Most of us probably use fear and love to describe feelings in same way as we use the words sadness, joy, worry, happiness, anger and peace.
A Course of Love (ACOL) informs us clearly:
Fear is not a feeling but a response to a feeling. Emotions are responses. You have been told there are but two emotions, love and fear. What this is really saying is that there are but two ways to respond to what you feel—with love or with fear. ACOL D:DAY16.10
I find that really helpful. Love and fear are responses. When I choose fear or love I am choosing how to respond to my feelings.
I don’t so much like making distinctions between words that are considered feelings and others that are considered emotions – just do an online search and you will quickly get confused trying to make useful distinctions. I’m just delighted to stay with the insight that fear and love are responses and we only have two possible responses. How simple is that?
What does a loving or fearful response to feelings look like?
If you respond with fear you expel, project, and separate. If you respond with love you remain whole. You realize that you have no feelings that are bad. You embrace sadness, grief, anger, and all else that you feel because these feelings are part of who you are in the present moment. ACOL D:DAY16.10
First it is really helpful to know there are no bad feelings. Let’s let that information really sink in! Sadness, anger and frustration are not bad.
The idea of embracing the feelings that we previously labeled as negative or uncomfortable seems more of a challenge. But maybe it’s about NOT doing something. NOT trying to make the “bad” feelings go away. Many different words are used to describe what we do with unwanted feelings. Denial or distraction (getting busy) are my favourite ways to reject feelings. This response usually has a negative effect on my body. Some people prefer to eject or project their feels onto others or the world in general with various negative results from blaming others to creating all sorts of drama.
One other essential bit of information that ACOL teaches us is that we can never get rid of feelings, ever. We think we can get rid of them by expelling them from our awareness and out into a physical world but they reappear as sickness, accidents or some sort of crises. We cannot escape feelings.
Remember if you choose love you are choosing to embrace you feelings and accept all the pain, delight, unease, lightness that is happening in the present moment. The result is harmony.
Below is the story that led to writing this blog.
I arrived in Edinburgh airport with my son Yuri after a fun and busy 3 day trip to Italy and Slovenia. We still had a 3.5 hour drive to get back home to the North East of Scotland. We had decided first to do a quick visit to the Edinburgh IKEA (large home furnishing chain) to buy Yuri a table for his bedroom and some other things. The location was 30 minutes from the airport in the opposite direction to home.
As we started out for IKEA the voice of the mobile GPS kept telling us that traffic was heavier than usual. That was kind of obvious to us as we looked ahead at the rows of crawling traffic. I was starting to feel uneasy and a bit stressed. It was going to take longer than I expected. We arrived at IKEA and after a brief lunch we started shopping as quickly as possible. My stress was gradually increasing but my son Yuri was just enjoying a new experience.
With the shopping completed and back in the car the sinking feeling in my stomach was getting worse. I ate some chocolate that I had grabbed at the checkout and got on with the driving. How long it would take to get home with traffic on a Friday afternoon?
If I had stopped at that moment in the car or even better earlier, and responded with love to my feelings, then the outcome of the return trip and my health in the following week might have been different. Who knows?
Here is what happened. On the way back following the GPS directions we ended up twice stuck in traffic. After cursing the mobile GPS (which had never been wrong before) I decided on my own route and at least got us out of the Edinburgh area in a northerly direction. But we were not free yet. An earlier accident further ahead on our route had caused very long build up of traffic. We stopped or crawling along for well over an hour. Maybe the GPS was trying to take us on the quickest route after all? The day after returning home I woke up with a really sore throat and it took a whole week for the pain to go away.
Does responding with fear to feelings cause traffic problems and sore throats? I will let you answer that question yourself. What I do know from other situations is that responding with love to feelings brings harmony to body and mind.
I apologised to Yuri afterwards in case you were wondering how he coped watching his Dad having a fear response moment. As usual he was an angel, just watching it all happening.
by James Kelly, Creator of the Miracle Choice Game