Consider for a moment that there are only two things human behavior is made up of—love and fear. And every choice you make is either one or other. If you're not choosing to love, you're choosing fear. And if you're not choosing fear, you're choosing to love.
Why love and fear? Because love is love. And fear is the absence of love. Love is a divine trust that everything is beautiful and perfect as it is. Fear is an absence of trust that everything is beautiful and perfect as it is.
Of course there's a spectrum...a little fear and a lot of fear. But whenever you're not
choosing love, you're choosing fear.
That person you hate? It's not really hate. It's fear that what you dislike in that person is also within you...fear of what you'll do with that realization...fear that you are not yet who you wish to be...fear that you are not who you represent yourself to be.
We all contain the capacity for the full spectrum of dark and light within us. Whenever we see a behavior in a person that we don't like, we say "that is separate from me." But there is nothing in god's universe separate from you. There may be behaviors you don't exhibit or places you don't go, but the capacity is within you. And denying that what you hate in others is not within you fractures you, holds you captive, keeps you separate from god and keeps you from loving and embracing yourself. And the more you deny being that which you hate, the more loudly you become that which you hate. That is the power of fear.
If you can't see those dark parts that are mirrored back at you from your "enemy" with true understanding and if you can't look upon people you judge with the genuine grace of "there but for the grace of God go I", then you're not just in denial, you're choosing fear. And when you're choosing fear, you're choosing to distrust that everything is perfect as it is, you're choosing to distrust god's plan, you're choosing not to love, and as a result, you're choosing to live in the darkness within you and not in the light. When you live in the darkness within you, you're just a shade or two or three from the unspeakable atrocities you witness on this earth.
The Westboro Baptist Church? Just a darker shade of fear than the shade you choose when you hate and separate. The KKK? Just a darker shade of fear. Hitler? Just a darker shade of fear. All, by the way, have some love mixed in and you should be able to see that, too. But all began as all babies do, with pure love. I always make allowances for those with the kind of genetic anomalies that cause mental illness. We all have genetic anomalies, though. Ours just resulted in funky ear lobes or a tendency to heart disease instead of mental illness (there but for the grace of god...) But fear is something we learn, not something we're born with. And when we turn toward fear instead of love, we run the risk of traversing into ever deeper shades.
Beneath most negative emotions is fear. Behind happiness, joy, trust, acceptance and peace is love. Every choice you make that does not embrace the beauty of what "is", is a choice of fear. The traffic jam that makes you feel impatient. The person whose lifestyle you envy. The homeless person you judge. The weather conditions that "ruin" your picnic. Or the obstacle that vexes you. All of that is fear. All of that breeds separation. All of that exhibits a distrust in the universe...in your god.
So as you walk through your week, consider the choices you're making. And when negative emotions well up, trace them back to the fear within and consider what a loving choice would be instead. And if you're reading this on Facebook, consider clicking through to my blog where you'll find more thought-provoking quotes on the topic of love vs. fear. :)