–by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler (Jan 18, 2010)
If we could literally reach into you and remove all your fears – every one of them – how different would your life be? Think about it. If nothing stopped you from following your dreams, your life would probably be very different. This is what the dying learn. Dying makes our worst fears come forward to be faced directly. It helps us see the different life that is possible, and in that vision, takes the rest of our fears away.
Unfortunately, by the time the fear is gone most of us are too sick or too old to do those things we would have done before, had we not been afraid. […] Thus, one lesson becomes clear: we must transcend our fears while we can still do those things we dream of.
To transcend fear though, we must move somewhere else emotionally; we must move into love.
Happiness, anxiety, joy, resentment — we have many words for the many emotions we experience in our lifetimes. But deep down, at our cores, there are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.
It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear. Can you think of a time when you’ve been in both love and fear? It’s impossible.
We have to make a decision to be in one place or the other. There is no neutrality in this. If you don’t actively choose love, you will find yourself in a place of either fear or one of its component feelings. Every moment offers the choice to choose one or the other. And we must continually make these choices, especially in difficult circumstances when our commitment to love, instead of fear, is challenged.
Having chosen love, doesn’t mean you will never fear again. In fact it means that many of your fears will come up to finally be healed. This is an ongoing process. Remember that you will become fearful after you’ve chosen love, just as we become hungry after we eat. We must continually choose love in order to nourish our souls and drive away fear, just as we eat to nourish our bodies and drive away hunger.
–Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler from “Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living”