Do You Choose Love or Fear?

My friend Caroline Watson is the founder and director of an organization called Hua Dan, which uses participatory theater to inspire the full potential in people.

Introduced by a mutual friend and collaborator, Caroline and I did business together, became fast friends, and regularly shared stories of struggles and successes of life in the entrepreneurial trenches. Over the years we’ve been able to share ideas and to push each other to be better in business and in life.

She was the first person who introduced me to the idea of choosing love, not fear. In an attempt to practice being vulnerable in a more public way, she started a blog with the same name.

She spoke beautifully about this to me during our conversations about it in person. And her writing is equally eloquent.

Quite early on in this process I realized that my 60-day writing challenge is as much a challenge to me to write on a daily basis, as it is to be vulnerable in a more public way.

With her permission, I asked if she wouldn’t mind my sharing this as I am with you today.

While there are some excellent posts all over love-not-fear.org (as well as the place where she now blogs more regularly here) I thought it would be appropriate to start from the first page. We can learn a lot from where we begin.

10 Reasons to Date an Entrepreneur was Caroline’s first post and gives such a beautiful account of that sense of possibility mixed with passion, persistence, and partnership.

And, of course, the practice of choosing love, not fear.

Thinking Big was her second post, which discusses the thought process behind the 10 Reasons post – do I keep it or delete it? In it she recognizes that fear still does exist and humanizes the process of battling our fears, reminding us that we are always confronted with the choice.

So this is all well and good. Caroline’s thoughtfully expressed ideas are very moving. They spoke to me then and still speak to me now.

But love is not an academic pursuit, it’s an experiential one.

And even if we know the theory, we don’t always get it right the first time we’re tested.

Think back to the last time you were confronted with an opportunity to choose love over fear.

What did you decide?

What happened?

How did you build on that experience?

What did it mean for the next time?

How are you continuing to build these days?

What will it mean for the next opportunity that comes up?

And while you should certainly start to practice choosing love over fear with the people you are closest with, don’t let it stop there.

What would it mean for your life if you chose love in each and every one of your interactions with yourself and with others?

—–

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and with a bit of extra love in the air, Caroline happened to chose love in a big way to close out 2014. This post is not only about this most important mode of thinking she shared with me, but also to congratulate her for getting married over Christmas.

No, love is not only about something special that exists between two people who tie the knot, but it is a nice way for me to celebrate her, celebrate Alex, and to give them my most sincere congratulations from a land far, far away as we celebrate this day and this month where we celebrate love.

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