At our PATH CHAT this morning, we talked about times when we have felt fear. We shared stories, we looked at what kinds of fears we have experienced, and then came the question: IS FEAR REAL?
We noticed that our fears were either external or internal and usually originated with something in childhood, however we wondered if humans are hard-wired for fear and whether or not experiencing it is optional.
FEAR has been metaphysicalized by many people and groups of people. One school teaches that it is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. While I love acronyms, this doesn't do it for me, because I ask, If I can feel FEAR, then isn't it real? If I feel LOVE, isn't that real? How do the two, then, differ?
One person in our PATH CHAT described FEAR as "the absence of LOVE," and that has real power for me. Rather than wondering if FEAR is real, I can choose to replace it--whatever it is or isn't--with LOVE, and I know that LOVE is real. I chose to think of the key word here as FAITH, since I have faith in the power of LOVE. Whatever feels, looks, or sounds like FEAR, can be transformed to LOVE. I have FAITH that this is so.
A great spiritual teacher, Peace Pilgrim, proved time again that her FAITH in God's protection under many trying and dangerous circumstances brought LOVE, not FEAR. She withstood the elements, attackers, poverty, and isolation, but always relied on her FAITH to replace FEAR with LOVE.
Can we do the same? Of course, we can. Peace Pilgrim is no braver than any of us who have chosen different paths than hers. The task is simple: our choice must always be forLOVE, not FEAR, and knowing our power and capability to choose rightly strengthens our FAITH.