The first title of this article was The Battle Between Fear and Love. I sat with it for about 1 minute before even typing any words. It didn’t feel right. Love isn’t the emotion I feel when battling fear. The feeling is more akin to trust… and most would probably say that’s not an emotion. So be it. Let’s begin.
There is a lot of gun fever going on in the US. People purchasing them, stockpiling them, trying to ban them, and so on. Guns are not the problem here in the US. The problem is deeper down in our cultural heritage. The problem is the reason we even want to make people-killing guns in the first place. Why are so many guns made with the intent on killing people? Why is there a $1.5 Trillion world-wide industry based around death and destruction? It has to do with the yearning to create a path as a people, and the fear of outsiders impeding on that path. It has to do with fear of the lack of resources, fear of death, and ultimately fear itself.
This battle playing out in the US right now is similar to the one playing out between nations and it’s the same playing out in your head when you make daily decisions over seemingly mundane topics.
We all feel fear. But fear is triggered by a light switch and the opposite position of that light switch is trust. For example, imagine this situation: You are walking down a dark street at night alone and someone is walking toward you on the same side of the street. You are in a safe neighborhood but it’s unusual to see someone else at this hour. They are black, you are white. They are male, you are female. You’re scared, right? Or at least doubtful of the person’s intentions. I’m not going to finish this scenario. I can only tell you that I know fear kicks into overdrive for you. At that moment though, you have the choice to flip that switch and project a different scenario then the fearful one playing out in your head. You can trust that all is good in this situation. The most zen of us would say that even if it was a criminal wanting to rob you, you could have trust in yourself that you would handle the moment when it comes.
It’s hard for to get to the zen place, to have total trust in others and in the world, but that is where we need to go. It’s where we need to go as a country and as a world if we are ever to have a creative peaceful world. We can’t be afraid that everyone is out to get us. We can’t be projecting fear into our lives. It rots us from the inside. It makes us want to buy guns because we suddenly value our individual life over the greater good. It puts us in the position of the defensive. We’ve been in the defensive for thousands of years and it’s time to move out of it. It’s time to move into the creative, into the trusting.
Fear is closure, walled off, dark. Trust is open, vulnerable, light, and creative. Trust is a more exciting world because it put’s each of us on the edge. Each time a person feels the fear and chooses instead to flip the switch, they break down a wall that keeps them from connecting to themselves and others in a deeper way. It’s euphoric and the positive reinforcement is powerful.
Some day we will design our social design will be built from the place of trust. As of now it is not, it is built from the place of fear and that feeds back into itself so our perceived need for defense grows stronger, our communities disintegrate due to lack of trust, people build fences and buy guns.
You are the starting point for breaking this cycle. It starts with each person recognizing when they feel fear, and in that exact moment recognizing that they can let go of the fear and instead feel something else. Instead they can feel trust. Trust is others, in nature, in a greater good, in Life overall. Trust is a more powerful, proactive stance to have. Amazing relationships are built on trust. Just imagine how big that could scale.