Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

When in doubt, choose love over fear.

10 Comments

I have a prayer I whisper every morning when I awaken.

As I come into the awareness of the day, as my mind begins to stir and I begin to feel each heart beat calling me to arise, I close my eyes, open my heart and whisper, “Dear Universe. Open a new road to me today and keep me open to the gifts of the  unexpected.”

And then I take a breath. In. Out. And move with joy into my day.

At least, that’s how I like to enter my day every day, and on most days, it is. But there are, those days…

You know the ones. You wake up on the wrong side of happy. In the down side of blue. And the day just doesn’t look so sparkly.

It’s on those days I have to ‘act my way into a feeling’. It’s on those days I have to convince myself, not knowing what the day will bring is all part of the adventure.

I like adventure. I like mystery and magic but I do not like mayhem. And I do not like not knowing.

Which is what often creates the problems I encounter. Not knowing scares me and when I’m scared, I tend to act out, or withhold, or hold back, or hide, or run around in circles, or all of the above and then some.

Not knowing makes me uncomfortable. And when the not knowing involves another human being, it all just falls apart and mayhem ensues.

And I don’t like that.

Recently, C.C. and I had one of those conversations that got a little bit heated, a little bit testy. (okay — a lot)

Rather than stand in love and simply hear him out and let his truth be his truth, I got all uppity and self-righteous and kinda pissy. How dare he accuse me of doing something I did not do. Even if in his perception what I said and did amounted to what he felt and saw, I didn’t do it the way he perceived it — and I had to set him straight. Problem was, in his anger and hurt, setting him straight was not my job and it definitely wasn’t my best course of action. If what I wanted to create was love and harmony in our relationship, I sure went about it in a curious way.

Challenge is, in that moment of telling myself I was being attacked, I forgot all about what I want to create in our relationship and gave into my fears. And in my fear, I chose to defend, desist and disagree.

And what I did compounded what he did which confused what really happened leading up to all hell breaking loose in both of us being unable to hear the heart beat of the other.

When in doubt, choose love over fear.

I didn’t choose love. I chose to listen to my fear.

And my fear of being seen to be less than, unkind, mean, selfish, disruptive, argumentative, and a whole bunch of other adjectives I don’t like to wear, rushed to the forefront of my mind, stirring up all kinds of unrest.

In every disagreement there is a gift. In this instance, the gift was the opportunity to hear my beloved’s pain and sorrow and fear with an open and loving heart. Rather than trying to get him to hear my side of the story when he was all emotional about what he felt had happened, I could have chosen to stay present and thank him for sharing his feelings and thoughts.

I could have thanked him, and let him own his reactions, while I owned mine.

Isn’t that always the challenge when we argue or disagree with another? We desperately want them to see our point of view. Problem is, in our insistence that we are going to set it all straight, we are actively engaged in making them wrong, us right — and I don’t know about you, but I hate being ‘made wrong’. Heck. That’s what started the whole discourse! He had it all wrong and I wanted him to see how and why he had it all wrong! And I was powerful enough to change his mind.

Nope.

I’m not.

Powerful enough to change anyone’s mind.

All I can do is change mine. And rather than listen to the voice that would have me believe he’s got it wrong, I can choose to listen to the voice that whispers quietly in my heart, “Listen up Louise. Listen up and stay open to this new road opening up for you to discover how to create safety even in the darkness of your fear.”

And the best way to do that is…. close my eyes and walk in the dark so that I can hear my heart calling.

I avoided listening to my heart and found myself lost in anger, pain, fear and regret. Opening the eyes of my heart I see where I let my ego override my sense of wonder and awe and Love for my beloved. I see where his truth got lost in my insistence he had it all wrong.

It doesn’t really matter whether our ‘truths’ meet in the darkness. What matter most is our hearts connect in the light and beauty of Love. And the only way for that to happen is for me to close my eyes, open my heart and walk in Love.

 

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

10 thoughts on “When in doubt, choose love over fear.

  1. Listen up Louise,

    I’ve heard this tune before – from you, from others. Fair enough. See it your way.

    However, consider that some people – not you – but ‘some people’, might see things differently.

    For instance, ‘stand your ground’, ‘own the reality’, ‘fight for how you feel’, ‘don’t be pushed around’ are valid positions when appropriate. Sometimes they aren’t the best/easiest/most polite . . . but valid just the same.

    Our family/background dynamics, particularly around dealing with conflict are rooted in similar family dynamics, so I think I understand your defensive/offensive posture as well as your ‘beating yourself up afterward’ tendencies.

    Another perspective – sometimes, might be ‘I am right for me, right about what I need to be right about for me’ …. which can be held in the quiet of silence or shouted from roof-tops.

    I’m just sayin’

    Cheers,

    Mark
    p.s. anytime you need a port in a storm, gimme a call

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    • I hear what you’re saying Mark — and I think you hear what you’re saying and filter what I wrote through your hearing. 🙂

      It isn’t about not ‘standing my ground’, it’s all about being in a loving space to find common ground for both our truths to stand without fearing being hammered to the ground. when two people are committed to ‘being right’ there’s little room for both their truth to shine.

      I’m not beating myself up as much as loving myself enough to know when I am struggling with letting someone else’s truth be their’s — and letting mine be mine and being okay in that space — Disagreement doesn’t equal rejection — and I struggle with that sometimes. 🙂

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  2. So true, and so difficult to do!

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  3. Steven Covey’s fifth habit ‘seek first to understand and then to be understood’ is, I feel, the hardest habit in personal relationships on two counts. Firstly, we often hear but we do not often empathize and try and understand how the other person feels. Secondly – and this is ALWAYS the hardest bit for me – we often don’t feel good enough about ourselves to put our own case forward in a positive manner. So our reaction can sometimes be out of fear (say nothing) or anger (act defensively) rather than out of love for both the other person AND for ourselves. I have learned the best action is to take time out and come back later with a measured response. It may still not be the correct response but at least you know it is one you can live with.

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    • So true Elizabeth — I too love that habit.

      It is having the courage to step away, without feeling defensive or without convincing myself I’m ‘backing down’ and then stepping up to the plate swinging! It’s the measured response, the heartfelt one that I search for! Thanks!

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  4. I like that prayer……………………life is full of the unexpected and we should be ready to meet the unexpected and embrace it and move on this was a great post

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  5. Yes, Yes, Yes. “Act my way into feeling.” I was going to mention Steven Covey, but elizabeth2560 beat me to it. I was thinking of the story he tells of a man who came to him for advice about his marriage, complaining that he didn’t love his wife any more, and wondering how to get the feeling of love back. Dr. Covey had to repeat his answer several times: Love her.

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  6. Ah yes, Love her. Love him. The rest is just stuff — and so often ego 🙂 and the critter having a hay-day in my head 🙂

    Thanks Susan. Love your gentle and loving perspective.

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