Love, Fear and Generosity
I have always believed that the true nature of people is good and kind. The more present I get with others and the better I get to know my clients and my friends, the more I realize that many of our basic human needs can be broken down to two: to be safe and to be loved the way we are. That’s what we want most and what we spend our time trying to achieve: to be safe and to be loved. Fear and love are the two basic sources of motivation for our everyday choices, decisions and actions. We make choices to either prevent certain things from happening (fear) or in order to determine things we want to happen (because we love them). Examining the place from which you operate (fear or love) can bring about a powerful increase in awareness. Am I moving out because I’m afraid my relationship is only going to get worse or because I love myself so much I choose to gift myself the peace of a more loving relationship? Is he asking you to marry him because he’s afraid to lose you or because he loves you so much he wants more closeness? Are we moving away from something or towards something? When we don’t have our needs met it’s much harder to make choices out of love. When we don’t feel loved or safe we start acting out of fear. We start holding back and start worrying, and our foreheads start frowning and our voices sound empty. And when the clerk at the store is impatient and harsh I think “he must not feel loved or safe”, or when my best friend doesn’t call for a long time I think “she must not feel loved or safe” and when I am too critical of someone else or of myself, then I realize: I am acting out of fear and not love. It’s the only choice we really have: love or fear.
Every time I choose FEAR I have an opportunity to choose again.
It’s much easier to act out of love when we feel safe or loved. That’s when we know we have enough to spare. We are the lucky ones, the ones that get to give this time around, as others have given to us at some point. We are grateful, we are focused on what’s working, we are spacious and gracious. But what about when we are feeling scared or lonely? Can we give then too? Can we be generous even when we are feeling deprived? I think that is exactly when it is most important to be generous, to be loving. That is when our giving makes the most impact on ourselves or others.
When we give to others, we give to ourselves, and when we give to ourselves, we give the world.