Love or Fear?

Jun 04, 2021

My dear friends...

Why is life turning out the way it is turning out? Why is love so often so hard to find, and then to keep? Why is goodness and kindness and compassion and even a smiling face sometimes so hard to find in our day-to-day experience? Must our lives consist of drama, drama, and more drama day in and day out?

I get asked questions like these a lot, and as I turn to the Conversations with God dialogues to find answers, here is some of what I uncover, in these words from God:

Every human thought, and every human action, is based in either love or fear.  There is no other human motivation, and all other ideas are but derivatives of these two.  They are simply different versions --- different twists on the same theme.  Think on this deeply and you will see that it is true. 

This is what God has called the Sponsoring Thought.  It is either a thought of love or fear.  This is the thought behind the thought behind the thought.  It is the first thought.  It is prime force.  It is the raw energy that drives the engine of human experience. 

And here is how human behavior produces repeat experience after repeat experience; it is why humans love, then destroy, then love again:  always there is the swing from one emotion to the other.  Love sponsors fear sponsors love sponsors fear …

… and the reason is found in the first lie --- the lie which you hold as the truth about God --- that God cannot be trusted; that God’s love cannot be depended upon; that God’s acceptance of you is conditional; that the ultimate outcome is thus in doubt.  For if you cannot depend on God’s love to always be there, on whose love can you depend?  If God retreats and withdraws when you do not perform properly, will not mere mortals also? 

…And so it is that in the moment you pledge your highest love, you greet your greatest fear.  For the first thing you worry about after saying “I love you” is whether you’ll hear it back.  And if you hear it back, then you begin immediately to worry that the love you have just found, you will lose.  And so all action becomes a reaction --- defense against loss. 

Yet if you knew Who You Are --- that you are the most magnificent, the most remarkable, the most splendid being God has ever created --- you would never fear.  But you do not know Who You Are, and you think you are a great deal less. 

And where did you get the idea of how much less than magnificent you are?  From the only people whose word you would take on everything.  From your mother and your father.  These are the people who love you the most.  Why would they lie to you?  Yet have they not told you that you are too much of this, and not enough of that?  Have they not reminded you that you are to be seen and not heard? Have they not scolded you in some of the moments of your greatest exuberance?  And, did they not encourage you to set aside some of your wildest imagining? 

These are the messages you’ve received, and though they do not meet the criteria, and are thus not messages from God, they might as well have been, for they have come from the gods of your universe surely enough.  It was your parents who taught you that love is conditional – you have felt their conditions many times – and that is the experience you take into your own love relationships. 

It is also the experience you bring to God.  From this experience you draw your conclusions about God.  Within this framework you speak your truth.  “God is a loving God,” you say, “but if you break His commandments, He will punish you with eternal banishment and everlasting damnation.”  For have you not experienced the banishment of your own parents?  Do you not know the pain of their damnation?  How, then, could you imagine it to be any different with God? 

You have forgotten what it was like to be loved without condition.  You do not remember the experience of the love of God.  And so you try to imagine what God’s love must be like, based on what you see of love in the world.  You have projected the role of “parent” onto God, and have thus come up with a God Who judges and rewards or punishes, based on how good He feels about what you’ve been up to.  But this is a simplistic view of God, based on your mythology.  It has nothing to do with Who God is. 

Having thus created an entire thought system about God based on human experience rather than spiritual truths, you then create an entire reality around love.  It is a fear-based reality, rooted in the idea of a fearful, vengeful God.  Its Sponsoring Thought is wrong, but to deny that thought would be to disrupt your whole theology.  And though the new theology which would replace it would truly be your salvation, you cannot accept it, because the idea of a God Who is not to be feared, Who will not judge, and Who has no cause to punish is simply too magnificent to be embraced within even your grandest notion of Who and What God is.

This fear-based love reality dominates your experience of love; indeed, actually creates it.  For not only do you see yourself receiving love which is conditional, you also watch yourself giving it in the same way.  And even while you withhold and retreat and set your conditions, a part of you knows this is not what love really is.  Still, you seem powerless to change the way you dispense it.  You’ve learned the hard way, you tell yourself, and you’ll be damned if you’re going to leave yourself vulnerable again. 

Yet the truth is, you’ll be damned if you don’t.

Having re-read that marvelous passage from Book One, I have made a new determination on this wonderful day to share my love unconditionally with all those whose lives I touch. I know this is not going to be easy. I have embarked on this mission before. I have embraced this challenge in the past. I did not always succeed in my endeavor. (To be transparent, I did not succeed nearly as much as I had hoped I would.)

Ah, but that was Then, and this is Now. I’ve lived a bit more Life. I loved a bit more fully. I’ve laughed a bit more loudly. I’ve longed a bit more earnestly for the most complete experience of Divinity in every moment that I can call forth. I know more now. And as wonderful Maya Angelou says: “When we know better, we do better.”

How about you? Want to join me in this adventure?


With love and hugs,

Read this week's Letter to Neale here


Read a message from one of the prisoners impacted by our Prison Outreach HERE



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