Tag Archives for " what is the opposite of fear "

There but for the grace of God

By amandaalexander | Worry

I was in Amsterdam on Monday evening when I heard the news, up very late. It was past midnight when I logged onto the BBC news website in anticipation of catching up on the latest political shenanigans, when I read “Breaking news in Manchester”.

At first, the news story suspected that it was a speaker that had malfunctioned, causing a very loud noise.

If only..

We are all reeling from this latest terrorist atrocity – and it’s touched so many of us very deeply, because it has targeted children. This is not the first time terrorists have targeted children, of course – they do it all the time in Syria. But it’s truly shocked us in the UK.

Human nature is such that we relate to what is closest to us.

For me and many people I know, this really does feel “too close”. Manchester is “my” city. I know it inside out. It’s the city I spent 6 years as a student, the city that I worked in for many years. I have lived in more places in Manchester than anywhere else! It’s the city I’m in at least once a month and my heart soars whenever I am there.

A girl in my eldest son’s class was at the concert – thrown by the blast, but thankfully alive and uninjured.

We feel grief, sadness and anger for the human beings whose lives were extinguished so suddenly and viciously. But then we think to ourselves:

“There but for the grace of God go I… it could have been my son, my daughter, my mother, my father…”

“Could have been”…But it wasn’t.

It’s another family, another set of friends and teachers experiencing excruciating grief.

And then another family, and another….

But right now, you and I are alive; our lives go on. We recognise that each new day is a blessing. We know deep down that we are lucky to be able to feel all the little irritations of life: frustration with our colleagues, bored with our jobs, angry with our children.

Those who use violence and murder to achieve their aims rely on us becoming fearful. And it’s oh so easy to let fear consume us. I know I’m not the only one who quietly wonders:

“What if I’m in the wrong place today?”

It would be easy to contract our lives just to stay “safe”: deny our children the joy of their first concert, just in case.

But human beings were not designed to be isolated from each other; we are meant to connect and grow. Focusing on our fear and wrapping ourselves in cotton wool is not an option that brings happiness or fulfilment.

I have no wise words or magic pill that will help make sense of a tragic loss of life or how to deal with fear. But I do know one thing – love is the only thing.

When the fear creeps upon us, there’s one thing that every single one of us can do – focus on love.

Love is the opposite of fear. When you feel frightened, think about how you can feel love instead and you’ll notice the fear dissipate. You could generate love through a random act of kindness to a friend or a stranger, by telling the person next to you how much you appreciate them. Feel love by hugging your loved ones. Or simply doing something that brings YOU joy and puts you in an expansive, loving state.

It’s so easy to be cynical about love, dismiss it as “hippy talk” and say; “Love won’t stop the suicide bombers or the bullets or all the bad things in the world”.

To those people, I say: “You’re so wrong!”

This week, we saw love in action in Manchester as the city wrapped its arms around each other; cabbies ferrying lost and frightened people home and to hospitals, homeless men pulling shrapnel out of children’s bodies and holding them; hotels providing shelter and comfort for the injured; the entire city holding a vigil in Albert Square in the city centre. The city was one, in love.

When you feel fear, focus on love.

The opposite of fear

By amandaalexander | Courage

“There are only two emotions: Fear and Love. Go with love”
-Wayne Dyer

My intended post was about letting go of your ego, which I’ll share with you next week.  I felt compelled acknowledge the recent terrorist attacks.  Some are suffering after the murder of people they love, others are in heated debate about media coverage or what to do about it all.  And there are also many who are looking for ways they can, in their own little way, make a difference.

This edition of Inspire comes to you with the intention of making a difference in a very small way.   Knowing the opposite of fear in a different way, I’d like to share two messages that inspire love, courage and hope.

You may well have come across the one or both already.  Here is the first, translated from the original French. It was posted on Facebook by a man called Antoine, whose wife was killed last Friday in the Paris attacks:

On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won’t have my hatred.

I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know – you are dead souls. If this God for which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.

So no, I don’t give you the gift of hating you. You are asking for it but responding to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.

You want me to be afraid, to view my fellow countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my freedom for security.You have lost.

I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago.

Of course I’m devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us every day and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you’ll never have access.

We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world.

I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”

The second is a broadcast by “The Project” host Waleed Aly. It is an eloquent, impassioned broadcast. I think it is important because it reduces fear and offers hope that each one of us can make a difference, very simply. I believe that it is well worth 5 minutes of your precious time to watch this:

The opposite of fear

I’ll end with Waleed’s words:

“We all need to come together. I know how that sounds, I know it’s a cliché. But it’s also true, because it’s exactly what ISIL want”

I agree with Waleed that “what we need is more love”

I’ll finish this week’s Inspire by repeating the quote in the image accompanying this week’s post, from the late, great Wayne Dyer:

“There are only two emotions: Fear and love. Go with love”

This is a mantra that accompanies many of my coaching sessions – and is one that helps me in every area of my life.