Fear To Love – Our Human Path to Freedom

A few weeks ago, a German friend/student, Joachim Fischer, was attending a peace demonstration in his hometown, where he saw a poster with these words:

Place of birth: Earth
Race: Human
Politics: Freedom
Religion: Love

Can anyone really argue against this statement, this intention, this invitation? What happens when you read these words?
Did you take a breath or nod your head?

Recently, I wrote a piece here, offering an invitation for each of us to uncover A Truly Great Story“.

One version of “A Truly Great Story”, is to see life on earth as a path of learning to be a true human being.  On this path everything that occurs is for our benefit – for our joy and/or for our learning. When we view Life as a Path and it is all “for our benefit”, this is a path of Freedom and Love.

When presencing the beauty of the sun shining or hearing the innocent, contagious laugh of an infant or simply enjoy a refreshing drink on a hot day, we feel gifted by the living moment. When we are present enough to receive these gifts, they are so numerous that they can appear almost continuous.

But what of the challenging situations – the pains, sorrows, disappointments, and worries? Here our path is to learn from these moments and for them to guide us in opening our curious hearts, shifting from the habit of fear/constriction to love/openness. We can feel free to respond in freedom rather than react automatically.

Of course, when fear is reality-based, it is essential for survival, we want this life-giving capacity. Unfortunately, as our brains have evolved, we have developed biases toward predicting and exaggerating danger when confronted with the unknown. When this is so, we treat the undesirable as dangerous, putting our whole nervous system on alert. Such a distressing way to live!

Awareness is the key for differentiating intelligent fear from the habitual. The great gifts of memory and planning can easily be hijacked by old, neurological survival strategies. When not aware, these are often applied ineffectively to new life conditions.

Fear to Love

Growing a bias for warm-hearted openness (love), with intelligent, reality-based boundaries, is the powerful antidote. Learning this is the PhD program in the “school of life on earth”. This is not only possible for us ordinary human beings but essential for our collective survival.


Changing ancient patterns is obviously not easy. I see four steps that make the process doable, engaging and even interesting.

In my experience, some aspects of awareness are most readily learned through movement and some through stillness. Learning styles for some likely favors one over the other. For most of us, the two serve differing, vital roles, even if one modality remains more attractive. Stillness and Movement are like two legs for propelling us forward in our lives. More accurately, two legs propelling us into the present moment.

1) As with all noble endeavors, the first step is cultivating a dedicated intention. For human beings, knowing the outcome that we seek is a powerful orientational tool.

2) Demanding, yet warm-hearted, Awareness. While strong fears are easy to see and perhaps acknowledge, our low-level fears linger under the surface. Often these are connected to the self-images we are trying to maintain – how we want to be seen or not seen. Naming the constricted state requires overcoming our denial or fear of fear.

3) Sensing, with curiosity and openness the signs of constriction in our bodies, as well as in our thoughts and feelings, helps to unwind the fear.

4) 100% forgiveness for our habits, with the intention to do better.

I carry the picture that we are on earth for learning, in freedom, how to be truly human – celebrating the joy of being alive, as we live from a basic attitude of Love.

Place of birth: Earth
Race: Human
Politics: Freedom
Religion: Love

This is one “Truly Great Story”.