control, i found fear to be its base.

being afraid can come in the guise of fear of not being good enough or fear of being alone. until just now i had not thought about their being only two kinds of fear so now i'll need to ponder that too. we could suggest the fear of being wrong--but fear of being wrong has beneath it the fear of not being good enough (if we know the truth of our perfection, which is far more than being good enough, then we have no fear of being wrong). we could imagine the fear of getting hurt, but then the "getting hurt" that we fear is tied to fear of not being good enough or fear of being alone.

now then, it seems to me our work is to recognize and to acknowledge each expression of our fear, and allow it to transform into love. i begin by saying what i am afraid of, aloud, quietly and alone with myself. if i need to, i say it again and again. something about recognizing and acknowledging immediately begins the work. i begin to accept my fear and in the accepting, it begins to change.

love, then, seems to be the only thing that is not fear. and love is the source of everything beautiful, everything strong, everything good.

photography by permission

2 comments:

Beth said...

Diane, I'm delighted to find your blogs and to read about your work, and begin to sense the person behind your words. A friend of mine once told me this helpful reminder about the same subject you're addressing here - it was given to him by his spiritual director, an Anglican monk:

"All anger is fear, all fear is fear of loss."

I've found it to be pretty true when trying to examine my own anger and fear.

diana christine said...

Beth ~ I am also pleased to find your sites and read your work. I love the way you have chosen to live your life. Thank you for being here.

I keep narrowing and narrowing the notion of fear and have landed on all fear being simply the "fear of not being enough." The fear of not being good enough can be summarized as the fear of not being enough. Even the fear of being alone seems to come back to fear of not being enough. I suppose I could call it fear of inadequacy.

Immediately after writing my post I began to think of the fear of loss or the fear of losing (losing a job, losing a lover, losing a home...), but the fear of loss still feels to me like the fear of not being enough.

This has been a really great exercise for me to explore my own experience with fear.