Love or Fear

I came to the realization that every decision we make in our lives, is based on either love or fear.  Meaning that everything we do, or don’t do, is directly connected to what we are most afraid of (abandonment), or doing something that comes from a place of wanting to connect with others in the most authentic way we know how (love).  The concepts of love and fear are primarily derived from our past experiences.   With this in mind I decided to post the story of what has happened to me over the last two years.

“Who are you if you are not your story?”  Through the reading of Byron Katie and the work of Eckhart Tolle (see links below) both discuss that one must acknowledge the circumstances that comprise our lives — where we came from, how we grew up, the experiences we had — all facts that represent the past.

Gift from Barbara

Receiving a terminal diagnosis has driven me to try and accept and be in the present moment, which allows me to do two things.  One, let go of the past, and two, attempt to flourish in the present.  The byproduct of these efforts is that a new narrative began to unfold.

There were many reasons to be afraid to post my story…too many to list.  Those are all the fear based thoughts that often drive my action or inaction.

However, I began to realize that the only way I could transcend the narrative of my life is by letting it go.  One way to do this was by sharing my story.  In the readings that I have done over the last few months that have brought me the most comfort (books about Buddhism, Stillness Speaks – Echkart Tolle) I learned that I am not my story.  We are simply beings on this earth here to have an experience.  What causes pain in our life are the judgments that we attach to those experiences.  I hope that what I have shared will help connect me with others, and in turn others with me, in both meaningful and uplifting ways.


Related links:  Eckhart Tolle‘s work “Stillness Speaks“, Oprah talks to Eckhart, Byron Katie‘s work, and “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch

— As usual, thanks and appreciation to Jill MacDonald for her wisdom, guidance and friendship.

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  1. Did you see the tribute to you at the end of the page ?


  2. Katie – Thank you for sharing your story and this post today. I’m sending you links to two 20-minute TED talks by Dr. Brene Brown. Her research specialization is vulnerability and shame. I think you’ll find that she has an interesting view, similar to yours about love and fear. I was very moved by these talks and want to share them with you. It’s well worth the 40 minutes. I would love to hear your thoughts after you view them (if you choose to). Love, Fran


    1. Fran,

      So funny, already watched them. Love ted talks…thanks for your support and donations. Hope you like the bag!!


  3. I cherish your honesty, your connectedness to pure emotion, your fears, and all of that you love and hold close to your heart.

    I love you and continue to learn from you.
    Thank you,



    1. Erin Love you too and miss you. Hope we can catch up soon.

      Much love,



  4. Holly Shulman March 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    In the spirit of your post- The post below came to my FB feed today- thought you’d like.

    A psychologist walked around a room while teaching to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

    Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

    She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

    My remarkable Katie, you have put down the glass– and it has changed your life- and changed all of us with whom have you have shared this webiste. ❤ U


  5. What you wrote was truly beautiful. We are not “our stories”. That’s actually very helpful to me on a personal level. In your case, you are so much more than your story. You’re a brilliant, radiant remarkable human being and that is how I think posterity will judge you. Your career working with individuals with autism was a labor of love. You give 100% love to all of your friendships. In other words, you don’t just walk the walk, you talk the talk. And the sharing of your story was an act of love because you had many fears which could have stopped you.

    Much Love,


    1. I meant to say you don’t just talk the talk, you walk the walk. 🙂


  6. Thank you, I needed to hear those words. You inspire me to live more presently and now, to meditate and take my personal growth and peace forward. ❤


  7. Perhaps you have already watched this, but I was recently shown this video by someone and found it very meaningful and very relevant to your post on love or fear. “We keep choosing fear because we don’t want to dissolve from who we think we are”, he says at 2:40. Very fitting with how you have transformed your narrative and become more than your story by going beyond your fears to share it.


    1. I forgot to include the link.


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