Food, sex, wealth, these are the things of the devil? So why do all our righteous leaders have them?
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 King James Bible
The range of our emotions spans a wide and incredibly nuanced spectrum. From jealous rage to quiet sorrow, from confused emptiness to guilty happiness, our emotions color our lives and influence our actions.
Varied as our emotions are, however, all are derived from two basic sources, all grow from two primitive roots — love and fear. In the same way that you cannot see the component colors of a beam of light until you place a prism in its path, love and fear are pure emotions that produce and contain all other emotions.
Each of us acts as a prism to the light of love or fear; whether we feel happiness or anger is determined by which light we choose to stand in. Imagine two rays of light that are constantly streaming into your soul, which for our purposes now you can picture as an empty room. Also in the room is a prism that moves based on your response to situations, either toward the love light, or toward the fear light.
Emotions are always a response to our surroundings. If our spouse tells us how much they love us, our response is (usually) a reciprocal love and happiness; the prism in our soul moved to the love light, and we feel joy and love. Alternatively, if our spouse tells us they have been cheating, the prism moves to the fear light, and we feel angry, hurt, and betrayed.
A common misconception among spiritual people is that fear is negative and love is positive. That is, emotions and actions associated with fear are harmful or bad, and those associated with the love light are beneficial and good.
Generally this may be true, but there is a lot of good that can come of fear-based emotions. There are times, for example, when the appropriate response is anger, and to feel otherwise would be harmful, either to yourself or to another.
The real issue is knowing when to choose which light to stand in. Most often, we should strive to stand in the light of love, because that light is more understanding, patient, and kind, even in painful situations. Other times call for the provocative emotions that fear produces. But don’t let your prism stay in that light too long, or else you may be tainted with it, and even your happiness will be tinged with fear.
Strive to live in love, and you will have no fear.
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online colleges, online degrees etc. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.