Love can mend your soul
Like Ed Sheeran says in one of his songs, “Love can mend your soul.” Those lyrics put my other thoughts on pause as I was driving to fetch my teenage daughter from school one summer’s afternoon. What was it about that four-lettered word that captured my attention?
Love and fear are not compatible
I know from research that love and fear cannot co-exist in the same space in our brains and, dare I say, in our hearts too. Fear will try and crowd out love, but L O V E conquers fear.
In an article in Psychology Today, the author writes, “The choice to reject fear and choose love can feel like something that only applies to moments of crisis, when we’re leaving a marriage, starting a new business, preparing to climb Mount Everest. But in truth, the opportunity to choose love and reject fear presents itself in the smallest moments of life, and specifically, in relationships with those closest to us. Love over fear is a choice every time someone tells us something about ourselves or has an experience of us that we don’t want to hear.”
He whom love touches not walks in darkness. Plato
How can we mend our hearts?
Love that is patient, kind, forgiving, gentle, strong and inclusive and ever-growing are treasures to discover when you are working to overcome any form of fear.
Family loyalty kind of love.
The first is the Greek word, Storge (‘store-gae’). It is a familial love born out of familiarity or dependency. It is often unilateral much like parents with their children. Storge is a fondness type of love, family loyalty.
Friendship and enjoyment fill our hearts.
Secondly, we read about Philia. This is a friendship type of love. It is also known as shared goodwill. Healthy friendships that are founded on Philia (goodness) offer both parties mutual benefits. These can include companionship, dependability, support, enjoyment, and trust.
Healthy expressions of physical love.
And then we find the word Eros. This form of love is expressed through sexual or passionate encounters, a healthy expression of physical love. It’s romantic ln its nature.
Fourthly, the Greek word, Agape, is known as the unconditional love as shown to us by God. Agape is a selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love. This type of love encompasses more than just the highest expression of selflessness. When we read 1 Corinthians 13, we find a passage that describes love (but also the characteristics of God). This kind of expression is forgiving, releasing, brings healing, and it never gives up.
When we embrace love, then we can embrace healing.
If you struggle with fear of failure, then consider the root of that fear. Perhaps knowing that there is nothing you can ever do to make God love you less, would move you towards healing.
If you battle with fear of rejection, then consider that you will never ever be alone as a child of God.
If you struggle with fear of not being enough, then think about those people in your life that are your allies or champions and let them into your struggle.
Search for love. Be generous in your expression of love and open your heart to receive it too, for if you do so, you might just open the door to healing from your fears.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear because fear involves punishment or torment.
What does it mean to live in misery or torment?
The dictionary describes torment as great mental suffering and unhappiness, or great physical pain. To me, that is an excellent example of the effects that fear produces in our lives.
Great mental suffering
Fear pushes our thoughts into a corner, stifling the very lifeblood out of one. It produces intense psychological distress through paralyzing one from thinking clearly and embracing healthy thought patterns.
Loss of joy is a by-product of all fears. Unhappiness leads to other problems such as over-eating or under-eating, mental illness development, the breakdown in relationships and all of these merely reinforce fear’s role in one’s life. A broken heart and unhappiness are hard to bear.
Great physical pain
I remember when fear of being attacked again caused physical pain in my body. I would regularly get headaches, my muscles ached, especially when I tried to run and that reinforced the feelings of being scared, sad and overwhelmed.
Our bodies and souls are inextricably linked – we cannot get away from that fact. Therefore, if you are struggling in an area, I present love to you. When I was battling with my darkest enemy, the unconditional love of God and that of my husband stilled my beating heart, calmed my anxious thoughts and brought me rest.
The power of surrender.
“The moment of surrender is not when life is over, it’s when it begins.” wrote Marianne Williamson. The concept of surrender is much like a baby that needs to sleep. A newborn often fights the very thing that he needs, but when he gives in to rest, then peace comes. Therefore, don’t fight to embrace love. Love can defeat all your fears. You only need to surrender. Like my favorite singer croons, “Loving can heal. Love can mend your soul”
If you’ve had an experience where love brought healing, let me know. I’d love to hear your story and hear your thoughts on this topic.