Fear motivates me in the worst ways because it is frequently illogical. Fear is an energy that eats me up and makes me do things without thinking. Fear is the destroyer. Fear keeps me from life.
So every time I feel fear, I stop. I breathe, then I figure out how I can choose love instead. Sound trite? Ridiculous? That is your fear talking. I know. My fear screams at me that when I choose to open up to people, when I choose courage, I am weak. Fear says that battle is the best thing. That the fight is prudent. That my anger is justified. That the hard thing is to struggle.
But it is not. The fight? The struggle? They are lazy. They are easy, seductive.
Love is the hardest thing you can do. And it gets harder and harder to choose the more you act on your fears. It is not just about Hitting on Dudes. As I stated in my blog, it is about Hitting on Life.
Quotes by Kurt Vonnegut about love and creativity have a special potency for me because he was so fractured. He broke the hearts of the people closest to him. He was difficult to live with. He was not the best parent in the world. But he worked towards love. He understood the importance of kindness. He knew that the world could make you hard because he struggled with that himself.
Looking into your shit and loving yourself because of it, not in spite of it is pivotal. There is a lot about me that is not awesome. Not perfect. Not cool. But it is part of me, and I embrace it. I embrace it because denying it will blow it up. Denying it will also make it tough for me to accept the shit in others. I don't want to go through life judging, hating and being intolerant. As my twin brother has said to me time and again, "Don't hate Sara. It's unbecoming."
The world is not a perfect place. It will beat you down. It will take your hope. It will make you resentful. But if you can love in the face of it, in the face of the pain and the sorrow, then you can do anything. It is easy to love when you are happy, when things are going well, but how practiced are you at loving in the shit? How good are you at smiling at the man who just hit you in the face?
This is how I measure myself. I have to. I am too hard on myself otherwise. I am the destroyer of my own hope, my own joy, and I have to meet my destroyer with love. It is the only way to manage her. It is the only way to hope.
It is the only way to love.
You can see the world as a place that will beat you down. You can see it as an environment of bitterness. You can also see it as a place in which to practice, a place in which you have the opportunity to hone your ability to love in any situation.
In my last newsletter, I talked about viewing people as opportunities. In truth, that is what the world is; the opportunity to love, over and over again. Love yourself, love your friends, love your enemies. Love people who are vastly different from you. Love people who don't love you.
I challenge you to this task. Love in the face of fear, in the face of hate, in the face of your destroyer. The world transforms with each of your efforts. You will see.