Are my reactions based on love or fear?

How much am I living out of fear or out of love?

 I’ve been thinking lately how I’ve been living my days and how I want to live instead. 

When I started breaking my life down with this lens, I was startled by the honest revelation that I’ve spent much of my time operating in fear. I wouldn’t have thought that until I began analyzing how many decisions I make that are activated by fear disguised as something else. 

Am I saying yes out of love or fear?

Am I saying no out of love or fear?

Am I doing ________ /reacting to _______ out of love or fear? 

So I’ve set out to change it. Some days, I succeed. Other days, I don’t. But I still work toward it and that’s what matters. 

More specifically, this is what I’ve been asking myself in different areas:

WORK/PASSIONS:

Am I proud of my work (love) or hiding away from showcasing it (fear)? 

Am I baring my heart as I feel called to do (love) or hiding to protect it (fear)?

Am I pushing myself to the next level or am I letting fear keep me small and comfortable? 

Am I stepping out in confidence despite past mistakes and missteps or am I letting those hang over my head and shying away from the spotlight? 

Am I willing to fully invest myself in what I do or am I letting thoughts that I’m not good enough hold me back? 

Am I embracing new opportunities or am I thinking about what could go wrong instead? 

Am I showing up 100% as me or am I fearful of being seen? 

RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS

Am I loving them or protecting myself?

Am I working to understand their perspective or defending myself?

Am I choosing time with those I love or withdrawing from meaningful attachments for fear of losing them? 

Am I smiling at strangers with love or am I  fearful of their reactions/judgements?

Am I sharing my love with others or am I keeping it to myself in fear of it not being reciprocated?

Am I listening out of love or am I reacting out of fear?

Am I embracing people or pushing them away? 

Am I still myself because I love myself even when in a room of people who may not like me?

Am I showing up 100% as me or am I fearful of being seen?  (Yes, a repeat but important here, too.)  

PARENTHOOD
(Note: This was an eye opener for me. It’s easy to claim love is the basis of everything I say and do for my children, but is that reflected in my choices?) 

Am I lovingly re-correcting their disobedience or am I reacting from fear of the lack of control I seem to hold on them? 

Am I loving them through their mistakes or angry/yelling/reacting because I’m fearful that they could have hurt themselves? 

Am I loving on them with the minutes I have or am I investing my time in things that mean less than them for fear of missing out? 

Am I trusting and enjoying their natural growing stages or am I protecting them and me out of fear of the worst-case scenarios?

Am I signing them up for this because it’s good for them or because I’m fearful of them not being social enough/smart enough/sporty enough/able to keep up with the rest of the world? 

Am I parenting as I know is best for them or am I doing things based on fear of other people’s judgements? 

Am I encouraging them to stand out or to fit in?

Am I acting out of love for my kids or out of what looks good to others? 

ME

Am I exercising out of love for my body or am I exercising out of fear that I’m too ______________ or don’t look like someone else or that someone may judge my body?  (Same for eating/food.)

Am I wearing clothes that express who I am or am I wearing what’s expected/popular?

Am I drinking because I want to relax or to fit in/keep up with everyone else? 

Am I in social media looking to love on others and celebrate them or reading posts with blooming fear that I’m not good enough and that other people have it better? 

Am I enhancing my mind and body with positivity and love or avoiding facing what I need by mindlessly losing myself in things that don’t matter?

Am I surrounding myself with those that raise my vibe and energy or am I surrounding myself with those that drain it and bring me down out of fear of losing them? 

Am I present in love in every moment or am I invested in the lingering fears of the past and the future unknowns?

Am I letting go out of love for myself or holding on for fear of change or hurting someone else? 

——

Another question I’ve been asking in the midst of challenging times is: Who is this serving? (And is it worth it?)

Fear doesn’t serve anyone. 
Love serves all. 

We make millions of choices a day and many of them are emotion-fueled. But that’s what they are- choices. Our choices. My choices. Your choices. 

We choose.

And I want to choose love over fear. 

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This list is just a snapshot. If you have others, feel free to add them.