This post originally appeared on July 6, 2015.
There are only two intrinsic motivations for any action: love or fear.
Can you distill everything you've done, said, or thought today into one column or the other?
Fear manifests as anger or withdrawing. Fear flies the banner of should. Fear is motivated by how other people might react. Prejudice, stereotyping, anything that divides humanity into "us" and "them" come from a place of fear. Fear is conditional, suspicious, and needs to feel in control. Fear and scarcity feed each other. Fear is imposed upon us from the outside, in the form of rules and boundaries and negative consequences. Fear keeps us isolated and playing small.
Love feels expansive to our spirit. Emotions that energize us are based in love. Love and abundance go hand in hand. Love makes us feel connected and empowered. Love is inclusive. Love asks, "What do we have in common, how are we connected?” When we are motivated by love, we do not wait for certain criteria to be met before we act; our showing up is not contingent upon anything outside our own skins.
Love and fear are mutually exclusive. They present a clean either/or choice. Choosing one automatically rules out the other.
The funny thing is, there’s an illusion that choosing love is scarier than staying in fear - it requires trust, detachment from outcomes, and a willingness to surrender control.
In my life, I can tell when I've been ruled by fear and when I've dared to choose love. When I pay attention and knowingly choose to step out of fear, crazy things start to happen. Life feels easier, more fun, and much more satisfying.
Don’t take my word for it - try it for yourself. Identify a choice in your life that is motivated by fear, and figure out how to shift it to love.
And notice what happens.