Earthquakes, love and fear…

Posted by Jacinta Hin on June 21, 2011

It’s often said that love and fear are the two core emotions from which all other emotions derive. That whatever we feel and believe has its roots in one of the two.

If I look at my own life, I can see how both play a role. I’m either in one place or the other, or somewhere in between.

In the wake of Japan’s triple disaster I’ve gotten to experience love and fear at a whole new level. Perhaps no wonder, given all that happened and is still happening since the big Tohoku earthquake struck Japan on March 11: the situation in the North, the increased possibility of an 8+ earthquake hitting an area close to Tokyo, where I live, anytime soon and the ongoing nuclear debacle. Enough doom and gloom to keep anyone in the grips of fear. But also enough reason to face our new circumstances with determination, hopeful and ready to make changes for a better future.

Returning to love is like coming home. We feel connected to ourselves, to others and to something bigger. We’re strong and present. We feel happy, even in the face of turmoil and disaster. We’re full of hope, as deep down inside we know we can overcome anything. We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We trust the flow of life and believe in our ability to change things.

But then fear shows up and off we go…

What is it about fear that we keep going back to it, again and again? What do we expect to find?

Is fear necessary to balance love? Or is it about soul and ego battling for first spot?

Whatever the reason, as soon as we step into fear, we disconnect. We feel alone, separated from our core and the world around us. We become paralyzed, confused and insecure. Stuck between past and future, unable to move in the present. We might even feel doom is upon us. Surely this is not a pleasant place to be.

So why choose to be here?

Do we need to experience fear in order find our way back home, to love, or to confirm that ultimately love is the only place to be?

Or is it a matter of trust? Perhaps deep down we distrust love, and are always expecting to be disappointed and betrayed. Fear feelings forever hiding in the back. If that would be true, fear might be an integral part of love and the other way around.

I would like to be able to say that fear has no place in my life. That I choose to always be in a place of love. But that would not be true.

I was truly scared, when the earthquake struck. I’ve been scared many times since that moment. I’m scared when a strong tremor disturbs a peaceful morning coffee or when I read about the Fukushima meltdowns. Physically scared, but also afraid for our future. That Japan might not make it. That I might not have the strength to make the right choices.

Yet I’m also hopeful about the future, excited about the opportunities in front of us and confident about my ability to do the right thing.

I don’t have the answers to how it works between love and fear. But I do know it’s important to understand which of the two drives our behavior. Only then we can step out of fear and into love.

And right now, in Japan, we need a lot of love. To stay awake and move forwards. To heal and restore our spirit. To support the people in the North. And to make the changes needed to rebuild the country and give renewed meaning to our own lives.

This post was originally published in Embrace Transition

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