Fear & Love

open005I read a novel set in Portugal in the 1700’s. Although it was not a violent book, the Inquisition loomed in the background and eventually some of the major characters were burned at the stake. The story disturbed me, as stories about religious fanaticism always do.

I thought it was a good novel about interesting people but at the end the writer obviously thought the Protestant religion was best because it was so sane. However, I know there were many witches burned in Protestant nations in that time.

I thank God every day for my religion where I learn that God is love and fear is only a mistake or error.

Most of the terrible things like war, pogroms and ethnic cleansing come from fear. So do the personal terrors such as economic disparity, prejudice, crime and abuse. Fear creates problems such as suspicion and sleeplessness in our daily lives also. Fear of the unknown creates trouble on personal, tribal, national, and global levels.

This week, people are caught up in the story of Trayvon Martin’s death and rightly so. Whenever a young man is tracked and hunted because he is a different color it is a cause for national concern. I understand the jury has spoken and that the trial it is over. Somehow, we must choose Love rather than despair.We must trust Love.

Perhaps Trayvon’s death will awaken people and they will see there is more to be done about fearful laws, fearful guns and racial divides. We cannot just elect a black president and say it is over. We must find a way to help people release fear and move into acceptance, and Love.

New Thought people are leaders in acceptance because our teaching is steeped in the belief of Oneness. I am feeling very much at One with Trayvon’s parents this morning and so are many others. I hold them in Love and I choose to respond to the nonsense in the media with Love. It is my attitude of choice.

Fear and Love are attitudes and we all slide up and down the scale, just as we do with hot and cold, happy or sad, healthy or well.  We all have mixed bags of choice and we are not always logical. One person fears immigrants but loves to travel. Another person loves people but fears animals. Nations with borders either love or fear each other. When did we last hear anything mean said about Canada?

Fear can elect politicians and impact laws. We build fences and place armed sentries at gates to keep out people whose labor we depend upon.  Gated communities are built in fear. In some places, kids must walk in groups to school because they live in fearsome neigborhoods. Fear is contagious but Love overcomes all.

Sometimes a mild form of fear is useful. I check the date on my refrigerated food. I wear a hat in summer and a jacket in winter. I even fear the company of some people enough that I avoid them.

We are constantly picking positions on the attitude scale. These choices should be conscious instead of automatic. When we are conscious, we choose Love because it is our true nature. We choose Love and we avoid spats, arguments, and even wars. We choose Love because it expands joy and brings adventure, wisdom, and happiness. We choose Love because it reinforces our true God-self.

Choosing Love is easy to practice in small ways when we are conscious. We might even make a game of overcoming fear. We might be brave and try a new restaurant or make a new friend or join a new group.

Choosing a new restaurant is a long way from the Spanish Inquisition – of course it is. But the fear that keeps us in a rut is a small version of the fear that created the Inquisition. It also created segregation and racial prejudice. Fear creates wars. It also creates great havoc and pain on all levels including our  personal life. It is good dispose of fear and move toward Love.

Your choices help yourself and they also help everyone else. Our collective consciousness if made of individuals like you and me. Anytime we choose Love over fear, we move everyone forward. In the next few days, think about your current choices. Are they Love based? If not, are there alternatives? I trust you will all take a small risk toward more and Love and Life.

Some of us may be tuned into fear-based news media that makes it seem as though our nation is filled with threatening strangers and the world is terrifying and evil. If that is our news source, we need to change the channel. Fear is contagious and so is Love. Fear is a habit and so is Love.

Developing the habit of making conscious choices based on Love makes a difference in our planet. We can’t heal it all alone but we are not alone. Let’s open up to Love with ourselves, our family, our friends, and all the other people on the globe. Let’s accept Love as normal. Let’s stop resisting change and diversity.

If we only speak to people with our same opinions, who look like ourselves, in our neighborhood, and in our own age group we might as well talk to ourselves. I love my marvelous friends, not just for our agreements, but also for our differences. They enrich and enlarge me.

In New Thought, we believe that all human beings are expressions of God. We all come from One Source and that Source is the Creative Energy of the Universe and it is Love. Fear is error or a mistake. We do not waste our energy fearing life or reacting in anger to someone else.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Why not take that as an affirmation to use in the context of your personal life?

Small choices matter. Here’s a personal example of  fear and error can change. Rev. Debby and Rev. Mattie added a ritual to our Sunday service after I stepped down as pastor. They brought in a traditional candlelabra and I’ve never liked ritual because of my childhood religion. In the first weeks, of candle lighting, I feared the change.  I thought,  “Why talk about the Truth found in Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity or Islam during a New Thought service?”

I truly love Rev. Debby & Rev. Mattie and I loved their leadership so I was silent. Every Sunday a congregant lights candles honoring the major faiths. Then we are asked to look within and light our own personal candle of Love and Light.

Thank God, I didn’t choose to be the crow who croaked, “That’s not the way we used to do it.” Thank God, I chose Love instead of fear because candle lighting is now one of my favorite parts of the service.

Ask Yourself

How is fear holding me back?

What are my choices?

Where shall I begin?

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3 Comments on “Fear & Love”

  1. Marjorie Shalita says:

    Jane,
    I can so relate to everything you have so beautifully articulated, thank you so much. I am finding that my challenge as a New Thought person, is allowing my True Self to fully express Love through me by manifesting through me the same passionate response of Love and compassion for George Zimmerman and his family as I do for Trayvon Martin and his family. It is indeed a challenge to see beyond our own perceptions of right/wrong- innocence/guilt-black/white,dualistic type of thinking. For me, this is where my work lies at this difficult time.

  2. Jane Claypool says:

    Hi Marjorie,
    Thank you for you lovely words. I do appreciate your comments. As for the challenge of feeling compassion without judgment, that is difficult for most of us but it is a great spiritual practice and I am happy you are doing your wonderful work. I salute you for keeping on your intention. I think the more we can stay in the realm of the absolute, the easier it is to see that we are not here to fix or judge. We are here to let our own light shine and be the teachers we are.

    In the particular instance, you are a bystander. I doubt there is anything you can do besides pray. If you see some direct need for your participation in an event, then do what you feel the need to do. Beyond that, your job is to nurture your own journey toward a greater expression of you God-self.
    Love,
    Jane

  3. Marjorie Shalita says:

    Jane,

    Thank you so much for your response. I am reminded of a quote by Mohatma Gandhi: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” I have great hope for us all.

    Namaste,
    Marjorie Shalita


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