In a life defined.

Fear defines life. It affects our reactions, our thoughts and our interaction with everything. It is an emotion, a state of being, which binds us up with more fear, distrust and ultimately hate.

To argue fear has no impact would be both rash and ignorant.

To argue there is a better alternative – that we are not imprisoned to live defined by fear – is right.

Love and hope are more powerful than the darkness. The darkness does not receed with the addition of more darkness. It remains bleak and unimproved. Light, light is the only thing which drives the darkness back. Making it run back into the corners as it is slowly defeated and eradicated from our lives.

To keep light only for ourselves is selfish. Not because wanting our lives to be full of hope and happiness is selfish – of course we want that – but because how can we exist without trying to help others in their suffering.

We all are carrying things and although we shouldn’t we sometimes rank our suffering. All of it is pain, sometimes more senseless and destructive, but it all hurts.

People have not just died but been murdered this week. In senseless acts, horrific disgusting acts. This could have been met with more of the same and yet the overarching response in all of this has been love.

That love is more powerful. That the intolerance that lead someone to that gay night club has no place in our lives. That we are people who chose to be adult. That we choose to respond with sense. In this we won’t always agree, we won’t necessarily believe the same things or have the same outlooks on life but we can each choose to respond in ways which are not defined by fear.

In my life my hope goes further than a belief in love or the good of people. My life is defined and affected by my faith. I believe in God, that he died and rose again so that we can be free of everything. We are not defined by our fears, or our experience or the hurt inflicted by ourselves and others. I am defined by the unconditional love God has for me and this has an impact on how I live and what I care about.

I’m by no means a saint, but I try to live a life defined by love rather than hate and hope instead of fear.

I have no personal connection to this weeks news. Other than the outcry we all share and feel – which is not dampened – but I have not lost anyone I knew personally. My heart breaks for the suffering people are living through and the anger people are feeling. The shooting in Orlando and the murder of Jo Cox are horrific acts. They are dark and bleak and painful and as a result we can choose to respond in fear. Choose to be defined by the dark could haves and would haves that exist in our lives. Choice is powerful.

People can be powerless in situations but somebody’s choice has put them there.

I’m not trying to boil the world down to black and white boundaries in that. How erroneous and simplistic that view would be. I am trying to point out that with each horrific act, every refugee who is fleeing their home, each immigrant in search of a new life or a better life, each abused child or neglected pensioner, every unemployed or redundant worker, in all of these cases (and so many more besides) we are defined by how we choose to ¬†respond and by what measures we act.



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