Fear or Love

“There are two feelings, two languages, and two results. Love or Fear. Fear always confirms what we think we already know. Love always surprises.” Rev. Dr. Steven Koski

The quote above is from our church’s Easter service. It spoke to my heart as I have flip-flopped back and forth between excitement and fear of our up coming move. As this sentence sank in, I began to realize that all the fears I was having were related to things I think I already know. Things like, it’s really far away, it’s so different from where I grew up, what if all this time in Bend was a waste?, we should have, could have, planned this or that, …. etc. When I looked at those things as just things I think I already know they seemed so much less powerful. More than that though, I realized that not one of those fears was a reason not to do it.

I haven’t had time to try it out on much else in life as we have been consumed with moving tasks. But I propose that if one were to look at reluctance and feelings of fear as “things we think we already know,” it could ease decision-making. One can quickly discern what is a real healthy, fear-driven reason not to do something and what are the fearful ideas one thinks they already know. Just a manmade excuse not to engage in the uncomfortable unknown of the changes we are called to make.

It came to me in a dream last night that being driven by love produces survivors to horrific situations. Those heroes that stand up and fight back, or risk their lives to save other people. Of course those same people do not always survive, but it produces conditions in which others can survive. It’s acting out of love, not fear, that writes those stories in human history. The ones where looking at all the facts of the situation we are confronted by a feeling of fear ourselves, yet someone or something surprises everyone. Fear tells us to stay put, that violence always ends in violence, that the others are more powerful, more intelligent. Love reminds us that anything is possible, that life and good are always worth fighting for.

Don’t get me started on American media. Totally fear driven! “Stay young forever,” “Prevent this or that with this pill (despite all of the nasty side-effects),” “vaccines are always worth their risks,” “Protect and insure your belongings because they are bound to be robbed or destroyed,” “Newer is safer,” “Murderers are everywhere and it happens every day,” “The world is filled with only violence.” With these messages flowing toward our society every day all day, no wonder every one is anxious. America as a population is so anxious their dogs are anxious too! When I hear these messages coupled with all the research I have been doing about the effects of psychiatric medications, the current state of our society makes sense to me. According to an article by Citizens Commission on Human Rights, “Internationally, 54 million people are taking antidepressants known to cause addiction, violent and homicidal behavior.” It makes sense to me too then that cops and people trying to defend and protect would be on edge.

But the psychiatric drug problem in our country is driven and fueled by fear. People are afraid of behavior different from theirs. They are afraid that if they don’t intervene with medication they are doomed to a life of continued depression and anxiety. American society has forgotten the power of love and understanding. The power of listening to someone. The power of communicating in person. The field of Marriage and Family Therapy is based on the concept that fear driven future telling gets people no where. And the job of a good MFT is to believe that it can all change over night. That love and understanding can conquer more than we realized and that humans are incredibly resilient. Humans have been overcoming and even thriving after trauma since the beginning of time.

So choose love, choose mystery, and uncertainty. Make room in life for all the unanswered and unsolved mysteries. It is the window to all the love in the world.

For the full article on the devastating effects of psychiatric drugs: http://www.cchr.org/cchr-reports/psychiatry/introduction.html

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