There is a school of thought that all of our feelings, and therefore behaviours, come from just 2 main emotions. Love and Fear.
When you are acting from a place of love you tend to feel optimistic, generous and open. You feel confident, safe and calm. When you come from a place of love you are accepting of others and non-judgemental. Without wanting to sound too happy-clappy you are living from your soul (please feel free to substitute the word soul for something that fits your sensibilities.)
Some people are naturally more inclined to this than others of course, but I am yet to meet, or hear of anyone else meeting someone who managed this all of the time. My bet is even the Dalai Lama would struggle on a wet Wednesday when Susan from Accounts hadn’t stopped bleating in his ear about her husband’s dirty socks on the floor.
When you are acting from a place of fear you tend to feel anxious, stressed a more than a little uneasy. You probably grasp tightly onto people or things for fear of losing them, letting this fear stop you from enjoying them fully to begin with. Maybe you go the other way and push them away so that the loss is on your terms, even though you’re unlikely to see it that way. There is a good chance you are prone to finger pointing, blaming others and refusing to acknowledge any wrong doing on your own account. Fear all comes from the Ego.
The Ego is that voice in your head that is jabbering all the time, trying to tell you what to think. The Ego doesn’t like to be wrong, so its sense of self-righteousness is often strong. So when you are busy thinking that you are the only one in the right, that no one else understands the situation, that you are the only one on your side and it’s unfair because you’ve done nothing wrong, you’re coming from a place of deep fear my friend.
There is nothing wrong with coming from a place of fear, its perfectly natural, but it’s not particularly helpful (mostly) and is unlikely to help you resolve or change any situation. Being able to recognise that you are acting from fear and accept it is often a great start to switching back to acting from love. Acknowledging it’s your Ego and not your Soul that is running the show for now changes the dynamic.
Being able to recognise when someone else is acting from a place of fear and learning to not respond in kind can really help things run more smoothly (although I’ve learnt that pointing out that someone is lashing out out of fear in the middle of an argument is unlikely to go down well.)
My personal aim is to work at shifting the balance. To live from love more often, and fear less – as always, it’s work in progress.
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