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Hello Friends, 

I thought I'd share with you some thoughts I've been having lately about fear.  

We seem to be living in a world where anger seems to abound.  I've been told that the root of anger is fear.  Why would that be? I'd never thought about it in that way before.  I'm no psychologist, but through my own life experiences, I've found that anger comes when I'm afraid I am not being heard, when I'm afraid I've lost some control of my life,  when I don't agree with others (especially those with whom I love), when I'm afraid of what might happen in the future, or that my past mistakes will define my future.  I have found that trying to dig deep about what I'm really afraid of, helps me understand where it's coming from and how to move past it.  

I heard recently a wonderful description of what it mean to "love mercy". 

"Loving mercy means that we do not just love the mercy God extends to us; we delight that God extends the same mercy to others." Dale G. Renlund

I have found that as I try to extend mercy to everyone, regardless of their circumstances, opinions, choices, or beliefs, helps me have more understanding and compassion and takes away the root fear of our differences, whatever they are.  It certainly doesn't mean I have to agree with everyone, or give up my own values by loving mercy; but interestingly, that seemingly small act seems to replace fear with a kind of mercy that helps me see others in a more inside out kind of way.

So, thank you to those who have the courage to extend mercy, to me and others.  Keep it up!

Maybe there's a connection to that and my art, maybe not, but I hope so. 

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