I read somewhere that love can’t co-exist with fear.  I’m still mulling that one over but had an experience lately that helped me understand it.  I work with a real mega-keener who recently did a few work tasks that are in my territory, that should have been mine.

Did i ever have a reaction to that.  Firstly i’m a control freak, so don’t be stepping into my zone, this is my stuff.  But also, i like my work, I like to add value and to feel valued.  So if she’s doing my stuff then uh-oh, it might impact all that juicy goodness I get from my work.

And then it went even farther downhill.  If i’m not doing 100% of my job then sheesh, what’s to stop me from being laid off?  I know,  it’s a stretch but this was total unadulterated fear talking.  I might have headed straight to a future living in a cardboard box under a bridge.  Thankfully i didn’t go all that way because i recognized that these thoughts, as well as the icky feeling in the pit of my stomach were all totally soaked in fear.

So i asked myself –  could I look at the situation without fear?  Well, let’s see.  I could have thought, wow i’m finally getting some help around here!  I could have seen her as a team player and a teammate that i could coordinate with to get work done.  Use the opportunity to get closer rather than allow the fear to distance us. Because looking around there’s always plenty of work to do, there’s no need to fight over it.

Also, in the big picture, will this matter?  Our focus at work could change tomorrow and we could be off doing something else.  Or maybe we’ll work even closer one day and I’ll be so glad we got a headstart on being team mates.  And even bigger picture I know that some day, at the next job,  i won’t even remember her name.

So now i’m coming around to this understanding about fear.  I’m becoming convinced that nothing good can come from fear.

My friend and i were talking about wanting to change things in our lives – say eating well and achieving our fitness goals.  And we talked about how using the Big Stick works for about five minutes.  You know the approach?  It’s based on a “you suck” judgement and therefore you *have* to do x and y to make yourself better and overcome your imperfections.  It simply doesn’t work.  It’s totally fear-based.

The alternative is valuing yourself and treating yourself with respect.  Soaking in self love.  Wanting to feel good all the time.  Treating yourself like something precious.  If you hold all those values then you want to take good care of yourself.  Then there’s no judgement and nothing to live up to.  It means that if you nap instead of going to the gym,  that’s good because clearly you needed the rest and you’ll have an even better workout later.  The Big Stick and the fear that makes us use it just aren’t effective.

So i’m going to keep on this investigation.  Looking for the feelings and beliefs and reactions that are fear-based.  And then turn them on their heads so i can understand what the love-based response would be.  OK so here’s the funny thing.  A few days later at work i won an award for Going Above and Beyond.  Isn’t that funny?  I got all freaky about this keener doing my work and it had no impact whatsoever.  In fact it made me see that at work i’m seen as a keener.  So this person who made me feel fearful is actually just like me.  Maybe we’ll start a support group together.  Until then I’m looking for fear and trying out the alternatives.