This isn’t a well-thought out musing, so caveat emptor (“buyer[reader] beware”)! In fact, I think I just need to type it out to get some ideas out. So, here goes:
Someone told me the other day that “the opposite of love is not hate. It is fear.”
This really struck a chord with me even though I’m not sure if I completely agree with it. I think of hate as anti-love because it lacks all the things that make love what it is. It’s visceral, dangerous, and volatile, while love is warm, honest, and humble.
Most of the time, I view fear as a selfish emotion that is caused by desiring something that I want but don’t have or thinking something I do “have” will be lost. Yet, there is a grain of truth in the light of my own experience. When I am afraid, I can act very unloving towards the people or things that “caused” my fear. I see that when I am filled with so much joy that I don’t have fear, I can act lovingly to those who would do me harm. While that kind of compassion is certainly radical, it is not that unknown throughout history. In addition, I am starting to see that those types of actions are where love really exists.
I’ve heard the term “looking for love in all the wrong places” parlayed back and forth, but when you put it in the context of fear, I think it can take on a deeper meaning. When I am afraid, I can very easily look in the wrong “place” to allay my fear. Fear can hurt a lot and it’s easy to try to alleviate the hurt as quickly as possible, but not really get rid of the fear. It isn’t until I look in the deeper parts of myself and face my fears that I can fully alleviate that fear. As I alleviate my fears, then I can find room for love, and love fills the parts that were being eaten away by fear.
So, perhaps fear is the opposite of love, or maybe fear is AN opposite of love. I still don’t know a lot about these things, but I am really grateful for the chance to find out more about them. Thanks for reading!