I have seen this recently in my life with regards to Craigslist of all things. I use Craigslist quite often to get rid of things I no longer need; I occasionally sell things on there as well. I often have boxes available, so I will post on the free section for someone to come pick them up off my front porch. When someone I knew said he was having the trash company come pick up moving boxes from his house, I suggested that there would be many people on Craigslist who would love to have them to free. At that point, he informed me that Craigslist is a dangerous place and that there are now safe exchange places at police stations in his area for Craigslist users. I didn’t even try to counter this discussion because it was clear he was in a place of fear. I agree that one needs to use common sense when selling high value items on Craigslist. I was contemplating selling a camera lens at one point, and had I done that, I would have required the sale to be a cash or money order transaction which we would have exchanged in the lobby of my bank so I could verify the deposit and so we would have cameras watching the exchange. However, when it comes to boxes, I am not reselling them. No one is going to short change or harm me. I leave them on the front porch, and I let people know to just take the boxes without ringing the bell. I’ve never had problems. I see this as sharing resources that help minimize the damage on the planet, and in a way, spreading love around. I come at it from a place of love.
One could also argue that those who carry concealed handguns are living in a place of fear. Every person I know who carries one lives and works in areas where a gun is unnecessary. They are operating from a place of fear, though, and they can’t feel safe in the world without a loaded sidearm. To me, that is a sad place to be. Even when I was a woman working in a low SES neighborhood and school or as a woman navigating the world alone, I never felt a need to have a handgun. If something suspicious is going on, I dial 911 and let those who are trained professionals deal with the issue. I realize not everyone feels they can safely call in the police, and that is a true problem in our society with fear at its roots, too. However, all of those whom I know who are concealed handgun holders are also Caucasian and not likely to experience negative racial profiling when working with the authorities.
One can also see people who live in fear when it comes to finances. Even if they make an upper class salary, they are certain that they will run out of money. As a result, they becoming stingy with donating their time, their money, and their energy to others. They do not want to run out of anything, so they hoard what they have. However, the Universe seems to function under a “you have to give to receive” type of premise. While I’m not advocating giving away all one’s possessions or even forcing one’s self to live in poverty, I do think we all need to be a bit generous in whatever way we can be in order to keep the good karma moving around. Operating from a place of love dictates sharing with others rather than greedily accumulating millions beyond what one needs for basic comfort and enjoyment.
So how does one go about shifting one’s world view from fear based to love based? For starters, turn off your television as much as possible. The news is by far the worst thing to watch as broadcasts are sensationalized and are designed to strike fear in the viewers’ hearts. Advertising on television and also is often fear based. If you don’t take this medication you won’t be able to function for your family. If you don’t use this highly toxic cleaning product, your family will die of a rare contagion or maybe just get the common cold. If you don’t use this insurance company, you’ll lose everything you own. All of these messages do add up and do begin to wear on your worldview even if you don’t realize it. If you turn off the television and other sources of advertising for several months and then come back to it, you’ll be surprised at how insidious the messages seem.
As you go forward, try to select love-based activities in your life. You could go to a bar and drink heavily on Friday night, or you could go to a yoga class. You could go to the beach to find a hookup for the weekend, or you could join in a service drive or charity event. I’m not suggesting that you never participate in solely recreational activities, but consider whether or not you can make your recreation time more constructively loving rather than self-serving or hedonistic. If you do whatever activity you have planned, ask yourself who will benefit from it. If the answer is more than one person, especially if those people are strangers, you’re on your way to changing to a love based process of decision making.
When you are faced with choices in your life, begin asking yourself not only what is the right thing to do but what the loving thing to do is as well. Try not to let fear rule your decisions. Even though you may be scared about making a loving decision, follow your intuition instead of your fears and see if you can make your life and the lives of those around you a bit happier.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC