Love > Fear



This morning I dreamed that the phrase Love > Fear was tattooed on the back of my neck. It was tattooed over my heart. It was tattooed on many of us, in different places on our bodies. It was set there as a reminder.

I want to remember. I want us to remember.

People are so afraid: How will I pay the rent? Will our daughter make it home from war? How will we get through this next crisis? Will the planet hold up under these climate shifts? Will my son make it home from school today? What if I die alone and unloved? What if the Gods aren't real?

Love is greater than our fears. All of them. Even the very real fears. Even the imagined fears. Love is greater.

Love is the expander, the enfolder, the comforter, and the enlivener. Love helps us to stand up for the struggle. Love helps us to ask for what we need. Love opens us to compassion.

We can feel with one another.

We will make it through. We will sit with the trees and walk for the water. We will paint our buildings and our bodies. We will dance to music wild and sublime. We will laugh. We will weep. We will be.

We have the capacity to love.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Expand.


21 Responses to “Love > Fear”

  1. John

    I like this. So often people word things so that it sounds like we need to make a choice between love and fear.

    Your words open to the idea that we can feel fear, but still chose love.

    Hmmm… Love is not only an emotion, but also an action?

      • Karen

        Learning to love in spite of or inside the fear is harder to do but is the only way to be and not let the fear crush us. Fear informs us and love frees us from the need to be overpowered by the fear.
        I have learned to let the fear tell me where I need the most work and also the most self compassion. That is harder to do than it sounds. Fear needs action – not a reaction.

        • Jocelyn

          Thank you Thorn for your message, and Karen for yours. This is going to help me a lot today. Choosing love is the best choice and love will be the fruit.

  2. Soli

    The timing on this post today is providing me with a nice kick in the bum to continue my quest to get myself moved. Thank you Thorn. Love is trumping fear.

  3. Aquila Ka Hecate

    Plus, Love is the field out of which everything arises – including fear.
    Love is so thoroughly greater than fear, yet we don’t act like it. Myself included, of course.

    Terri in Joburg

  4. Rick Loftus, M.D.

    I most definitely think love is action, and I do think it can be part of our relationship with fear. Back in 2010 at California Witchcamp, we had a discussion about how to respond to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf. While listening to person after person express their grief and anger, the phrase “Love is Action” began running through my mind. Ultimately I wrote a series of invocations for the Directions, with the Center chant being simply “Love is action, love is action, love is action,” sung over and over.
    As a student of cross-cultural virtues, there is a Jewish middot (virtue), “Aymah,” that I think sits in the space between love and fear. Aymah is hard to translate into English but one meaning is “Horror”–kind of a strange notion for a virtue! But Aymah really has to do with our capacity to feel outrage at injustice or what violates our sense of the Divine. I think “Holy Outrage” could be another translation for it. When we sing the Goddess Song at the Spiral Dance at Samhain, the Goddess sings, “I am the Change/ I am the tide that’s turning/ Your love and your rage/ passion for justice burning/
    And when you take a stand/ I’m the courage that guides you/
    I’m in the streets, I take your hand/ I’m marching beside you.” That, in my mind, is a perfect capitulation of Aymah–we turn our fears or aversions into a fuel for Love-As-Action. We become conduits for Divine Wisdom and Gigantic Love.
    A special shout out to Thorn–I was lucky enough to get into two of your Pantheacon sessions this year. I am still singing the chants in my morning practice, sometimes in the little crumb of time it takes to drive to the hospital to start rounds and clinic. Those sessions really helped put some wind in my sails at a key time. Thanks as always.

    • Thorn

      What a wonderful contribution to this discussion, Rick. Aymah seems like a very helpful concept. There is horror that comes because we love, I think. Outrage that comes because we love. It reminds me also of Binah, on the Tree. Its quality is Understanding and that often includes sorrow.

      Glad you were able to get into the Pcon sessions! Many people were turned away (from not just mine) this year.

  5. Katrina

    How often do we fear love itself–afraid to open our hearts fully because we are confused about what love is? I cannot tell you how many times I shielded my heart because I didn’t want anyone to get the “wrong” idea. I was afraid that expressing love would earn me an unwanted sexual advance or be misinterpreted as such. It’s been a long journey to open my heart more fully to love. Love has strengthened my vessel and the fear seems so small when I love.

    As a doctor, I have experienced the death of many of my patients. That experience taught me that showing up and being fully present is an expression of love. When a person is dying, it is easy to be afraid and keep a distance. Even though medicine will not provide life at that point, the loving presence is needed even more, and it so important to overcome the fear. We cannot hide behind our profession at this point. All we can be is one loving human being in the room being present and showing up. As I walk in the room with love, relax, sit down, be present…the fear melts away. In that moment, there is no doubt in my being–yes, love is stronger than fear.

    • Thorn

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so powerful and moving to me.

  6. Sister Krissy

    We are in sync! I have been using “Love > Fear” everywhere for several years since I saw it once on a bumper sticker. I sign it under my name. I have it listed on my bio site as a personal philosophy. I write is as graffiti when invited to do so. I put it everywhere!!

    Of course, Love is not just a feeling. There are plenty of times I don’t feel the emotion of love. But love is a verb. I am called to *be* love. And I find that when I am being love, in that moment, if I can just stay with it, then fear ALWAYS subsides. It hasn’t failed me yet! Thank you for this post!

  7. Christine Berger

    I love your dream, I love the comments.

  8. Fourge

    Today during meditation, I was wrestling with the notion of the differences between “who” I am and “what”I am. I did get some hints to this, but one idea that came up was that who I am tends to be an action rather than a noun. So who I am may be “seeker of truth” or “crafter of connections”, and what I am may be “teacher”, “scientist”, “son”, or “human”.

    Not to veer too far off topic, love as an action means it is alive, a moving force within these cosmos. We, too, are force in action, a force of nature playing ourselves out like the dear Gods we are. Love being a force of nature, I believe we can invoke love. Or evoke? I’ve always had trouble telling the difference between those two words, maybe someone can help point me in the right direction there.

    Thought I’d add that in there, since it came to mind. Also, I definitely enjoy love more than fear, and if it’s my heart’s desire to love myself and those who surround me, then methinks it a disservice to myself, my will, my Gods, and all creation not to let this love take the wheel. I trust love enough. When fear comes aboard, I think I need to meet it head on and ask myself, “Do you trust the love in your heart to take the wheel here?”

    Love will never lead us down the wrong path.

    • Thorn

      I think we can both invoke (call into ourselves, or into a vessel) and evoke (call forth, call out) love.

      Love is a process. Love is the unfolding.

      Trust is a good addition to this conversation. How do we gain enough trust to open to the flow of love?

  9. Promulgate This!

    […] T. Thorn Coyle recently posted a blog entry where she talked about a dream she had where the phrase … as a reminder that, “Love is greater than our fears. All of them. Even the very real fears. Even the imagined fears. Love is greater.”  It’s a simple but profound sentiment. […]

  10. Promulgate Love! | Promulgate This!

    […] T. Thorn Coyle recently posted a blog entry where she talked about a dream she had where the phrase … as a reminder that, “Love is greater than our fears. All of them. Even the very real fears. Even the imagined fears. Love is greater.”  It’s a simple but profound sentiment. […]


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