I would like to offer three tips to help us live from love instead of fear—even in the midst of overwhelming realities.
The three tips are: turn inward, turn toward, and turn outward.
Tip number one for living from love, instead of fear: Turn Inward.
If our responses are to flow from love we must continually turn inward to that vast reservoir of love within ourselves.
We humans, under stress, have a tendency toward fight or flight; toward aggression or avoidance.
So, we all need a practice of turning inward to the source of unconditional love at the core of our being. That practice might be prayer, meditation, time in nature, or simply being fully present to the person right in front of us.
Tip Number two for living from love instead of fear: Turn Toward.
Recent studies indicate that loneliness is as bad for our health as smoking, alcoholism, and obesity. Caring for our bodies is important, but equally important is caring for our relationships. We must turn toward others by forming and prioritizing authentic relationships.
At Recovery Café we define authentic relationships as those relationships where we are both deeply known and loved, both vulnerable and safe. Over time, being both known and loved, both vulnerable and safe, transforms us. At Recovery Café we call the structures that hold this process of transformation “recovery circles.”
Everyone needs some form of a recovery circle, for all of us are recovering from something. Some of us are recovering from many things. All of us hunger for a place to belong and to become. All of us long for a place where the whole of our life is embraced; our losses and accomplishments, our successes and failures, what we got right and what we got wrong.
Which brings me to tip # three for living from love instead of fear: Turn Outward
If we are to live from love, instead of fear, we must turn outward and reimagine all unjust systems that oppress and exclude—systems within housing, education, health care, criminal justice, and so on—even if/especially if we are beneficiaries of those systems.
The illusion that we are separate from any member of our human family is the costliest, deadliest illusion of all time.
-Killian Noe, Founding Director