By Scarlett Lewis, Chief Movement Officer and Founder
In the tapestry of life, we encounter a myriad of situations, circumstances, and challenges that test our mettle. It’s during these moments that we have the power to choose between love and fear. How? By embracing the Choose Love Formula™: Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Compassion in Action as our guiding lights. These virtues, when put into action, enable us to thoughtfully respond to life’s trials, ultimately allowing love to prevail when it’s needed most.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. It’s the inner strength that propels us forward when facing the unknown. In difficult times, summoning the courage to confront our fears head-on empowers us to act thoughtfully. Whether it’s pursuing a new career, standing up for our beliefs, or facing a personal challenge, courage allows us to choose love over fear by refusing to be paralyzed by doubt or anxiety.
Gratitude is the practice of recognizing and appreciating the beauty and goodness in our lives, even amidst adversity. When we cultivate gratitude, we shift our focus from what we lack to what we have. This mindset shift helps us respond thoughtfully by acknowledging the silver linings in challenging situations. By counting our blessings, we open our hearts to love, and fear loses its grip.
Holding onto grudges and resentments weighs us down with negativity. Forgiveness, however, is a liberating act that sets us free from the burdens of anger and bitterness. By forgiving others and ourselves, we choose love over fear. Forgiveness doesn’t condone wrongdoing; it releases us from its emotional stranglehold, allowing us to respond thoughtfully and heal.
Compassion-in-Action is the empathy and kindness we extend to ourselves, and others, especially when facing adversity. When we practice compassion in action, we recognize our shared humanity and connect on a deeper level. This powerful force lets us respond thoughtfully by offering support and understanding instead of judgment. It allows love to bridge the gap fear might create.
When we combine these virtues in our daily lives, we gain the ability to choose love over fear in the most challenging of circumstances. It’s not a one-time decision but a continuous practice. Courage gives us the strength to face our fears, gratitude reminds us of life’s beauty, forgiveness frees us from negativity, and compassion connects us to others.
Consider a scenario where a close friend betrays your trust. Instead of reacting with anger and fear, courage helps you confront the issue honestly and openly. Gratitude reminds you of the good times you’ve shared, making forgiveness a more accessible path. Compassion-in-Action helps you understand that people make mistakes, fostering forgiveness and ultimately choosing love over fear by mending the broken trust.
In conclusion, life often confronts us with choices between love and fear. Embracing courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion in action provides us with a roadmap for thoughtfully responding to these moments. These virtues empower us to transform fear into love, fostering personal growth, stronger relationships, and a deeper connection to the world around us. By making a conscious effort to incorporate them into our lives, we can choose love when it’s needed most, creating a brighter, more harmonious existence for ourselves and those we encounter on our journey.
From the Choose Love store
Note: proceeds from store purchases benefit the Choose Love programs.
Choose Love: A Pathway to Flourishing” is meant to complement the Choose Love for Schools program. Although written for elementary school children, it includes universal wisdom that is beneficial for all ages. “A Pathway to Flourishing” is beautifully illustrated and the hope is to spark the interest of families and classrooms to allow every child to feel safe, seen and celebrated.