The big F word
What is the opposite of love?
My automatic response was always; 'hate'. If I don't love something, then surely I must hate it. But I see this differently now. What is the opposite of love? FEAR.
I agree with the idea that fear is at the core of every feeling of hate. How often do we hear/ say to ourselves; I hate myself, I hate my life, I hate my body, I hate my mind etc? For me anyway, it's quite often. What are we really saying though? I fear myself, my life, my body and my mind.
A lot of fear comes of the unknown and therefore a lot of 'hate' comes from a lack of understanding. When we are entrenched in negativity, we lose connection with the world and may not see it for the wonder that it is. We lose interest in anything but the negativity. That's nobody's fault though! Those thoughts are fairly intrusive! But we can choose not to succumb to them, remember. By losing connection we lose our understanding. So how can we hate something we don't know well enough to pass a judgement on?
I would always have thought; 'I hate my mind and the thoughts that I have '. Putting that into this new way of thinking into action, I changed my sentence and said, I fear my mind and the thoughts that I have. In saying this, I could then explore what it was that I fear and then try to learn about it. With hate, all we see is the hate and don't bother trying to overcome it - it's a rather condemning emotion that leaves no room for further investigation. by saying that I fear my thoughts, I can realise that I fear their strength and their harshness. I fear them because I don't understand how they came to be so destructive and so self-critical. I fear my potential. By naming the fears as what they are, we can then look to overcome them.
How do we overcome fear?
Well for starters, every time a fear comes into your mind just think of this;
E - evidence
A - appearing
R - real
Many fears that we have are made up or dramatized by our imaginations. Although the fear feels genuine and real, it more often than not is something that your mind has made up. Which is great news because if you made it, you can get rid of it too!
To continue with the example of fearing my mind. I said I feared the negativity but I also feared it's greatness. In that sentence alone there is a contradiction and thus I can see how non-sensical my fear is. If I fear negativity how can I also fear positivity? Then I must fear everything? Which I don't and therefore my sweeping statement about the fear is false. To replace the fear I realised that I have to change how I'm thinking about things. See the fear, see it's falseness and choose to do something about it. This process applies to any fear that we may have, be it social fears or exam fears.
Any fear can be overcome if you want to do it and take the necessary actions to do it!
Here are some tips on overcoming fear and thus perhaps overcoming the apparent hate that you thought you had;
Recognise the thing that you hate
Question the fear that you have about it
Realise that perhaps this hatred/fear comes from a lack of understanding
Get curious about the thing - get to know it a little better
Question whether there is now any validity to your fear (mostly there is not)
Challenge the fear by doing something out of your comfort zone
Give yourself PLENTY of credit for going against the fear
Realise that you survived facing the fear and continue to take action against it
Realise that you have overcome the fear
These simple steps may seem daunting or maybe tedious, but they are tried and tested by me and many others. With time and practice, I have managed to overcome fears that I never thought possible, so you can too. Believe in your abilities.
Have a lovely, fear-fighting day,
Dare to Live SOS