How to Choose Love Over Fear

Learn to master your ego in this excerpt from author Melissa Ambrosini's new book Mastering Your Mean Girl.

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choose love over fear

Modified from Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini © 2016. Used with permission from Tarcher/Penguin.

In every moment you have one of two choices: you can choose either love or fear--your truth or your Mean Girl (ego). This simple choice underpins every decision you make throughout the day, from what you choose to put in your mouth, to how you respond to the person who cuts you off at a traffic light. From how you move your body, to the people you surround yourself with. From what you do with your time, to how you treat yourself. It all comes down to choice...your choice.

Before my giant wake-up call, I was making some pretty lousy choices about how I lived my life without being aware of them. I was choosing to suffer, to live in a constant state of fear, and I gave all my power away to other people. I thought the world was against me, and, as a result, every decision and action reflected that belief.

I took jobs I hated and held on with a tight grip to every dollar I had out of fear of not having enough money. I flogged my body at the gym out of fear of getting fat, and I ate (or didn't eat) out of hatred for what I looked like in the mirror. I surrounded myself with unhealthy "friends" and put up with a series of unhealthy relationships out of fear of being rejected. I "people pleased" because I was scared of disappointing others.

If these sorts of thinking patterns sound painfully familiar to you, don't worry. You're not alone. There is an epidemic of fear: it's the state in which we all live. But you'll soon see that turning your back on the old paradigm and choosing love instead of fear is not only possible, it's essential. 

First you have to distinguish what love feels like, or it can actually be easier to identify the times when you're not living from a space of love. Basically, anytime that you're stressed over the past, you're worrying about the future, or you feel anxious, angry, indecisive, or not present, it can mean you're spending too much time hanging out in Fear Town and not in the here and now. And don't get me wrong: feeling those feelings is going to happen (on a daily basis, I might add) and in some cases is totally warranted. However, it's how you deal with them and how quickly you return to love that matters most.

The brilliant thing is that once you're aware of the difference, it's a simple choice to shift your internal GPS and return to love.

READ MORE: A BITTER PERSON OR A BETTER PERSON?

If you want to shift your state to one of love and really hardwire your GPS system to guide you toward that truth, there's one simple question you need to go back to. You guessed it...

What would love do right now?

This question will guide you back to your truth, back to your natural state. Every. Single. Time.

If you're serious about living from love, this isn't a question you can ask just once or twice and you're done with it; it's an ongoing process. A continual recalibration and realignment to ensure that your inner compass is always angled at true north. And it can be applied to every situation and conundrum you can think of, from the spiritual to the mundane to the crazily chaotic.

When you go through difficult times in your life, it's easy to believe that the light inside you has been snuffed out. We've all gone through periods of intense fear--maybe you've been hurt, someon you deeply love has died, you found out you have a serious illness, or you've lost the very roof over your head. But don't let your darkness stop you from shining your light. It can absolutely be dispersed by love, if you let it.

READ MORE: THE HEALING POWER OF FORGIVENESS

Let it be said, though, this isn't about glossing over what has happened to you. You need to fully and completely feel the pain, anger, frustration, and sadness--but you do not need to let it ruin or dictate your life. Feeling the emotions bubbling inside you is an important part of your healing process and not one to be skipped over. Embrace it and ride the wave.

The most powerful thing you can do, then, in any situation, even at your lowest depths and the darkest moments when you're consumed by fear, is to recommit to the spark of love inside you. It's always there, it's always burning, and it will guide you back to your truth.

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