brian j plachta
Welcome Friends!
writer, spiritual mentor, speaker
by deepening your inner growth, integrating balance & discovering wholeness in your daily life.
to live the life you've imagined
I'm a passionate writer, energetic speaker, & spiritual mentor
---click here to get weekly email encouragements---
who wants to encourage you
Love or Fear? What Do You Choose?
by brian j plachta on February 7th, 2019

Psychologists believe there are two basic emotions humans experience—love and fear. All others fit underneath these tidy categories.

Driving through a winter snowstorm, I’m afraid other drivers might not stop and slide into me. My fear grips the steering wheel.

Sitting in the quiet at dawn with a cup of steamy coffee in my hands and my dog snoring at my feet, I am warmed by peace, comfort, and love.

When we become aware of which emotion—love or fear—we experience throughout the day, we’re then be able to center ourselves, perhaps flip our mindset from fear into love by a mere change in perspective.

As I maneuver my Jeep through icy winter streets, I shift from fear of other drivers to gratitude that I’m safe. I have a warm car, a loving family, a nice job. Despite the icy road conditions, my life is good. By refocusing my thoughts, I sigh the fear away.

When we face a life challenge or difficulty in a relationship, we often get trapped with fear by focusing on the “what ifs.” What if I fail? What if he or she leaves me?  What if others see my flaws?

During the Great Depression, then President Franklin Roosevelt told the nation the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. He reminded Americans that if our fear is strong enough, it can immobilize us and leave us paralyzed.

For many of us, the only thing we have to fear is success. We’ve been long told we’re bad, we’re flawed. Even many of our faith traditions rub our noses in our imperfections—our sins. And while that might gift us with a good dose of humility, the “I’m bad and flawed” approach to life can often trap us with doubt about ourselves—another aspect of fear.

What if, instead, we focused on love and success? Would we then be able to change the negative tapes in our heads to a more truthful perspective, such as I’m a good person. I’m not perfect. I am, however, perfectly human. And when I set my mind to working out a troubled relationship or challenge by taking meaningful action steps, eventually life unfolds and things get better.

Don Clifton, the father of strengths psychology and the inventor of the Strength Finders assessment, said that by focusing on our strengths, not our weaknesses, we put our energy into developing our unique talents. We shift our attention away from fear and failure to success and love.

Clifton was a pioneer. His wisdom echoes the 12-Step motto, “If I focus on the problem, the problem increases. If I focus on the solution, the solution increases.”

For the next week, notice the inner shift between love and fear within yourself. When you fill with fear, name it, and then let it go by refocusing on what’s good about you, your life, and your ability to succeed with earnest effort.  When you experience love, receive it as a gift, and lift it up to the Creator with gratitude.

Choose love, not fear.

—brian j plachta

Posted in Reflections    Tagged with no tags


Leave a Comment

poetry (4)
#God #blessing #contemplation #distractions #faith #father's day #father #fear #growth #i deepen #inner growth #inner peace #interruptions #peace #prayer #rise #spirituality #wholeness Arise Creator Divine God is good God loves me God revealed God with skin God's Blessing God's voice; true voice; experience God's voice God-nudge God Gurdjieff Heart Space Holy spirit I am good I love God Is God Real? Jewish Tradition New Year Now One Onieng Present Moment Quiet the Mind Resolutions Rohr Science Soul of America Soul Time addiction advent alive am I enough? animal spirts antidote awake balance believe belonging beloved bird feeding breath of God breathe breath calming the mind cats centering prayer center charisms choosing our thoughts christmas christ civility common good community connected contemplation conversations with God daily tension desire difficult people discernment divine embrace divine presence divine reading do your best dog doubts dreams drop the stones easter election embodiment embraced embrace enjoy enough eucharist exercise faith fake news false self falsehoods family fear find your voice flip the switch flow theory flow forgiveness forgive freedom gifts gratitude grow up growth grow grumpy guide happiness harmony heart mind connection heart-brake heart hear heaven held hidden holy nudges how much is enough? humanity i okay imagination imperfect incarnation injoy inner grump inner journey inner peace inner strength inner touch inner work innocence inspiration integrity joseph journey joy law of three laying down our life lectio divina lens let god let go life is good life's purpose life-giving life light of the world listen live love live love ourselves love you prayer love me time meaning meditation mentoring mentor metaphors for God mind chatter monkey mind morning mystic nature nudges nudge okay open your heart open ordinary life original blessing original sin peace phoenix plastic jesus poke politics positive practicing presence prayer of the Self prayer pray presecne presence prodigal son purpose quiet time quiet real presence reflection relationship remember resurrection retreat rhythm of life right brain right living running from God running from myself sacrament samuel screwtape scripture seeds self esteem self respect self-giving self-love self-respect self-respec self-talk separation silence simplicity solitude solomon soul's voice speak spiriitual spirit of God spiritual gifts spirituality spiritual spirit strength stroke suffering survivor talents teacher tension the voice of God the voice of the soul this moment transfigure transformation transform true self trust jesus truth unconditional love virtue voice of God voice of love voice walking meditation walking we are the second c coming of Christ what i believe whisper who is your teacher? wholeness why am i here? wisdom keeper wisdom worry wounds