Noodling

Love & Fear and Yes & No

So I’ve been thinking that there are basically two taps on the energy source: fear and love. Fear functions like emotional carbs, hot quick bursts of energy and love works more like protein, undramatic, sustained. Fear energy is just the thing for outrunning tigers, but when you depend on the fear of losing your job to haul yourself out of bed in the morning, fear of divorce to keep you faithful, you fall into the spike and drop wave of anxiety and depression. You feel your energy start to drop, your thoughts slip from ordered to chaotic and you’re back at the familiar source, revving yourself up with anger at The Man or guilt to get you going again. Or you migrate over to the other tap, to love, curiosity, interest, or desire. A hobby you really enjoy can be enough to get you out of bed in the morning.

Likewise, I’m thinking there are really only two actions for energy: permit or resist, accept or reject. Norse mythology embodies these actions in the two races of Gods, the Aesir and Vanir. They call them warrior and fertility deities, defensive or creative. The gods and goddesses of the Vanir bring order out of chaos, they create, birth, till and tend. The physically stronger warrior gods and goddess of the Aesir defend, preserve and maintain what has been brought into being by the Vanir.

So, here’s what I’m wondering: can the Aesir feed at the tap of love? Can “No” be energized by love alone? Is a defensive, protective action a priori a fear-driven one? Can there be resistance and opposition that is not fed on adrenaline fear? Some things need to be preserved, protected from danger, and are we not alerted to danger through fear? A gardener pulls weeds and prunes branches. A mother must both encourage and discipline, provide praise and boundaries and consequences when boundaries are over-reached.

There are things to which I feel I must say No. I must be willing to defend, not in anger, but in resolute refusal to be mowed down. Compassion is one of my strongest ideals and yet, I can feel compassion for the fear that drives the man inside the tank, but my understanding will not stop the tank. Nor will my running away. If we were all Tibet, would we all be China? It is never as simple as “never”.

And yet I do believe violence is never the answer. I love the heady rush of the fear and anger energy, but I know that hangover all too well. I’m trying to figure how to do the work of the work of the Aesir from a place of love not fear. Can resistance be retooled into desire? If the hoards hammer at the gate, can the battle be turned aside, or once engaged be not against the invaders, but towards a larger freedom and integration? How do you do that? Can you fuel No with love?

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