We have two choices in every situation; love or fear. Consistently choosing love leads you down one path and consistently choosing fear leads you down another path. This brings us to another set of options, as Glennon Doyle would say, we can choose to be real and loved or shiny and admired.
Choosing to be real and loved is the path of consistently choosing love. Choosing to be shiny and admired is the path of consistently choosing fear. Most of us live our lives by choosing fear over love. We unconsciously buy into our culture’s messages and live fearfully. When we choose fear, we do not bring our real, true selves forward. When we choose fear, we are choosing to be shiny and admired. We are choosing to adhere to a cultural standard, we are choosing to fit into the mold life shaped for us, we are choosing perfection over authenticity. Living this way kills your soul, slowly but surely. I speak from experience because I have lived fearful most of my life. It is still a struggle to abandon all the fear. It is a struggle to know other people loving me is not tied to my self-worth.
Fear is the easy option. It provides comfort, sometimes we even trick ourselves into thinking choosing fear provides us with certainty. But everything is uncertain. Love is the harder option and it is a conscious choice. It is a choice to go against the grain. It is a choice to put your true self into the world and asking to be loved for that. It is knowing that if someone rejects you, that person is not ready to choose love over fear and that does not mean there is anything wrong with you. To be real and loved is choosing to be authentic and tell the truth when no one else will speak up.
Life is not easy. No matter what you choose, love or fear, to be real and loved or shiny and admired. Both paths are hard because life is hard. There will be pain no matter which way you go. But when you show up to give your true self and pain happens that is bad ass pain. That pain does not kill your soul, used correctly it can help heal you. When we do not put our true selves forward and we choose to be shiny and admired, pain still comes. But that type of pain will kill your soul because it will be wrapped up in shame, fear, and other negative emotions.
I can go on and on but choosing love over fear and to be real and loved over shiny and admired is something we each have to learn for ourselves. So, today try to be as conscious as you can about what path you choose. I know choosing love is harder but there is no situation where it is the wrong choice. Love always wins.