This past Tuesday’s scripture readings tell of the angel appearing to Mary and telling her to “Fear not!”, one of the most repeated phrases in scripture, at least that is what I remember my high school religion teacher asserting many years ago.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her book Life Lessons written when she thought she was dying, writes: “But deep down, at our cores, there are only two emotions: love and fear.” Just before that statement she writes: “To transcend fear, though, we must move somewhere else emotionally; we must move into love.” (Ross and Kessler, 2000) Then I remember hearing that “God is love, and he who abides in love, abides in God.”
Brene Brown in her book, Daring Greatly quotes her earlier book The Gifts of Imperfection in which she defines love. She does this not as the final word, but as she says, to begin the conversation. “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.” (Daring Greatly, 2012)
Astronaut Chris Hatfield shares in this TED Talk how he dealt with fear when he lost his sight in space. It’s an amazing witness to Brown’s thought that we must be vulnerable if we are truly to love and live.