Love vs. Fear – today’s big choice

More than ever…our work is about more than washing our hands and social distancing. With pressure and worry mounting, cascading many people already operating in flight-fight into true survival mode, it is very easy to be warlike in thoughts, words and actions.

Walking in Fish Creek Park earlier yesterday, I was marveling at the budding pussy willows, and the waterfowl protecting their nests. My boys and I stood at the water’s edge amazed by the sound of the creek, high with melting water, bubbling over rocks and grass. It was magical and beautiful. I was so grateful for this time with my children, the warm day, the wonder of nature and its balm on our tension.

Then as we headed up on the bike trail out of the park, an older woman stopped several metres from us, as if contagion was visible on my family. She looked at me like an enemy. It absolutely rankled me right out of my good mood. I barked at her, “We’re not gonna make you sick, lady,” and kept marching.

All it took was this woman’s fear to set me off, a person who “should” know better, and for me to treat her like an enemy also. That was an excellent opportunity for me to have shown love by not taking her trepidation personally. But I was ready to take offense at any little slight, and did. I embarassed my kids yelling at her. In taking offense, I chose fear instead of love, spreading anger between strangers.

Hence the theme for today’s meditation: how many thoughts, words, actions do we take that choose fear over love? For what reason? Today in practice we observed where this happens in our mind’s distraction, and countered it with an expression of gratitude. Now, how to bring this to bear in life? Mindfulness gives us a chance to engage the brakes before we have a strong emotional reaction. Take a breath. Choose again.

In my story above, a suitable response to the nervous woman would have been to be grateful for the fact that she was being careful about social distancing, rather than casual.

Today’s meditation centered on gratitude. Expressions of gratitude are the perfect antidote to inflated senses of worry, fear, isolation and alienation from our fellow humans. To listen, please visit the podcasts page.

I hope you enjoy!

Kind regards, Rosanna

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